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Catholic Voice
May 23, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Free legal clinic to open at cathedral
Faithful pass through the
Door of Mercy

Faith and survival mark St. Barnabas
at 90th anniversary
Delta Deanery making
Oakland cathedral pilgrimage

Rev. Robert Rien

One thousand pilgrims — the largest group so far scheduled to journey to the Cathedral of Christ the Light— will make their way to Oakland on buses and in carpools from the far northeastern reaches of the diocese.

The Delta Deanery's pilgrimage, scheduled for Aug. 27, promises to be the largest to the cathedral during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which ends Nov. 20.

In proclaiming the jubilee, Pope Francis invited the faithful to make pilgrimages. In the Diocese of Oakland, the place of pilgrimage is the cathedral. One of the cathedral's massive entry doors has been designated the Door of Mercy.

Rev. Robert Rien, who on June 1 becomes pastor of St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish, where he has served as parochial administrator for 11 years, is coordinating the pilgrimage from Deanery 10. Deaneries are regional administrative sub-units within the diocese, made up of several parishes.

In addition to Father Rien's parish, parishes represented include St. Anthony Parish of Oakley; Church of the Good Shepherd, Pittsburg; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Brentwood; Most Holy Rosary, Antioch; Our Lady Queen of the World, Bay Point; St. Anne, Byron; and St. Peter Martyr of Verona, Pittsburg.

About 10 parishes and groups have pilgrimages planned through Nov. 20.

To plan a parish or group pilgrimage, follow the
pilgrimage link at
The planning began at the deanery months ago. "When the Holy Year of Mercy was announced, we reflected on how we could make the Year of Mercy come alive for the Delta Deanery," Father Rien said.

Banners have been placed inside and outside of all the churches, he said. An evening of reflection on the gift of mercy, including a talk by Rev. Msgr. Antonio Valdivia and music, was held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish. During Lent, communal reconciliation services were held at each parish in the deanery.

When pilgrimage to the cathedral was considered, the question was whether for each parish to plan a pilgrimage or to all go together.

"Everyone felt it was best to do this as a deanery," Father Rien said.

The pilgrimage will be a full 2½-hours of activities. Each parish will make a banner, and pilgrims will process behind their banners up the Pilgrim's Path from 21st Street in Oakland to the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

The Mass will be celebrated by Rev. Mark Wiesner, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Livermore. Father Wiesner is one of 1,142 Missionaries of Mercy from around the world sent forth by Pope Francis to preach of God's mercy this year. He will preach the homily.

The priests of the deanery will concelebrate.

"It's very important." Father Rien said, "to make sure the liturgy reflects the cultural and ethnic diversity of the deanery."

More than a dozen languages and ethnic groups are represented in the deanery.

"We want to do our best to reflect that diversity," Father Rien said. The Gospel will be in English; the first reading in Spanish and the second in Vietnamese. The petitions will be offered "in as many languages as we can," he said.

Ed Magistrado, music director of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, will direct the music, which will involve musicians from around the deanery, as well as reflect the diversity. The pipe organ, piano, brass and guitars will be in play.

"He's the one who has done the most work with multicultural and multilingual liturgies," Father Rien said of Magistrado.

Father Rien expects great participation from the pilgrims. "What a thrill it will be if everyone is singing," he said.

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