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Catholic Voice
October 24, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 18   •   Oakland, CA
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Blessings and gratitude
for those who serve

Catholic Charities fulfilling mission 'treating people as Jesus would'


Very Rev. James V. Matthews, rector of the cathedral, gathers with some of the Missionaries of Charity and their friends after Mass.

Mass of thanksgiving for church's newest saint

Pilgrims from St. Mark Parish in Richmond process into the cathedral, wearing T-shirts bearing quotations from the life of St. Teresa. More photos at facebook.com/TheCatholicVoice.

Dozens of people — young, old and in between — wearing white T-shirts with an image of the newest saint of the Roman Catholic Church processed down the aisle of the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland on Oct. 9 before a Mass of Thanksgiving for the canonization of St. Teresa of Kolkata.

The parishioners of St. Mark Parish in Richmond, where a band of four Missionaries of Charity serve, made the pilgrimage to the cathedral, with Rev. Ramiro Flores, parochial administrator, concelebrating the Mass with the Very Rev. James V. Matthews, rector of the cathedral.

Also concelebrating was Rev. Bill O'Neill, SJ, who has served with Missionaries of Charity in East Africa, and with the Sisters in Richmond.

"It's an appropriate opportunity to honor and celebrate the newest saint of the Catholic Church," said a joyful Father Matthews at the beginning of Mass. He also acknowledged the Missionaries of Charity, who had been at the cathedral center for a week with the exhibition on the life of St. Teresa, as well as relics on display in one of the cathedral's chapels.

He welcomed the pilgrims, whose T-shirts also bore quotations from the life of St. Teresa. It is at St. Mark Parish, Father Matthews said, that the Sisters do most of their ministry. "Be all for Jesus through Mary. Be holy. God bless you. M. Teresa" read one shirt.

In 1948, the year of his birth, Father Matthews noted, St. Teresa "followed the inclinations of her heart" and left her vocation as a teaching sister.

"She truly believed Jesus wanted her to form a new group to serve the poorest of the poor," he said.

As she served, he said, "she radiated joy to those around her."

He recounted his own meeting with then-Mother Teresa in San Francisco in the 1980s.

"I had the opportunity to meet her. She grasped my hand and kissed it," he said.

"I can go to my grave knowing a saint grasped my hand and kissed it."

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