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placeholder February 20, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA
Above, Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins and Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, distribute "lucky" red envelopes, part of the Chinese New Year tradition. Left, the Fremont church was filled.

Bishops join Chinese community for New Year Mass

There is another luck, better than good luck, from the Christian perspective, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, advised the Chinese community at its annual New Year Mass Feb. 12.

That luck is divine providence, the bishop told the full house at St. Joseph Church in Fremont. Also attending at Mass were Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins and several priests and deacons. Contingents from several Chinese communities came together too, including those from Fremont, San Francisco, Sacramento, El Cerrito, St. Leo Parish in Oakland and Our Lady of the Rosary in Union City.

St. Paul wrote that if God is for us, who can be against us, the bishop explained. "Enjoy the power of God's divine providence," he said. Make amends, make peace and forgive; go to Confession.

With divine providence, you will trust where God puts you and that everything will work out. "If things are going well for you, thank God. If they are not going right, hang on, God will put you where you will do the most good," the bishop said.

The bishop noted the Chinese devotion to ancestors, and that in the Catholic faith, the best thing you can do is honor your parents and grandparents.

Two traditional ceremonies came at the end of Mass: an honoring of ancestors at a small altar and the two bishops handed out red envelopes, containing a small amount of money, to the churchgoers. The red envelope tradition signifies good luck.

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