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placeholder March 6, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 5   •   Oakland, CA

March 6-8: Installation of Bishop Oscar Solis as Bishop of Salt Lake City, Utah

March 9: 11:15 a.m., Catholic elementary school principals, St. Mary's, Walnut Creek

      4:30 p.m., Very Rev. Timothy Kesicki, SJ and Rev. John McGarry, SJ,
      Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley.

March 10: 10:30 a.m., training on immigration issues for priests of the diocese, Chancery Rev. Walter Hoye and Valerie Hill, Issues for Life Foundation

March 11: Noon, graduation Mass, Diocesan School for Pastoral Ministry, Holy Names High School, Oakland

      6 p.m. Knights of Columbus vocations dinner, Carondelet High School, Concord

March 12: 9 a.m., Mass, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Brentwood

      10:45 a.m., Mass, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Brentwood

      Noon, Bishop's Appeal reception, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Brentwood

March 13: 5 p.m., appreciation dinner for pastors, Jesuit Community, Berkeley

March 15: Catholic Charities of the East Bay, quarterly meeting

      7 p.m., Confirmation for SPRED, St. Paschal Baylon, Oakland

March 16: Priest Personnel Board

      Presbyteral Council

      6 p.m., appreciation dinner for Catholic High School principals and presidents,
      Bishop's Residence, Oakland

March 18: 6 p.m., Heart of Mercy dinner, Mercy Center, Oaklande

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Oakland diocese adult confirmations
Parishoners from St. Joseph Parish in Fremont are pictured the morning of Feb. 18 as 91 adults were confirmed at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. An additional 45 adults were confirmed at an afternoon Mass.Click here to view more photos from the event.
Christine Schreck/Special to The Catholic Voice

St. Patrick is depicted in a stained-glass window at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck, N.Y. The feast of St. Patrick, the patron of Ireland honored for his leadership in evangelizing that country in the fifth century, is March 17.

The disciplinary practice of abstaining from meat on the Fridays in Lent is an important dimension of the penitential nature of the season. This year, the Feast of St. Patrick, March 17, falls on a Friday in Lent. Given the many celebrations that occur on this day, in accord with the norm of the law, I herewith grant to all Catholics of the Diocese as well as all present here that day, a dispensation from abstinence from meat and meat products. I encourage all who make use of this dispensation to engage in another sacrificial or charitable act that day.

Given in Oakland, this 22nd day of February, 2017

Most Rev. Michael C. Barber, SJ

Lenten practices
Ash Wednesday, March 1, marks the beginning of Lent, which is "a powerful season, a turning point that can foster change and conversion in each of us. We all need to improve, to change for the better. Lent helps us and thus we leave behind old habits and the lazy addiction to the evil that deceives and ensnares us. During the season of Lent, the Church issues two important invitations: to have a greater awareness of the redemptive work of Christ; and to live out one's Baptism with deeper commitment." (Pope Francis, General Audience. March 5, 2014)

Moreover, the Lenten season is a special opportunity to grow spiritually through other penitential practices, especially those of self-denial, almsgiving, and through work of kindness and compassion.

The following regulations regarding fasting and abstinence are observed in the United States: Catholics ages 14 and over are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent. Individuals between 18 and 59 are also obliged to fast — eat one full meal — on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Eating two smaller meals is permitted if necessary to maintain strength, but eating between meals should be avoided. These obligations, however, do not apply to those whose health or ability to work would be seriously affected.

More information and resources for Lent are available at:

Parking garage
Effective March 4, the B2 level of the cathedral garage will re-open for weekend Mass attendees. The Kaiser Center garage will no longer be open or available for parking arranged through the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. The weekend cathedral garage hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. The cathedral garage will be staffed at the booth and parking for Mass attendees will remain free. Parking in the garage is on a first come, first serve basis and once it is full, Mass attendees will need to find parking on the street or pay at another garage at the current going rates.

Weekday Mass attendees will be able to park in the B2 level of the Cathedral garage as they currently do now.

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New 'ad limina' style
For decades, the visits bishops are required to make to the Vatican were known for their formality and routine style, but Pope Francis launched "a whole new style of 'ad limina' visits," a Chilean bishop said. The bishops were expecting "to have a long meeting with a speech and then individual meetings," as in the past, Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos of Santiago, secretary of the Chilean bishops' conference, told Catholic News Service Feb. 24. Instead, the Vatican informed the prelates before their departure from Chile that they were going to have a group meeting with the pope and the prefects of several Vatican congregations and offices. "We were told that this was going to be a new way of doing things that was beginning with us, that looks for a more fruitful, more incisive dialogue between the representatives of the local churches and the pope with his main collaborators," Bishop Ramos said.

Clean water
Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right and a key component in protecting human life, Pope Francis said. "The right to water is essential for the survival of persons and decisive for the future of humanity," the pope said Feb. 24 during a meeting with 90 international experts participating in a "Dialogue on Water" at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Catholic News Service

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