|September 4, 2017 • VOL. 55, NO. 15 • Oakland, CA|
Hundreds gather to honor patroness
of diocese in Bay Point
Hundreds of the faithful marched in a long procession from the parish hall, around the newly paved and striped parking lot, and into Our Lady Queen of the World Church on Aug. 20 to honor the Blessed Mother, patroness of the Diocese of Oakland and for whom the parish is named.
Bishop Barber and parochial administrator Rev. Peter Dung Duc Ngo, assisted by a half dozen priests, said Mass before a standing room only crowd. At the end of the liturgy, Bishop Barber read a proclamation and blessing to the parish from Pope Francis. A number of awards to parish volunteers were given, and the event coincided with the Bay Point parish's 55th anniversary. A festival followed on the expansive parish grounds.
In his homily, Bishop Barber explained that at the first ecumenical council, called by Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 in Nicea to debate the nature of the Trinity, a theologian named Arius was advocating that Jesus the Son was lesser than God the Father. One of the 300 bishops in attendance, Nicholas, became so upset he slapped Arius, for which Nicholas was imprisoned.
The bishops affirmed Jesus is the Son of God, and therefore, truly divine.
Indeed, the Nicean Creed, developed from the council, states what Catholics believe: "God from God … true God from true God …"
And, 100 years later, at the Council of Ephesus, the bishops determined: "If Jesus Christ is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. If Jesus is the King of heaven and earth, Mary is its Queen."
Thus we celebrate the Queenship of Mary on Aug. 22, eight days after the Assumption.
And that bishop, Nicholas, known as the first great defender of Christ and Mary, Bishop Barber said, was freed and we know him more popularly today as St. Nicholas.
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