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placeholder Advent

Advent begins
on December 3

Advent Events

Filipino tradition
of Simbang Gabi
kicks off Dec. 14

Spreading an idea: The tenderness revolution

'Blue Christmas'
offers reflective light
in a season that
can be dark

Catholic Cemeteries Remembrance Tree Celebrations

Gift of Giving

'Radical answer' to assisting victims of commercial sexual exploitation

Help aging Sisters, Brothers and priests
in religious orders

Local charities
deliver holiday
season wish lists

Financial Matters

Five questions
to ask before
making gifts


800 runners participate in CYO championship


Sister Mary
Denis Baldwin, OP

Sister Romona
Nowak, OP

Drive through
prayer — it's
'God on the go'

St. Perpetua
new center triple
size of old hall

'Taking our
faith back'

'We can do
something for those
who have died'


Message of Fatima
still relevant for
the world today

A museum for
which to be thankful

placeholder November 20, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Above, Volunteers meet drivers. At left, Trent Golden, Ethan Ponce and Camila Tevis braved the rain to signal drivers into the church parking lot. More photos on Facebook.com/

Drive through prayer — it's 'God on the go'

Following a successful model he crafted at Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont three years ago, Rev. Mathew Vellankal has brought drive-through prayer to his new parish, St. Bonaventure in Concord.

"Pope Francis has said we should go to the peripheries" to reach people, Father Vellankal said, and people seek spirituality.

St. Bonaventure Parish
5562 Clayton Road
Concord 94521
5-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
"People might be sick, have lost a job, have someone who is gravely ill, and they don't know where to go," Father Vellankal said.

The program is geared to catch commuters on their way home; they can turn off Clayton Road into the church driveway, where they are directed by teams of volunteers to others who'll help the driver with a short prayer.

"You don't have to get out of your car. It's fast — God on the go," Father Vellankal said.

The drive-through prayer runs from 5-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; prayers are limited to no more than three minutes; no names are given, and no details. The prayers aren't formal; they're spontaneous.

"I've been waiting for something like this to happen," said volunteer coordinator Kathy Geyerman, a St. Bonaventure parishioner for 33 years. "I just close my eyes and let the Holy Spirit fill my lips."

Father Vellankal announced the program in his parish bulletin, and there was an advance notice in the East Bay Times and Clayton Pioneer.

About 30 cars came through in one hour on the program's first, rainy night Nov. 13. Father had little trouble getting about 25 adults and 25 young people to volunteer for the program.

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