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placeholder November 20, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA

Nov. 20: College of Consultors, Chancery, Oakland

Nov. 23: 10 a.m. Mass, Thanksgiving Day, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

Nov. 30: Auction dinner to support the new Oakland Cristo Rey High School, Oakland

Dec. 2: Diocesan Pilgrimage and Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dec. 5: Priest Personnel Board, Chancery, Oakland

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Cathedral Center construction update

Dear Parishioners and Friends of the Diocese of Oakland:

I write today to update you regarding our investigation of the design and construction issues at the Cathedral Center. As I have previously reported, the Catholic Cathedral Corp. of the East Bay Board of Directors approved a plan recommended by our expert consultants for comprehensive physical testing on Cathedral Center buildings. This is part of our ongoing legal action to ensure the responsible parties pay for the necessary corrective work.

The initial physical testing, which focused on the Chancery, rectory and parking garage, was completed in December 2016. As part of our continued investigation, we reviewed the design of the Cathedral and its foundation, in light of the defects discovered in those areas adjacent to and surrounding the Cathedral itself. Unfortunately, this review has uncovered underlying conditions similar to those found in other parts of the Cathedral Center. We are deeply disappointed to discover the Cathedral is also affected.

A full list of defects has recently been reported to the court-appointed special master for our case and to the parties named in our claim. The court-appointed special master is overseeing the development and exchange of information between the parties in preparation for mediation. Since this is a complex case, it is not possible to predict the timeline or outcome of the mediation. The special master is making sure the case moves along as quickly as possible without sacrificing our rights or the rights of the defendants.

Our goal is to ensure the safety of all who use these facilities, and to be good stewards of the generosity which built our Cathedral and the Cathedral Center. The Cathedral of Christ the Light should stand as a reminder of the beautiful radiance of Christ's light in our community. The project architect and structural engineer have advised us the Cathedral Center buildings are safe for our employees, visitors and parishioners to occupy, while we continue to seek resolution of the design and construction issues.

To limit further deflection of the floor slab and future repair costs of the B1 level of the parking garage, it will remain closed for the foreseeable future. We have also asked our expert consultants to identify recommended repairs to limit further deterioration and future repair costs throughout the Cathedral Center and the Cathedral itself.

Thank you for your patience and support as we work to address these issues. We will continue to update you as the project progresses.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Very Rev. George Mockel, vicar general
President of the Catholic Cathedral Corp. of the East Bay

Jesuit deacons ordained
A dozen Jesuit deacons were ordained Oct. 25 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, by Bishop Michael C. Barber, himself a member of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. From left, back row: Rev. James Gartland, SJ, rector at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry; Deacon Fernando Barreto, SJ; Rev. John McGarry, SJ; Deacon Brian Konzman, SJ; Rev. Michael Engh, SJ, president of Santa Clara University; Deacons Juan Pablo Valenzuela, SJ, and Alejandro Baez, SJ; Rev. Kevin O'Brien, SJ; Deacons Kevin Embach, SJ, Kyle Shinseki, SJ; and Chidube Chukwu, SJ; front row: Deacons John Tanner, SJ; Keith Maczkiewicz, SJ; Nathaniel Romano, SJ; Neelam Kerketta, SJ; Amit Lakra SJ; and Rev. Michael Tyrrell, SJ, minister of the Jesuit School of Theology Community; Bishop Barber is front and center.
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Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron

Archbishop elected

Former Oakland Bishop Allen H. Vigneron, now archbishop of Detroit, will be the next secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, taking office next November. Bishops voted 96-88 to elect Archbishop Vigneron Nov. 14 during their fall general assembly. Archbishop Vigneron will succeed New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, who is starting his third and final year of his three-year term. The Detroit prelate will serve one year as secretary-elect and then start a three-year term in office at the conclusion of the 2018 fall general assembly.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, was elected chairman of the Committee on Religious Liberty.

Young people want to be leaders, bishops hear

BALTIMORE — Young people in the church want to be heard and be invited to be a part of church leadership, according to a report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in preparation for next year's Synod of Bishops on youth. They are often at transition points in their lives, yet they don't know where to go for mentorship, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, said Nov. 13. He presented a summary of the responses gathered from dioceses and Catholic organizations to the bishops during their annual fall assembly in Baltimore.

Other issues the bishops considered:

• Though the Catholic Church has responded to racism for many years, some leaders and church institutions have at times been part of the problem, said a bishop who is heading a committee against racism. Jesuit Bishop George V. Murry told U.S. bishops that while racism was not unique to the United States, it "lives in a particular and pernicious way in our country, in large part because of the experience of the historic evil of slavery."

• U.S. bishops approved the budget for their restricted and unrestricted funds for 2018 in a 125-4 vote, with three abstentions. Passage required a majority of members present.

They also narrowly approved a 3 percent increase in the diocesan assessment for 2019 by a vote of 136-31, with five bishops abstaining. With 197 diocesan and eparchial heads in the United States, the vote required approval by two-thirds, or 132 of them.

Catholic News Service

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