Hundreds of thousands of young Catholic pilgrims have congregated in Krakow in Poland for six days of music, prayer and spiritual instruction, with Pope Francis headlining an event labeled by some as “Glastonbury with God”. More than 330,000 pilgrims have registered for World Youth Day, a global youth event that last took place three years ago in Rio, with tens of thousands more expected to attend. Most will be Europeans but more than 180 countries will be represented at the event. The young Catholics will be joined by 800 bishops, including 70 cardinals, and 20,000 priests. Their attendance figures are expected to swell when huge numbers of Poles descend on Krakow for the papal mass on Sunday, with some anticipating a turnout of up to 2 million. More than 92% of Poland’s 38.5 million population is Catholic. I wish we could send our young people to an event of this type in the future. Let us pray for the young that they may grow up knowing that God loves them and that He cares for them always. Rick Lejano, our Youth Minister will be fully in charge of Confirmation program starting this year, as Kate Doherty will be assuming added administrative responsibilities as Pastoral Associate. I would like to congratulate Rick Lejano, who will be promoted to the position of Assistant Director of Faith Formation, supervising the catechetical needs of our young people and the 6.00 pm Teen Mass, which includes worship and music. I am so grateful for his youthful dynamism and dedication to ministry.
Bishop Barber has called for a priests’ convocation this year from 3 - 7 October with the theme “Renewing our Parishes for Mission”. The Keynote speaker will be New York Times best-selling author, motivational speaker, and creator of The Amazing Parish Conference, Mr. Pat Lencioni, who lives in Walnut Creek. The Amazing Parish Conference provides pastors and their leadership teams with an extraordinary opportunity to learn new techniques and strategies in the areas of leadership, evangelization and discipleship. All priests of the diocese are mandated to attend the conference.
I am grateful to God and to all of you for my sabbatical that officially begins on Monday, August 1st 2016. I will be in Antigua, Guatemala staying with a host family and attending one-on-one (4 hours) Spanish lessons for four weeks, and then heading to Cusco, Peru to minister in a Spanish-speaking parish for the month of September. Of course, my trip to Cusco would be pointless with out making it to the Inca trail. Fr. John Prochaska, who hails from Christ the King and whose family still attends our Church, would be my host and friend in Cusco, Peru. He has volunteered 5 years as a missionary in the mountains of Peru, under the leadership and guidance of the Maryknoll missionaries. I have invited him to speak at all our masses some time next year. I will be back in October. My second phase of the sabbatical will commence in January 2017.
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world. By killing Rev. Jacques Hame, as he celebrated Mass, ISIS framed the assault as an act of religious war between Muslims and Christians. “There is a need for vigilance and attentiveness wherever people gather together. We are alert, but not alarmed. Churches are places of sanctuary and in this [Jubilee] Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has emphasized that doors must remain open, to enable people to experience God’s mercy. “Our greatest security lies in building upon the friendships which we already have between our faith communities and working together for unity and peace,” Bernard Longley, the Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham said. These are trying times and it is only love, not hate that can sustain us. Let us pray for more love, more kindness and more forgiveness on our streets and neighborhoods.
8:00am, 5:00pm (vigil)
7:00am, 8:00am, 9:15am, 10:45am, 12:15pm, 6:00pm (youth mass)
8:00 am, 7:00 pm;
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 12 noon-7:00 p.m. (except summer)