Thursday, October 26, 2006

Deanery 7 Social Justice Day - January 13, 2007

Living the Dream: Faith, Justice, Action!
Deanery 7 Day of Reflection on Social Justice
Saturday, January 13, 2007,
Holy Family Parish, 4848 Pearl Ave, San Jose
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

On Saturday, January 13, 2007, the parishes of Deanery 7 (the Southwest Deanery) will come together for a day of prayer, study and reflection on the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church and the call to live our lives according to those teachings. The goal of the day is to help the people of each parish identify the issues that most compel them to action as well as to find ways in which we can collaborate on such action as a deanery.
This day will provide all who participate with a chance to begin to form a plan to help to transform the world. We will be addressing important issues that are impacting our local community, our nation, and our world: injustices caused by poverty, lack of respect for life in all its forms, exploitation of workers, inhumane immigration laws, inadequate health and safety regulations, fair trade, responsibility for our environment and other issues that involve us as part of God’s family. Keynote speakers will be Fr. Jon Pedigo and Greg Kepferle from Catholic Charities. Workshops and discussion groups will be offered, as well as lunch.

This day of Social Justice is open to people from all parishes in our diocese. Registration is $15 and includes lunch.
Click here for a registration form or contact the parish office. For information, contact Susan Olsen at Holy Family at 265-3331 or by email at

Thursday, October 19, 2006

CCHD Virtual Advent Calendar Available

Take a look at CCHD’s Virtual Advent Calendar. You can “open” the doors each day to find action ideas, web resources, and poverty stats that can help individuals and groups exercise their faith. This would be a lot of fun to download to your parish website. Use this animated online tool to work with poor and low-income people in the U.S. and with the Church to help break the cycle of domestic poverty during Advent and beyond.

CCHD also supplies a free Advent resource to parishes which consists of a three page fold-out brochure with reflections for each week of Advent. 150 copies were sent to each parish and school during November. You may wish to make use of it during these last weeks of Advent. To download a copy, click here to view text in English or Spanish. ['s a large file and takes a few moments to download.]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Welcome to the Fall 2006 Edition!

I love the fall, but it always makes me feel a bit nostalgic about the things that are passing away. The brillance of the summer gives way to the changing of the leaves and the coming darkness of winter. At the same time, it holds the promise of what is to come.

This month, I had the opportunity to co-facilitate a Just Faith opening retreat. I found that my skills of being a retreat leader were somewhat "rusty" after a few years away from this ministry, but also I found it a wonderfully enriching experience. I am always amazed and grateful that so many in our diocese - over 250 now - have completed the Just Faith process which includes 10 months of weekly meetings, several retreats, and the reading of 10-15 books. There they were - all busy - but making the time to share their lives and experiences with others and to learn how to live out their faith and call to justice more fully in the world.

As of this month, the Just Faith ministry for the diocese will be handled by Liz Lilly at Catholic Charities. Liz is a Just Faith graduate herself and a strong proponent who coordinated the process when she was at Sacred Heart. I am very grateful to Liz for offering to assume this responsibility as I know it will be in very good hands. There is a sense of the old passing away - but I know also that this is a wonderful sign of new growth and new opportunities in the future.



In This Issue...

Monday, October 16, 2006

November 2006 Election

There are 13 propositions on the November ballot ranging from bond measures for transportation, housing, education and disaster preparedness to initiatives and/or constitutional amendments dealing with punishment for sexually violent predators, water quality, parental rights, healthcare, energy, parcel taxes to increase education funding, financing of political campaigns, and property rights.

The Human Concerns Commission (HCC) of the Diocese of San Jose and Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County have taken positions in support of three of the propositions: 1C, 85, and 86:

  • Proposition 1C, Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006 - To issue bonds in the amount of $2.85 billion to provide shelters for battered women and their children, housing for low-income seniors, homeownership assistance for the disabled, military veterans and working families, and repairs to apartments for families and the disabled. Also supported by Catholic Charities of California.
  • Proposition 85, Waiting Period and Parental Notification before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy - Also strongly supported by the California Conference of Catholic Bishops. This proposition will amend the constitution to prohibit abortion for a minor until 48 hours after a physician notifies the minor's parent or guardian, except in medical emergency.
  • Proposition 86, Tax on Cigarettes - Will propose an additional $2.60 per pack excise tax on cigarettes to provide funding for various health programs, including coverage for children. Also supported by the Alliance of Catholic Health Care. They say, "Passing Proposition 86 is central to our common health and continuing the healing ministry of the Church."

The HCC has prepared a Voter Guide for distribution. Click here for a copy in English and click here for a copy in Spanish.

In addition to the HCC Voter Guide, the following is a list of approved voting material that can be distributed in parishes and Catholic institutions in the diocese:

  • Proposition 1C - Bulletin announcements and a fact sheet from Catholic Charities of California. For a copy, click here.
  • Proposition 85 - Extensive information in Spanish and English from the California Catholic Conference. This includes the statement from the Bishops, bulletin announcements, flyers, and other materials. For more information, click here.
  • Proposition 86 - The Alliance of Catholic Health Care has downloadable bulletin material in Spanish and English on their website,
  • CCC Voter Summary - Available from the California Catholic Conference. A useful summary of all the propositions and the relevant excerpts from Catholic Social Teaching. For the summary, click here.
  • Official Voter State Information Voter Guide - from the State of California, Secretary of State is available by clicking here.
  • Faithful Citizenship - The US Conference of Catholic Bishops' statement and material on political responsibility for Catholics. See here.

Don't forget to VOTE on NOVEMBER 7!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Faith Formation Conference - November 10-11, 2006

The Faith Formation Conference, "Rooted in Faith: Embracing Our Future - Arraigados en la Fe: Abrazando Nuestro Futuro" will be on November 10-11, 2006 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

This conference is a joint endeavor with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and the Dioceses of Monterey, Oakland, and Stockton.

The Conference will celebrate our 25th anniversary as a diocese and will feature several noted speakers from across the country. We have sought to include a justice theme throughout the two days of the conference.

Information including a downloadable brochure click here.

We are expecting 2,000 and 1,000 from our diocese. I hope to see you there!

Justice Column in Valley Catholic - Highlights Critical Justice Issues

The Human Concerns Commission of the Diocese of San Jose has implemented a series of articles in the Valley Catholic written by Diocesan Liaisons. These articles focus on issues critical to the local community.

Diocesan Liaisons are appointed to the Human Concerns Commission to provide testimony and expertise on specific topics.

Recent articles include:

The current edition will feature an article on Health Care Access by Dr. Margaret McLean.

"Dia de Los Muertos - Yesterday & Today" FREE Lecture

The SanJose Museum of Art's Consuming Art Lunchtime Lecture series and The Diocese of San Jose's Theology on Tap series is teaming up to present a fascinating talk entitled "Dia de Los Muertos- Yesterday & Today" by Fr. Jon Pedigo.

After this FREE special lunchtime presentation make sure to visit the exhibition of altars by local artists and community groups at the Museum of Art's Wendel Center.

Bring your lunch or pick up something at the Cafe. No reservations are required. Wednesday, November 1, 200612:15 - 1:00 pm. Museum of Art's Lobby. Lecture by Fr. Jon Pedigo, STL. Free Admission.

International Restorative Justice Week - November 14-20

At their recent meeting, the California Conference of Bishops unanimously agreed to use the occasion of International Restorative Justice Week (November 14-20, 2006) to educate parishioners about Restorative Justice and to inform them about the new website,

To do this, the
California Catholic Conference (CCC) is preparing materials in English and Spanish for use in parishes. These materials include bulletin inserts and announcements, homily notes, and prayers of the faithful. These materials will be available during the week of October 23-27. For copies, contact Linda Batton at 408-983-0158 or by email at You can also go directly to the CCC website to access the materials.

What is International Restorative Justice Week? It began in 1975 in England. Known then as "Prisoner's Sunday," it's purpose was to remind the public of the incarcerated men and women in the country. The day of remembrance was subsequently extended to a week in 1995 to reflect growing concern for victims and communities, as well as prisoners.

Native American Immersion Experience

In the September issue of the Valley Catholic, there was an extensive article about the recent immersion trip sponsored by the Diocese of San Jose to Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

This program is an official program of the Diocese of San Jose and is lead by veteran retreat leader, Deacon Steve Herrera. The next trip is scheduled for July 8 - 15th, 2007. Applications are available now and its not too early to sign-up.

For more information and applications, contact Steve Herrera at or 408-266-2287. There are brochures available and also a DVD which includes interviews of those who participated. The DVD is free upon request. Steve can also make presentations at your parish or school.

For an online album of this summer's trip, go to For downloadable flyer, click here.

New Social Justice Resource Available for Youth from CCHD

Ending Poverty in America: A Toolkit for Young Advocates (EPIC) designed specifically for high school-aged youth is now available from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). This is a companion to the Student Action Project designed for children in grades K-8.

It includes six lesson plans and a resource appendix. The curriculum is created to help raise awareness among young people about domestic poverty and to prepare participants to respond in faith by working with others to address issues of poverty in the local community. The lesson plans are presented in a user-friendly format that includes printable handouts.

EPIC is available online at Copies of the CD are available to parishes and schools for free from the diocese upon request. Call Linda Batton at 408-983-0158 or by email at

New CRS Website for Educators & Youth Ministers

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has recently launched a new web portal for educators and youth ministers. Through the CRS education website, those working with youth will be able to access lesson plans, prayer services, retreat models, stories, and additional resources and links to CRS and their partners.

Using the title and tag line, CRS Education: Going Global with Youth, the website can be accessed at

For a complete list of CRS resources for youth, contact Linda Batton at or call 408-983-0158.

¡Paisano, Infórmate, Vota y Sé Nuestra Voz!

¿Cuáles son los servicios, asistencia y protección legal que ofrece el Consulado Mexicano?
¿Sabes como se obtiene la ciudadanía esta dounidense?
Además, ¿la importancia de tu voto y las iniciativas que afectaran a la comunidad inmigrante?

El Consulado General de México, El Comité De Justicia Social de Cristo Rey y SIREN

Te invitan a una Presentación con las repuestas a estas preguntas. Toma ventaja y recibe información valiosa sobre estos recursos y materiales para que ejerza su voto. “La informacion es Poder”

Cuándo: Lunes, octubre 30
Donde: Cristo Rey Church (Hall)
5284 Monterrey Rd.
San Jose, CA 95111
Hora: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
6:45 Habrá Bocadillos y Cuidado de niños
Presentación completamenta en Español

Para Más Información: Llame al (408) 362-9958

In English:
The Christ the King Social Justice committee will be sponsoring a forum in Spanish on Monday, October 30 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Christ the King Parish, 5284 Monterey Road, San Jose. The Consul General of Mexico will make a presentation on the services offered by the Consulate and SIREN (Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network) will make an educational presentation on citizenship and the importance of voting. For more information, call 408-362-9958.

For a flyer in Spanish, click

Justice Speakers' Forum 2006-07

The very successful Justice Speakers' Forum has started again for the second year at Church of the Ascension. The next presentation will be by David DeCosse of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. He will be speaking on Monday, October 30 on "Politicians and Citizens of Faith: How to Vote in a Religiously Pluralistic Society."

The next presentation will be by Larry Lauro of Pax Christi and School of the Americas Watch on Monday, November 27.

Other presenters are lined up for 2007 and information will be forthcoming.

The talks begin at 7:15 and will conclude at 9:00 pm. Church of the Ascension is at 12033 Miller, Ave., Saratoga.

Visioning Session for Hotel Workers

The Interfaith Council invites you to an economic justice, "Visioning Session for Hotel Workers" on Monday, October 30 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church at 1948 The Alameda, San Jose. Dinner will be provided.

You will join together to envision how to draw from our various faith traditions to:
  • Present the 15,000 pledges of support gathered for hotel workers through the Labor in the Pulpit outreach
  • Publically support all hotel workers in San Jose in their struggle for more human work loads.

RSVP or for more information, contact Rev. Carol Been at 408-269-7982 x577, 408-266-2653 or by email at

For a flyer, click here.

Point 7 Now! Conference

A national conference on global poverty will be held on October 27-28, 2006 at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco. This is an opportunity to join Catholics throughout the United States and around the world for a landmark gathering to mobilize against global poverty.

This conference is being supported by many national and international Catholic organizations such as Catholic Relief Services and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Featured speakers will be Jeffrey Sachs, author of The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities of Our Time and one of Time Magazine's top 100 influential world leaders; Richard Blum, David O'Brien, Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, and many others.

This would be a wonderful opportunity for your parish social justice or Just Faith group. The registration for the two days is $100, but groups of 5 or more are now invited to attend for $200 or $40/person. Call 800-937-8782 for more information.

See Web Page:

Justice Symposium - Recording of Keynote Available

Many have asked for the recording of John Carr's keynote address at the Justice Symposium, "Good News for a Broken World: Social Mission and Message" on June 24, 2006 at Santa Clara University.

Thanks to the generosity of Cheyenne Cook who recorded the talk for us, we now have a DVD and audio CD available in the diocese. Also available are recordings of Father Jon Pedigo's workshop on immigration reform. If you would like to borrow these DVD's or CD's, please call Sylvia at 408-983-0128.

CCHD Grants Announced for 2006

Each year, through the generosity of Catholics in our diocese and across the United States, we have the opportunity to support local, self-help groups who are working to alleviate poverty.

CCHD, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, is the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the United States bishops. Its mission is to address the root causes of poverty in the United States through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations. Since 1970, CCHD has supported over 7,000 community-based development projects with grants totaling over $280 million.

In the diocese of San Jose, grants of $83,000 for the year 2006-2007 have been awarded to eight local groups.
  • Low Income Self-Help - $20,000
  • SIREN (Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network ) - $30,000
  • CHAM (Community Homeless Alliance Ministry) - $2,000
  • Day Worker Center of Mountain View - $8,000
  • Eastside Neighborhood Center - $4,000
  • Mayfair Improvement Initiative - $8,000
  • 9-5 Bay Area - $3,000
  • Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition - $8,000

For a complete listing of the groups and a description of their activities, click here.

The annual collection to support the work of CCHD this year will be on November 19. Materials including envelopes, flyers and a poster have been mailed to parishes. If you would like a speaker from our local committee or one of the funded groups to speak at your parish, please notify Linda Batton at 408-983-0158 or by email at

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Migration Nation" Concert

Benefit Concert for the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform and Community Links - Enclases Comunitarios
Migration Nation
"If you're not indigenous, You're a migrant"
Sunday, October 22, 2006
5:00 - 7:30 pm
Arturo Ortega y Sangre Mestiza
Also Featuring:
Odelia Albernez
366 Saint Julie Drive, San Jose
For more information: Contact Daniela Santos at or Jim Petkiewicz at
Download a flyer here.

CLUE California Conference on Economic Justice

Join religious and lay leaders for the CLUE California
Statewide Conference...

Faith, Poverty & the Future of California
Building a Faith-Based Movement for Economic Justice
October 25-26, 2006
1231 Market Street, San Francisco
Guest Commentators:
Barbara Ehrenreich, Author of Nickel and Dimed
Rev. James Lawson, Civil Rights Leader
Click here for a flyer

Rally and March for Health Care

Health Care for All NOW!
Cuidado Medico Para Todos AHORA!
Rally and March
Thursday, October 26
State Building, 2nd Street
Between San Carlos & San Fernando
Rally at the State Building, 3:00 pm
March Begins at 4:15 pm
Rally at San Jose City Hall, 4:45 pm
Grand Finale at State Building, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Click here for a flyer in English or Spanish.

Bread for the World Forum

You are invited to ...
"Feast or Famine:
A Thanksgiving Supper and Forum on Hunger in Our Midst"
Co-Sponsored by
Saturday, November 18, 6-9 pm
728 W. Fremont Ave., Sunnyvale
Special Guest: David Gist, California Organizer, Bread for the World. Dinner: $10 per person. Join people of faith for an evening of learning and yearning for a better world. David will share highlights of Bread for the World's outstanding achievements advocating to hunger relief in the United States and throughout the world. We will also discuss the possibility of forming a Santa Clara Chapter.
RSVP: To sign up or for more information, contact Pat Plant at 408-737-7370 or by email at
Click here for a Flyer .

Prayer Vigils Against the Death Penalty

In conjunction with Amnesty International's National Weekend of Faith in Action on the Death Penalty, prayer vigils and protests are being held in two locations. Come and join us to pray for the men and women on death row and for the victims. Sponsored by Amnesty International USA and California People of Faith, the Diocese of San Jose, Santa Clara County Council of Churches and Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice.

Cathedral of St. Joseph
80 South Market St., San Jose
Friday, October 20
5:15 pm
Lytton Plaza at Emerson St.
Palo Alto
Saturday, October 21
12:00 noon

A Reflection on the Death Penalty

By Terry McCaffrey
October 12, 2006

Note: Terry McCaffrey is the Liaison on the Death Penalty to the Human Concerns Commission of the Diocese of San Jose. Terry is also the Northern California Coordinator for California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty and Area Coordinator for the Amnesty International USA, Program to Abolish the Death Penalty. For additional information on Catholic opposition to the Death Penalty, see the Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty.

October is Respect Life Month. In the words of Bishop McGrath, “Life is to be respected at all stages." This means that we support the life of the unborn and it also means that we support the life of those who kill.

Although I am fortunate that none of my loved ones has been murdered, I would like to share some of my experiences with those that have been touched by the death penalty. I have met family members that have lost a loved one to violence. Their pain is enormous. Some are very angry. But some have transformed their pain and have come to forgive the perpetrator.

But there are others that who are also suffering. I have met a mother whose son is on death row. Every other weekend she travels from Santa Monica to visit her son in San Quentin. She is devastated.

Then there are those who carry out executions. A few years ago I interviewed a warden who was in charge of executing people. In his interview he said. Each night after an execution “I went home to my house in the middle of the night and climbed into the shower and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. But you can’t make your self feel clean.”

“I was troubled as I stood and watched these guys die in the gas chamber thinking: What are my children deep down thinking of their father? And ultimately what is my God going to ask of me when my time comes to be judged? "

So you see there is plenty of pain to go all around.

For me the crucial issue about the death penalty is what does Jesus have to say. We have a direct answer. When Jesus was confronted by the woman who was about to be stoned to death he said “Let you who is without sin caste the first stone.” Jesus was about love, compassion and forgiveness. There is no love and compassion about killing someone.

The message of forgiveness and reconciliation is a very difficult one to bridge. Yet in our culture of violence we have a recent sterling example that stands out. You will all be familiar with the killing of five Amish school girls in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. The universal response of the Amish community was one of forgiveness. In fact they have set up a trust fund to take care of the family of the perpetrator of this crime.

The challenge of the Gospel is not an easy path to follow. This is the challenge we face regarding the death penalty.

Work of Human Hands - Holiday Sales of Fair Trade Handicrafts

Now that the holidays are around the corner, have you considered hosting a Work of Human Hands sale at your parish or school?

These sales are a way for Catholics to live in solidarity with poor people overseas. Hosting a Work of Human Hands sale also creates a memorable event for your community, making socially responsible shopping fun and easy.

It's really easy...I did it myself at the diocese and the handicrafts are beautiful. In addition, you can order foods such as fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate, nuts and oils.

You simply order a preselected package on consignment. You will keep 10% of the sales proceeds and return what you don't sell.

What does it mean to purchase items that are fairly traded? It means that the people who produce them earn a fair price, have access to credit and training, and maintain long-term relationships with A Greater Gift rooted in human dignity and economic justice.

This is a meaningful, hands-on activity for social justice committees, Just Faith groups, and youth and other groups. To obtain a free packet, call 1-800-685-7572 or visit You can also do your Christmas shopping on the site!