Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome to Spring!

Greetings of the Easter Season! I thought I would send you these flowers - as least in a picture. They are in front of my house and I'm amazed that they grow in spite of my "yellow thumb!"

As usual, there are a lot of things happening in our diocese and our community. I hope you will take a few moments to review some of the articles below and plan to participate.



In this issue...

"Faithful Citizenship" - New Document on Catholics and Voting

"In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, participation in the political process is a moral obligation." No. 13

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has approved a document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States. This document is intended to help Catholic voters form their consciences on a variety of issues before the 2008 elections.

Workshops on this document for clergy and laity have been scheduled for Thursday, April 3 at Our Lady of Peace Parish. Contact Linda Batton at or (408) 983-0158 for more information. Online registration is still available at

The website, has an extensive list of resources including ideas for Catholic schools, religious educators, youth leaders, and social concerns and respect life committees in Spanish and English. Included also are prayers and reflections, a family guide and podcasts highlighting principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Catholic Lobby Day - April 22, 2008

The tenth annual Catholic Lobby Day will be held this year on Tuesday, April 22 at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

Catholic Lobby Day is a gathering of Catholics across California who come together at the Capitol to raise their voices on behalf of those who are poor, vulnerable, or voiceless. The day includes a Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, a March to the Capitol, Rally, and visits to legislators.

Bus transportation from the Diocese will be offered. Lunch will be provided along will all materials as well as an extensive pre-briefing and advocacy training on either Wednesday, April 16 at the Diocese or Thursday, April 17 at St. Clare Lower Church. Both sessions will be from 7-9 pm. Cost including lunch and transportation is $30. A limited number of scholarships will be offered.

This year, we will be joined by high school students and teachers from Archbishop Mitty High School.

Online registration is available at Deadline for registration is April 15.

Diocese of San Jose Joins with CCC on New Legislative Network

The Diocese of San Jose is partnering with the the California Catholic Conference (CCC) and dioceses across the state in the new Catholic Legislative Network. We are encouraging Catholics in the Diocese to sign-up and participate.

By becoming a member, you will learn how Catholic social teaching applies to the issues of the day, and join your voice with thousands of others across the state.

The Network will issue special alerts asking you to contact your representatives about a particularly important topic. You can add your own information to these important messages, or just use the email provided. You will also receive, Public Policy Insights. Published every week the California Legislature is in session, this brief email will give you a Catholic social teaching view at current public policy issues. It will also give you many links should you want to learn more about a particular topic.

We are excited about this new opportunity and encourage you to sign-up and be part of this new effort to bring our values to the public forum!

To register, visit the website at

Just Faith - New Opportunties

JustFaith has been active in the Diocese of San Jose for over six years. During this time, hundreds of people have participated and are now active, passionate advocates for justice in parishes and in the community.

Elizabeth Lilly of Catholic Charities is coordinating the program and would love to speak to any parish group about starting or maintaining a group and about several new opportunities offered this year. Contact Liz at or at (408) 325-5262.

JustFaith Ministries currently offers five programs:
JustFaith (Catholic) – The flagship program, used in over seven hundred Catholic parishes involving 12,000 people, is a thirty week process that empowers participants to develop a passion and thirst for justice, and prepares them for the work of social ministry.
JustFaith (Ecumenical) – This program is an adapted version of JustFaith (Catholic) for the larger Christian family. It is also a thirty week process focused on the call to be about God’s compassion and justice (see above).
JustSkills – This twenty session program is primarily focused on the practical skills involved in organizing, strategizing and effectively doing social ministry in the parish or church.
JusticeWalking – Crafted for older high school students and their mentors, this twelve session process engages participants in a spiritual journey and exploration of the radical call of the Gospel.
JustMatters – Patterned after the JustFaith process, these shorter 6-8 session programs focus on a very specific topic and allow participants to give increased attention to one issue, culminating in a call to engaged action. Currently, modules are offered on Climate Change and Prison Reform.

These programs are tools that have proven over and over again to be effective strategies for training and forming individuals to be agents of social transformation. They are exciting opportunities for parishes, churches, dioceses and small faith communities interested in expanding and promoting social ministry.

World Refugee Day - June 20, 2008

The 16th Annual World Refugee Day will be on Friday, June 20th from 4:30 - 8:00 pm at the Auditorium, 1555 Berger Drive, Building 2, San Jose.

This annual event co-sponsored by the Refugee & Immigrant Forum of Santa Clara County and Santa Clara County Social Services Agency includes presentations, food, entertainment, free health screenings, a wearable art show, children's activities, and community resources.

Traditional attire is encouraged.

For more information, call (408) 453-3536 or (408) 325-5150.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Day 2008 - April 22

This year, Earth Day is April 22. For resources to celebrate the day, see The new website, Catholics and Climate Change also has interesting information including Catholic Social Teaching and the environment.

"Ripe for Change" - Sunnyvale Presbyterian, April 12, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall (300 Bldg.) , 728 W. Fremont Ave., Sunnyvale

This evening of film and discussion will include a screening of the made-for PBS film "Ripe for Change" praising local, California agriculture, farmers markets and eating locally grown food, organic produce. The film will be shown in combination with a slow food* vegetarian dinner freshly prepared by expert cooks from produce purchased that morning from the Sunnyvale Farmers Market.

Cost $15. RSVP to Pat Plant, Hunger Action Advocate at or (408) 279-0220.

*Slow Food: Good: Naturally delicious food created with care from healthy plants and animals. Clean: Grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on ecosystems and biodiversity. Fair: Produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.

Islam 101 - St. Lawrence Parish, May 5, 2008

Islam 101, a workshop to bring greater understanding of the Muslim faith will be presented by Father Jose Rubio, Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Diocese of San Jose and Don Jones of the Diocesan Interfaith Commission on Monday, May 5 at 7:30 pm at St. Lawrence Parish, 1971 St. Lawrence Drive, Santa Clara. All are welcome.

Deanery 2 - Annual Peace Mass on May 7

Deanery 2 will be celebrating their annual Peace Mass on Wednesday, May 7 at 7:30 pm at St. Nicholas Church, 473 Lincoln Avenue, Los Altos. The Mass has become a tradition in the Northern part of the Diocese. The Mass alternates among the seven parishes in the deanery. All are welcome.

Deanery 5 - Social Justice Speaker Series Begins on May 5

Deanery 5 is restarting their Social Justice Speaker series. The new series will select a key theme of Catholic Social Teaching and provide a variety of speakers whose social action focuses on that theme.

For 2008, the selected theme is Solidarity and the focus is “Immigration and Refugees”. The first speaker for 2008 will be Mark McGregor, SJ, who will present his award winning documentary Posada which chronicles the lives of three unaccompanied minor immigrants and their trials and tribulations of finding a home in the U.S.

This talk and showing of Posada is scheduled for May 5, 2008 at 7:15 PM at Church of the Ascension, corner of Prospect Rd and Miller Ave in Saratoga. The showing and subsequent question and answer period with Fr Mark McGregor is scheduled for two hours. There is no charge for this event but a goodwill offering is requested.

"A Catholic Guide to Critical End of Life Decisions" Available in Parishes

Bishop McGrath has made available to all parishes several copies of a recent publication, A Catholic Guide to Critical End of Life Decisions: Advance Directives in both English and Spanish. This pamphlet was authored by Father Gerald Coleman, SS. For copies or more information, contact your parish. This brief, easily read document provides guidelines and a synopsis of the teaching of the Church on end of life issues.

Father Gerald Coleman, SS is Vice President for Corporate Ethics for the Daughters of Charity Health System and lecturer at Santa Clara University.

Faith Formation Conference 2008 Scheduled for November 21-22

Mark your Calendars!

The Faith Formation Conference, Witnessing Hope to a Suffering World/Testigos de Esperanza para un Mundo Sufriente will be held on November 21-22, 2008 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. This conference is co-sponsored with the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Diocese of Monterey and will draw top presenters from the local area and across the nation. Last year, over 1500 attended. Several workshops of particular interest to those in justice ministry will be offered.

Immigration Course to be Offered at ILM in the Fall

An 8-session course, Strangers No Longer: A Catholic Theology on Immigration will be offered this fall at the Institute for Leadership in Ministry (ILM). This course is open to both ILM students and parish leaders.

Proposed Course Outline:
I. Historical Perspectives – Immigrant Country/Immigrant Church
II. Scripture & Catholic Social Teaching
III. Migratory Trends
IV. Root Causes – Aid/Trade/Debt
V. Economics
VI. Legal Review – What is the Process? Definitions of Refugee/Asylee/Permanent Resident
VII. Public Policy Challenges and Responses
VIII. Pastoral Challenges and Responses

Faculty will be drawn from the Diocese of San Jose, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, and Santa Clara University

Dates: Wednesday evenings from 7:30 – 9:30 pm
September 17 and 24; October 8, 15, 22 and 29; November 5 and 1

For more information or to register, contact Anne Grycz at

"Beatitude Mass" Choral Presentation at Santa Clara University to Benefit Homeless Organizations

Saturday, April 19, 2008
Mission Church, 8pm
Suggested donation, $25
Box Office: 408-554-4015

Bay Area composer and Just Faith alum, Henry Mollicone wrote his inspiring “Beatitude Mass” with a vision: to raise money for the homeless. On April 19, Santa Clara University’s Center of Performing Arts, in collaboration with several SCU departments, will present a special performance of this poignant choral and orchestral work. All ticket proceeds from this event will be donated to local homeless advocacy organizations Casa de Clara, EHC LifeBuilders, and Sacred Heart Community Service.

Conducted by Leroy Kromm, professor of voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the performance will take place at 8 p.m. in the Mission Church on the Santa Clara University campus, and will feature Chair of the SCU Department of Music Nancy Wait-Kromm, soprano, and Paul Murray, baritone. They will be joined by members of the SCU choral ensembles, special guests San Jose Symphonic Choir and Monterey Symphony Chorus, and full orchestra accompaniment by an array of professional community musicians—all donating their time to the project.

Mollicone’s recently composed “Beatitude Mass” combines Latin text with English words by librettist William Luce to create a soulful illumination on the plight of the homeless. Inspired by a conversation with Father Jon Pedigo regarding using the arts to raise funds for the homeless, Mollicone developed the idea of writing a piece of music based upon first-hand interviews with homeless individuals. Pedigo connected Mollicone with a mission for homeless women, and the composer interviewed residents about their lives while Luce conducted additional interviews in Oregon. Combining the stories they had gathered, Luce created the mass’s two homeless leads: Adam and Evelyn. These symbolically named characters underline a major theme that surfaced from the interviews, which Mollicone describes as "the similarities—the universality—between all people."

Misson Groups Assigned to Parishes for Summer Appeal

Did you know?....Every summer missionaries come from throughout the world to visit our parishes as part of the annual Mission Co-Op program. The purpose of the Co-Op plan is two-fold: to raise awareness about the missionary work of the Church and the needs of our brothers and sisters across the globe and also to provide financial assistance through a weekend parish appeal to benefit mission groups and dioceses.

This year mission groups from the Congo, Ghana, Uganda, Sudan, the Philippines, Haiti, India, Ecuador, Peru and missionary-sending groups and dioceses will be coming to our parishes during the months of July through September. Assignment letters have just been sent out to all parishes.

These missionaries would love to personally meet you and tell their story. In addition to their appeal during weekend masses, they may also be available to meet with parish groups and schools during the time they are here. They also would appreciate your can provide them a cup of tea or coffee and a welcoming presence.

To find out the group assigned to your parish, click here.

Your parish office will have their contact information and the date that they will be at your parish. Please note that the only fund-raising activity approved by diocese will be the appeal during the masses.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Martyr of the Amazon: The Life of Sr. Dorothy Stang

Author and Biographer Sr. Roseanne Murphy of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, will be speaking about the inspiring life and work of Sr. Dorothy Stang on Sunday, April 27th at 7:00 pm at St. Athanasius Parish, 160 N. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View.

For 31 years, Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN, was a missionary, living with and working for the poor in the Amazon Forest of Brazil. Because of her work for justice and for the preservation of the Amazon Forest, on February 12, 2005, she was assassinated on a lonely country road in the small village of Boa Esparança in Para, Brazil.

This event is sponsored by the St. Athanasius Justice and Peace Group. There is no charge but donations for the continuing work of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Brazil would be appreciated. For more information call Mike Cavera (650) 967-7939.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Social Encyclical Anticipated this Summer

Benedict XVI's third encyclical on issues related to Catholic social teaching and globalization probably won't be ready before summer, according to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The Pope's secretary of state told the ANSA news service Sunday during his visit to Azerbaijan that he doesn't think it will be published before the summer holidays as the Holy Father continues to work on it. He is "reflecting and revising," added the cardinal.

The Holy Father dedicated his first two encyclicals to the virtues of love and hope. His first encyclical "Deus Caritas Est" (God is Love) was released in 2005, and "Spe Salvi" (Save in Hope) was released last November. "It needs to be written well. The Pope is making his reflections and annotations and is checking things rigorously," said Cardinal Bertone. "I'm not saying the pope is a true perfectionist, but in a certain sense he is. "The cardinal added that the encyclical will also have to be translated into various languages before its release, and that the Vatican is hoping to publish a Chinese version along with the other main languages. "Spe Salvi" was originally published in eight languages.