From Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ Bishop of Oakland

In the midst of the political complexity surrounding immigration in this country I am very pleased that the social service arm of our diocese, Catholic Charities of the East Bay (CCEB), is fully engaged. They have attorneys, law students, accredited paralegals, teachers and counselors providing legal, resettlement and employment services to very needy refugees and immigrants, our neighbors.

On Ash Wednesday I was happy to hear their fine work highlighted on a national NPR news broadcast.  Listen to podcast below. Parishes can reach out to CCEB to connect parishioners who need legal help by calling Maciel Jacques, Legal Services Program Coordinator, at (510) 768-3137.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley is co-chair of the US Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.  He reminds us, “Immigration is not primarily a political problem, but rather a deeply human and profoundly moral challenge facing our nation.”   Catholic social services provide one of the refuges for those grappling with these very human challenges.

These challenges are world-wide. Speaking on the Italian island of Lampedusa, at the borders of Europe, Pope Francis said “We have lost a sense of responsibility for our brothers and sisters.  We have fallen into the hypocrisy of the Priest and the Levite whom Jesus described in the parable of the Good Samaritan: we see our brother half dead on the side of the road and perhaps we say to ourselves, ‘Poor soul’ and then go our way.”  His words resonate in our part of the world as well.

I invite all to join voices with the California bishops: “We call on Congress and the President to work together toward a more comprehensive response to the humanitarian crisis of a broken immigration system.  We will work with the California Congressional delegation and the President to accomplish that goal.”


Confidential Post-Abortion Healing Opportunities in February

Gloria Maldonado 510-384-6875
The Diocese will be sponsoring two free confidential 8-week Post-Abortion Healing & Bible Study Group starting in the month of February. These groups provide emotional and spiritual healing for those affected by abortion.

Please contact Gloria Maldonado for more specific information or with any questions, see above.
• English Session – Evenings beginning Thursday, February 5
Our Lady of Angels Church, 1721 Hillside Dr., Burlingame.
• Spanish Session – Evenings beginningWednesday, February 11
St. Joseph the Worker Parish, 1640 Addison St., Berkeley

Mindfulness Meditation: For Healing and Wholeness

January-October 2015, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, 43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont

Come explore ways to train your mind and heart to connect with your true inner self through Mindfulness Meditation. Each session includes a spiritual focus and practice. The event will be facilitated by Sr. Joan Prohaska, OP who has been in the body-mind healing field for over 30 years, and Lynette Gullings, RN and Wellness Coordinator.

This event is open to all; free will offering. For more information click here, or to register for the event, please call the number listed above. The schedule for the sessions is as follows:
January 21 – Embodied Awareness and Spirituality
April 22 – Spiritual Awareness of Breath
July 15 – Physical and Spiritual Nutrition
October 21 – Divine Compassion for Self and Others