Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sample Intercessions for the Nativity of the Lord - December 24-25, 2005

The Nativity of the Lord
December 24-25, 2005

Things, events, and news items to keep in mind:

  • Click here for the readings for the Vigil Mass.
  • Click here for the readings for the Mass at Midnight.
  • Click here for the readings for the Mass at Dawn.
  • Click here for the readings for the Mass During the Day.
  • The Christmas season will bring many visitors, travellers, and new faces to your parish. Welcome them with care.
  • Monday, December 26, begins the eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
  • This is a time for remembering the events of the year. 2005 was marked by great tragedy and the constant presence of war.
  • The Christmas season calls for more solemnity. Consider having your deacon, cantor, or reader chant the intercessions and using a sung response. You could also use incense during the general intercessions since it is a common sign for prayers rising to heaven.

The following are just samples meant to inspire your work. Use them as ideas for your own assembly's intercessions. Read 10 Principles for Writing Intercessions and Step by Step Guide to help you write your own.

Jesus Christ has come in power and glory;
Wisdom has come to teach and guide us;
Emmanuel has come, the hope of all the peoples;
let us lift our voices in prayer with the saints
and cry out with the angels: Glory to God!

For the Church to whom a child is born;
For those who have become children of God;
For the catechumens and all who still seek the infant-king;
For people of faith among whom our God dwells: [pause]
May the Word Made Flesh raise in us a cry for justice,
a shout for joy, and a song of comfort for all people.
We pray to the Lord.

For the world in darkness that has seen a great light;
For all the ends of the earth that have seen the saving power of God;
For nations at war that dream of everlasting peace: [pause]
May the grace of God appear to them, saving them,
training them to live in hope and justice.
We pray to the Lord.

For those in the military far from home;
For peacekeepers here and abroad;
For all who live in places of fear and conflict: [pause]
May every boot and cloak bloodied by war
be transformed by the flame of peace
to become a light shining in the darkness leading them home.
We pray to the Lord.

For those who have suffered this year;
For the unemployed or exploited;
For those unsure of where their next meal will come from;
For those made homeless by natural disaster or economic strife;
For marriages, families, relationships, and promises broken: [pause]
May the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster be smashed by the Lord’s holy arm.
We pray to the Lord.

For those we remember during this season;
For the Jewish people who celebrate the promise of the Lord’s light;
For children born and children hoped for;
For parents-to-be, parents dear,
or parents distanced by miles or fear;
For loved ones ill or close to death;
For all those we keep in our hearts: [pause]
May they receive from God’s mercy grace in place of grace.
We pray to the Lord.

For friends and family who have died
whom we will miss most during this Christmas season,
especially those we now name: [pause]
May Christ who brings glad tidings gather us together
into the eternal light of heaven.
We pray to the Lord.

Lord Jesus, Everlasting Light,
shine your mercy upon us and hear our prayers.
Do not let the darkness of doubt overcome us
but stir in us deeper faith in you
for you are the Lord of hosts and your zeal will do this.
We ask this in your name, Emmanuel,
God with us, for ever and ever. Amen.


Christmas is the season of light...

But this is a little overboard.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

RCIA Team Formation Day - January 14, 2006

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SNJM FIRE for Ministry is offering a workshop for those who work in initiation ministry, especially catechumenate teams and coordinators.

RCIA Team Formation Day
Lent and Mystagogy:
What? Why? How?

January 14, 2006
9:30a -­ 3:00p

Casa Maria Conference Center
200 Prospect Avenue, Los Gatos

$30.00 per person (includes lunch)

Preparing for an effective and appropriate celebration of the Lenten and Easter seasons with the elect who are to be initiated this Easter will be the focus of this formation day. The day will include assistance with preparing for the Scrutinies, the preparation Rites for Holy Saturday, and the celebration of the Easter Vigil. There will also be a session on Mystagogy and how to encourage full participation after the sacraments of initiation are received.

Registration closes on January 7, 2006

For more information: contact Sr. Miriam Malone at or 408-395-1818.

To register: contact Sr. Dorothy Clare at or 408-354-2312.


Ongoing Professional Education series - January, 2006

Prophets - Mural inspired by John Singer Sargent -

Prophets: The Call, The Challenge,
The Commitment

A 3-part series for professional ministers

Session 1: January 26, 2006, 9:00a - 12:00p
Session 2: February 2, 2006, 9:00a - 12:00p
Session 3: February 9, 2006, 9:00a - 12:00p

Church of the Transfiguration, 4325 Jarvis Avenue, San José

Session 1 – What is a Prophet? Contemporary research in biblical studies has begun to challenge some of our common assumptions and previous notions about these biblical figures. Moreover, recent studies suggest new ways the prophet becomes a relevant and challenging model for expanding notions of ministry in our global church.

Dr. Gina Hens-Piazza is Professor of Biblical Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She received her MA in Biblical Studies from Vanderbilt University and her PhD from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. The Deuteronomistic History and the Prophets has been a particular focus of her teaching and writing. She is the author of four books and just completed a commentary on the two books of Kings (forthcoming by Abingdon Press). She has written numerous articles that address topics of biblical justice, ministry, and the role of biblical women as well as serves on the editorial board for the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. Dr. Hens-Piazza lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two children.

Click here to register online.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Calling all elves, calling all elves!!!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comQuestion: How does Sacred Heart Community Service distribute 3,000 food boxes in 2 days? And distribute 15,000 toys in 1 day?

Answer: Lots and lots of energetic elves!

Sacred Heart Community Service has plenty of food and toys (more always needed) but they need people to sort, package, and distribute all of it. We'll need help throughout December, including the week after Christmas. We're even open this weekend, Saturday and Sunday December 17 and 18. You'd be surprised how much you can do in a few hours.

There are lots of 3 generation families who've made this a tradition. How about yours?

Desperately need:
  • help on Monday, December 19th to accompany Moms and Dads as they select gifts from our "store."
  • help on Thursday morning, December 22nd to distribute food boxes.

Check out their volunteers page or, call the volunteer coordinator at (408) 278-2171 for more info.

Santa thanks you!


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dancing with God: The Christmas Gospel Procession

This article by Diana Macalintal originally appeared in Eucharistic Ministries, #237, December 2003.“[I]n Christianity God is not a static thing—not even a person—but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

When people dance, life happens. Think of wedding receptions and a couple’s first dance. Remember high school prom and the blush of first love. Go back to your first kick in your mother’s womb, the twisting and turning into birth, the rhythmic breathing and choreographed movements of midwives, doctors, family, and friends.

Even in death, dance brings life. After a car bomb in Baghdad killed over 100 people, Muslim mourners filled the streets, processing together, flogging their own backs in a communal dance of grief. Recall, too, the slow and somber march of mourners who lined up to say a final goodbye to Cardinal Joseph Bernadin of Chicago. We begin and we end human life dancing.

The earliest Church fathers thought of the Trinity as a dance between Father, Son, and Spirit. This dance not only brought life, but was life. It not only expressed love, but was love. The three persons of the Trinity moved together in unity but were not bound into uniform lockstep with the others. They surrendered themselves to the flow of the dance, and in so doing, were able to be Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. For these Church fathers, the Trinity was not a mathematical formula but a dynamic and intimate mutual interpenetration.

At Christmas, we remember the God who became a dancer in human flesh, moving with grace through the joys and sorrows of human life and even human death. We give honor and glory to the transcendent God who honored and glorified human bodies by becoming one like us, clothed in flesh, compelled to move, lifting arms in praise, bending knees in service, walking journeys together and alone. We proclaim the Word-made-Flesh first by dancing, lifting the Gospel Book high for all to see, bending low in profound bow, walking from table of the Lord to table of the Word, and signing the very bodies which now clothe the Word in the world today. Every time we proclaim the Gospel, we dance with the One who first invited us to dance so that life may happen.


Choreography for the Christmas Gospel Procession

This article by Diana Macalintal originally appeared in Eucharistic Ministries, #237, December 2003.

Because “the Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14), the Book of Gospels should be more prominent during the Christmas liturgies. Use a large elegant book that visually marks the importance of the Word.

At Easter, the return of the Alleluia takes center stage during the procession of the Gospel. At Christmas, since the Alleluia has been sung throughout Advent, the musical element of the procession is less dramatic. But consider making an aural connection between Easter and Christmas by using the same Alleluia setting that you will sing at Eastertime. Change the instrumentation to give it its own Christmas feel.

Dancing does not necessarily mean complicated steps; it is primarily just moving gracefully. The one who carries the Book to the ambo walks slowly and deliberately. The Book is lifted high and shown with care to the assembly. If appropriate, the Book is processed through the assembly (“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…”) down the aisles before it is proclaimed from the ambo. Use incense to highlight the procession and to honor the Gospel book.


Finding the Cross in the Crèche

This article by Diana Macalintal originally appeared in Eucharistic Ministries, #225, December 2002.

Nativity-Cross by Benedetto Bonfigli [attrib] c. 1445 -
Our Advent and Christmas carols sound sweet upon the lips of children. But if we listen closely, we'll hear a weighty message that began with Mary's song of yes. Listen carefully, and learn what our carols teach.

“The King shall come when morning dawns.”
On Christmas and Easter morn, the first day and the last, Jesus is Lord to shepherds and grieving disciples alike, crowned as king in the wood of the manger and upon the wood of the cross.

“O come, all ye faithful. O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!”
Every church and mall will resound with this invitation. Yet it is a summons not only to Bethlehem but also to Calvary. When winter darkness is deepest, we cry out three times, “O come, let us adore him.” And when the spring moon is at its fullest, we venerate the wood with the same triple refrain, “Behold the wood of the cross. O come, let us adore.”

“Good Christians all, rejoice! Now ye hear of endless bliss; Jesus Christ was born for this! He has opened heaven’s door, and we are blest for evermore. Christ was born to save!”
To shepherds in the field, heaven was opened. To women at the tomb, the stone was rolled away. We look past the crèche to the cross and proclaim Christ was born to die. Christmas is not just about a child, but more fully about the one who did his Father’s will even unto death on a cross.

“We three kings,” bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
These are signs of homage and also symbols of the kingly, priestly, and prophetic role. The kingly gold becomes the thorny crown for the suffering servant. The incense of prayer and praise becomes the everlasting offering of Christ’s sacrifice. The myrrh, oil of sorrow, the way of life for those who would speak justice on behalf of the poor, becomes the oil of gladness that awaits those who give witness to the kingdom.

“Let all mortal flesh keep silence…Lord of lords in human vesture, in the Body and the Blood, he will give to all the faithful his own self for heavenly food.”
In the Incarnation, Christ became one of us. In our communion every Sunday, we become one with Christ and each other and recall that God was “veiled in flesh,” just like our flesh and just like that of our enemies. Christ’s becoming human is not a greeting card, but a promise. See in each other that same Christ-child, and hear in our music that same dying and rising that we all share with Christ our Lord.


What Child is This?

This article by Diana Macalintal originally appeared in Eucharistic Ministries, #225, December 2002.

There are two little-known verses of “What Child is This?” that have disappeared from almost all of our hymnals. These lost stanzas by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898) invite us to go deeper into the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, even in the middle of our celebration of Jesus’ birth. They remind us that the Paschal Mystery is the “theme” of every season. Next time you see an image of the baby Jesus or hear the angels’ “Gloria,” see, too, the wood of the cross and the lance at the side, and hear, also, the song of the Easter Exsultet, “Rejoice, O heavenly powers, sing choirs of angels!”

Why lies he in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear. For sinners here,
the silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear, shall pierce him through,
the cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh.
Come, peasant, king, to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings.
Let loving hearts enthrone him.
Raise, raise the song on high. The Virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy, for Christ is born, the Babe, the Son of Mary!


Christmas Articles - Repeat

Don't forget to check out these articles on Christmas from the archives:

Here is a list of current Christmas articles you'll find on the blog:


Jubilee Song - Sumus Ecclesia!

Bishop Patrick J. McGrath commissioned Gregory Schultz, music director at Santa Clara University Campus Ministry to compose a song to be used throughout the diocese during its 25th Anniversary Jubilee Year.

"Sumus Ecclesia! We Are the Church" is a solemn yet spirited statement of faith in God who calls us to be his people. Using texts inspired by the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, the story of Saint Joseph, and original texts for the liturgical seasons, the song is appropriate for use as a processional song (gathering, Communion, dismissal) throughout the 16 months of our Jubilee Year.

Bishop McGrath encourages parishes to learn and sing "Sumus Ecclesia!" as much as possible at major parish celebrations and at his parish Jubilee visits throughout the Jubilee Year.

To help you incorporate the song into your parish’s repertoire, the following are available:

  • A PDF file of the score for piano, guitar, and SATB choir is available for free download from the diocesan website. Click here to download.

  • A TIF graphic file of the assembly edition (melody and text only) is available for free download from the diocesan website. This assembly edition includes Spanish text for the refrain. You can use this TIF file in your worship aid publishing programs. Click here to download.

  • A digital recording will also be available for free download soon from the website. The recording will also include versions for individual voice part rehearsal.

  • Fuller versions in Spanish and Vietnamese will also be available soon.


Monday, December 12, 2005

De-Stress Tools for the Busy Minister

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBefore you rip your hair out because you've received yet one more phone call asking what time the Midnight Mass is, try out one of these holiday de-stress tools. Enjoy!

Fun with snow globes

Bubblewrap--the perfect gift


Plays in the Liturgy

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI was recently asked for my opinion on using plays in the liturgy. In particular, the question was about having the children do their Christmas pageant play as the Gospel proclamation at the children's Christmas Eve Mass. Below you'll find an elaboration of my response.


Not knowing the specifics of the dramatization, I would tend to lean toward saying that it does not replace the proclamation of the Gospel. I’m assuming that it is not a dramatization in the same manner as the proclamation of the passion reading during Holy Week in which several readers take on different voices, but that the pageant is more of a play.

The purpose of the Gospel proclamation

In my opinion, a play of the Gospel does not always accomplish the same purpose of the proclamation of the Gospel in liturgy, even if the content of the play is the Gospel narrative. In a play, a story is acted out and recreated; and my experience with most Christmas pageants is that the players are “re-creating” or “re-enacting” the story of the birth of Christ, using costumes and staging. As nice as this is, it does not always serve the purpose of the Gospel proclamation (or the liturgical proclamation of the Word of God in general):

Always, Christ is present in his word, as he carries out the mystery of salvation; he sanctifies us and offers the Father perfect worship. Morever, the word of God unceasingly calls to mind and extends the plan of salvation, which achieves its fullest expression in the liturgy. The liturgical celebration becomes therefore the continuing, complete, and effective presentation of God’s word. That word constantly proclaimed in the liturgy is always, then, a living, active word through the power of the Holy Spirit. It expresses the Father’s love that never fails in its effectiveness toward us. (Lectionary for Mass: Introduction, 4)
Therefore, the proclamation of the word and the active hearing of it by the people are meant to be the primary “drama” that is being acted out by the entire assembly. When I use the word “drama” I mean it to be more in the sense of the cosmic relationship that continues to unfold between God and humanity every time we encounter the presence of Christ, an encounter that is most intense during the liturgy. Since “Christ is present in his word” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy 7, LM Intro 4), it is the entire assembly who is, in a sense, the “actor” responding to Christ who speaks in the Gospel. In a play, and more likely in a Christmas pageant, the assembly members are not the “actors” for whom God is the audience, but rather they become spectators who watch the drama presented by the few who are the actors. Thus, the danger of a play within the liturgy is that the primary drama of the Mass becomes secondary to the enacted drama of the play, putting the active participation of the entire assembly at risk by making them spectators.

Memorial or recreating the past?

Second, utilizing the elements of a play within the great drama of the Mass runs the risk of making our memorial of the paschal mystery of Christ a “leap back into time” rather than a remembrance of what Christ has done for us and still continues to do for us now that leads us always to the future hope promised in the kingdom. The Mass is always a present reality that deeply connects the past, present, and future into the timelessness of God. When we “re-create” or pretend to be characters from the past, showing what we believe it to have looked like in Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth (or, as I have heard some parishes do, showing what the washing of the feet looked like by using 12 men dressed up in togas seated at a long table), we have then stepped out of the kairos of the heavenly liturgy and into the chronos of human time. We have disrupted the flow of the liturgy, putting it on hold while we re-enact the past. This is not what the Church means by anamnesis. In anamnesis, we recall the past event in our present reality so as to remember, reconnect to, and remind us of the future hope that is already present in Christ now. Most theatrical dramatizations of the Gospel in liturgy cannot do this adequately.

Quality of proclamation

Third, the proclamation of the word always requires excellent proclamation skills by those who proclaim it. When a Christmas pageant replaces the formal proclamation of the Gospel, the requirement for excellent proclamation and communication can become overshadowed by the important but secondary desire for “involving all the children” or highlighting how entertaining or cute they are in their performance.

Therefore, if there is to be a drama that will serve as the proclamation of the Gospel, first, the normative proclaimer of the Gospel must be involved, that is, either the deacon or the presider, in the primary proclamation of the narrative. Other children may be involved in the reading of the texts “with parts distributed among them, as is provided for the reading of the Lord’s passion during Holy Week” (Directory for Masses with Children 47). These other readers, along with the deacon or presider, must do their parts with utmost skill in proclamation, acting, and movement if they are to enact the Gospel in a dramatic style. There really should be no “costumes” other than the liturgical vestments already prescribed (chasubles, dalmatics, stoles for the clergy; albs, perhaps, for the lay ministers). If there is staging, movement, or props (and these should be minimal), these must always serve to involve the assembly in their role of actively hearing the proclamation and not make them spectators to a theatrical event. If, for example, there are parents taking pictures or video-taping during the Gospel, then the Gospel has become theater rather than liturgy.

It will be rare that a Christmas pageant of the Gospel story can be performed in such a way as to meet all the requirements for authentic liturgical proclamation. The proclamation of the word is an artform that requires skill, maturity, spirituality, and work by all those involved. The dignity of the Gospel proclamation must come before parish customs that do not serve the purpose of the liturgy.

How to enhance the Gospel proclamation

My suggestion would be to first ensure that the normative proclamation of the Gospel is done as well as possibly can be, using all the options given in the liturgical books for highlighting the proclamation. These include:

  • the singing of the Gospel acclamation by all before the reading done in such a way that “the assembly of the faithful welcomes and greets the Lord who is about to speak to it in the Gospel and professes its faith by means of the chant” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal 62);

  • a procession of the Book of Gospels from its place on the altar to the ambo; this procession includes the carrying of candles and incense and is done in a dignified manner so that those who process move gracefully and confidently (LM Intro 17)

  • slow, graceful, and large signs of the cross made on the deacon’s or priest’s forehead, mouth, and breast before the proclamation of the Gospel (LM Intro 17);

  • the singing of the entire Gospel itself, or at least the introductory greeting (“The Lord be with you”), the announcing of the Gospel (“A reading from the holy Gospel according to...”), and the concluding dialogue (“The Gospel of the Lord”) along with the assembly’s responses; “This is a way both of bringing out the importance of the Gospel reading and of sittring up the faith of those who hear it” (LM Intro 17);

  • Note: The concluding dialogues of the other readings may also be sung “even by someone else other than the reader” (LM Intro 18);

  • Note: “It is unlawful to substitute other, non-biblical texts for the readings and responsorial Psalm, which contain the word of God” (GIRM 57).

When to play

Next, I would encourage the performance of the Christmas pageant during times outside of liturgy, for example, before Mass, as we do when we sing carols before Mass; or after Mass as part of a reception; or as a prelude to the Epiphany celebration; or as part of a parish Christmas concert or celebration of lessons and carols.

There is another idea, but it will require very much work and skill by the homilist in order to retain the liturgical quality of the homily. The homilist might incorporate portions of the children’s play into his homily, but he must do this in such a way that the scenes are not “intermissions” to the homily but rather serve to authentically “help explain the that the children may make the biblical readings their own and may come more and more to appreciate the value of God's word” (DMC 47). In this situation, the homily must still be a homily, a proclamation of how the word of God is present in our current situation, challenging us to deeper commitment to the Gospel, and calling us to the celebration of the sacrament. The children’s role in the homily must serve this purpose. Again, this would take a very creative homilist to be able to keep the homily from becoming a spectator event itself.


Having said all this, these theological and liturgical principles cannot be disconnected from the pastoral reality of the parish. Although it may be too late in the season to pastorally make changes for this year, the parish leadership with the parishioners can begin to discuss these principles and consider a long-range plan for implementing them. This is a great opportunity for catechesis on the importance of the Word of God and the celebration of it in the Liturgy of the Word.

What do you think? Share your comments and suggestions by clicking on the “comment” link below.


Can the "Christ" Be Kept in Christmas?

Last year, National Public Radio's program, All Things Considered, had a commentary on one strategy to address the secular view of Christmas. Click here to listen to the entire commentary, then share your own thoughts. What do you think? Click on the "comment" link below to share your response.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Vigils for Tookie Williams - December 12, 2005

San Jose March and Vigil

If the execution of Tookie Williams is to take place, there will be a march from Santa Clara University to St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Monday, December 12th.

The March will start at 4:00 PM in Santa Clara University at the Cross opposite the Mission Church in the Campus. The march will proceed down the Alameda to downtown San Jose making a right turn at South Market Street and will arrive about 6:00 PM at the Cathedral, 80 South Market St. Then there will be a vigil at the Cathedral.

There will also be a vigil at Embarcadero and El Camino in Palo Alto. The vigil will start at 4:00 PM on December 12th.

For more information, contact Terry McCaffrey at 408-257-4611 or


Advent Evening Prayer for Peace - December 14, 2005

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSt. Martin of Tours Church, 200 O'Connor Drive in San Jose, will have an Advent Evening Prayer for Peace on Wednesday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m. During this Advent season of waiting and remaining vigilant for the coming of the Lord, we long for the light of Christ to shine on the darkness of our world. Join in prayer for peace to enlighten our lives and our world.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Prayer on the Anniversary of Tsunami

Below is a prayer service offered by Catholic Relief Services for communities to use during the upcoming one-year anniversary of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia.

Catholic Relief Services
Prayer Service for Tsunami Victims

Environment: To help create a sacred space, place twelve candles in your worship area to represent the twelve countries that were deeply affected by the tsunami disaster. Please light each candle as the countries are named during the prayer service. At the close of the service, CRS Tsunami Prayer Cards can be distributed (available at

Invitation to Prayer: (please stand)

Leader: We come together to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have experienced a harrowing natural disaster. We feel so helpless, yet want to be of help. As we look for ways to show our compassion and concern, we come to our God who has been for us both compassion and love.

Twelve candles are before us. Each candle represents the different nations impacted by this disaster.

For these people we pray. For the people of Bangladesh…

All: for you we pray.

Leader: For the people of Burma… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of India… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of Indonesia… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of Kenya… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of Malaysia… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of Maldives… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of The Seychelles… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of Somalia… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of Sri Lanka… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of Tanzania… All: for you we pray.
Leader: For the people of Thailand… All: for you we pray.

Leader: We pray for you, and for all those struggling to cope with their grief and pain.

All: Amen.

Opening hymn:
“There is a Longing” (Spirit & Song, OCP Publications) --or--
“You Are Mine” (Gather, GIA Publications)

Leader: Let us now open our minds and hearts to the word of God. (please sit)

Reading Suggestions:
Isaiah 54:10-14
Isaiah 55: 8-13
Romans 8: 22-28

Reflection: This time can be used for an individual speaker (see CRS Tsunami Talking Points at, a shared group reflection, or a period of silence.

Prayers of the Faithful: (please stand)

Leader: Loving God, we place before you our needs and concerns, trusting in your mercy, and
always grateful of your love and grace in our lives. Our response is: “Lord, hear our prayer.”
  • For those who perished, that Christ may welcome them to the shores of eternal peace, we
    pray to the Lord:
  • For those who were injured physically and emotionally, that they may feel God’s healing
    presence through those who minister to them, we pray to the Lord:
  • For all relief workers, that they not be overwhelmed by the task, but strengthened by the
    difference they are making for the victims, we pray to the Lord:
  • For all of us, that through our thoughts, prayers and support, we might promote a sense of
    solidarity among all the peoples of the world, we pray to the Lord:
  • For a sustained effort to rebuild the lives and livelihoods of our brothers and sisters in need, we pray to the Lord:

Leader: Lord, hear these and all the needs of your people. Give us the strength to serve you as we pray the words our Savior Jesus taught us…

All: Our Father . . .

Sign of Peace: The leader invites the participants to share with each other a sign of peace.

Concluding Prayer and Blessing:

Leader: God, our Creator, we raise our hearts, minds and souls, to you at this time of need. Many members of our human family have suffered severely due to the recent earthquakes and tsunami. We mourn for those who have perished, and share our compassion for those who remain. Send your Spirit, the author of life and the one who inspires us to grow beyond ourselves. May we be the answer to Jesus’ prayer, “that they all may be one.”

All: Amen.

Leader: May the Lord bless us (+), protect us from all harm, and bring us to everlasting life.

All: Amen.

Leader: As we go forth today, we will receive a memorial prayer card. May it serve as a reminder for us to continue in our concern for the people affected by the tsunami in Southeast Asia.

Sending Forth Song:
”Christ Be Our Light” (Spirit & Song, OCP Publications) --or--
“We Are Many Parts” (Gather, GIA Publications)

Catholic Relief Services is the official overseas relief and development agency of the US Catholic Community. • 1-877-HELP-CRS • Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Spiritual Companionship Course - January 6-7, 2006

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SpiritSite, in collaboration with Loyola Institute for Ministry, is sponsoring a course in:

Spiritual Companionship:
Methods and Approaches

Friday, January 6th & Saturday, January 7th, 2006
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Villa Holy Names Spirituality Center
82 Prospect Ave, Los Gatos

The practice of becoming a spiritual companion, or soul friend, is ancient and valuable—with roots that stretch to the monastic period of Christian history. The phrase “spiritual companionship” implies mutuality and sharing among peers, based on attentive listening, co-journeying on the paths of life and spiritual growth, shared prayer, spiritual disciplines, active dialogue on moral and ethical issues, and personal presence during key life moments (e.g., experiences of loss/grief; changes in work or vocation; family changes; other key life-transitions). In this course, contemporary models of spiritual companionship will be examined and discussed. Distinctions between companioning, spiritual direction, mentoring, and the counseling process will be explored.

Rea McDonnell, SSND, Ph. D. is a School Sister of Notre Dame from Atlantic-Midwest province and currently serves as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has been an adjunct associate professor in the graduate training program for pastoral counselors and parish ministers at Emmanuel College in Boston, at Loyola College of Maryland, and at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. She has also taught spirituality at the Washington Theological Union. Her doctorate in Biblical Studies is from Boston University, and she is certified by the Institute of Pastoral Psychotherapy in Oakton, Virginia. Author of over 70 articles on topics of prayer, ministry, scripture and spirituality, Rea has also authored seven books on biblical spirituality.

Course fee: $135.00 Certificate candidates $195.00

Registration: contact Rosemarie Peoples at (408)-778-3595

National Migration Week - January 8-14, 2006

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated January 8 to 14, 2006 National Migration Week. For the last 25 years, the US bishops have used this week to call people of faith to unite in solidarity with migrants, immigrants, refugees, human trafficking victims, and other people on the move seeking justice and peace. In this year that saw so many displaced by national disasters and human failure, the needs of migrants and refugees have hit so much closer to home for all of us.

You can find many prayer and liturgy resources, in English and Spanish, at the US bishops website for National Migration Week.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

First Week of Advent, 2005

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIt might surprise you (and I know it will surprise my family!), but I have a tattoo. I got it almost ten years ago. It’s been my private mark reminding me of significant things I want to remember.

Last Sunday, the Church in San José inaugurated its Jubilee Year to celebrate its 25th anniversary as a diocese. As part of the celebration, a new Jubilee Cross was blessed and smaller parish Jubilee Crosses were distributed to representatives from the 52 parishes and missions of our diocese.

For us Christians, what does this sign of the cross mean? We mark ourselves with it whenever we pray; we solemnly kiss it in veneration; we place it in our homes, our cars, our pockets, our hands, around our necks. We proudly carry it in public procession; we mark our babies, catechumens, and infirm with it; each spring we smudge it on our foreheads with ashes. But what does it really mean for us, this mark?

Today is World AIDS Day. Every year for the last 17 years, the world has stopped to reflect on how AIDS has changed our planet and to remember those who have died from this disease. Although, at least in the United States, we have new drugs and more effective treatments and more scientifically-sound awareness about the virus that causes AIDS, there is still a stigma to this disease, a mark that brands those with it with a sign that segregates them from the rest of society.

We all have our own stigmas—disease, divorce, deformity, dysfunction, debt, doubt, difference—things that mark us as not-what-society-expects. We just don’t cut someone’s qualification for “normal.” Most of the time, bearing these stigmas is a painful and lonely experience. But as Christians, together, we cherish the stigma of the cross. We even revere those holy ones who are literally branded with the stigmata, physical signs of the cross on their bodies. Most of all, we adore the One who was branded as a slave, emptying himself of all godly dignity to die the death of a criminal.

Convicted killer Stanley “Tookie” Williams, the founder of the Crips gang and now a long-time anti-gang advocate, sits on death row waiting for a reprieve from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from his execution at San Quentin scheduled for December 13, 2005. He sits this Advent season in solidarity with all those who wait in hope.

In Latin, “stigma” refers to a tattoo indicating slave or criminal status. Perhaps we need to reclaim this sense of “stigma” when we mark ourselves with the sign of the cross and look upon our Jubilee Crosses during this anniversary year. We mark ourselves as outcasts and brand ourselves in solidarity with the sign of a criminal.

But we don’t do this to be morbid or melodramatic. I think we do it to remind ourselves that it is precisely in the outcast where we will find Christ. The paradoxical feast of Christ the King told us exactly this only two Sundays ago:

“‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me’” (Mt 25:37-40).

We wear the tattoo of a slave so that we will never forget where to find Christ.

At the start of our Advent season this year, the beginning of our Jubilee Year, our diocese was given a cross and a warning: “Watch!” (Mk 13:37). This Advent, watch for the signs of Christ not only in picture-postcards of an infant, or the sweet scent of evergreen wreaths, or the bright lights of home and hearth. Perhaps, this Advent, this Jubilee Year, we might also be more watchful for the mark of Christ branded on the criminal, the diseased, the outcast. Then the next time we mark ourselves and our loved ones with this sign of the cross, we might remember those branded by our world as not-Christ and see in them the very real yet hidden presence of God.

This week in Work of the People, you’ll find:

Also, don’t forget about this previous post:

In this Advent season, we do have signs of hope. Last Tuesday, Virginia’s governor spared the life of Robin Lovitt a day before he was to become the 1,000th person executed in the United States since capital punishment resumed in 1977. (Click here to read the full story.)

Diana Macalintal
Associate for Liturgy

Parish Jubilee Cross Ritual

Diocese of San Jose Jubilee Cross - front

During the Jubilee Year of the Diocese of San José, spanning the First Sunday of Advent, Novmber 27, 2005, to the Solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19, 2007, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath will be visiting all of the parishes and missions of the diocese to celebrate liturgy with them and to spend time with the parishioners.

The diocesan Jubilee Cross will be carried in pilgrimage from parish to parish as the Bishop travels to his Jubilee visits, accompanying him at the liturgies he celebrates with his people. At these parish visits, the Bishop would like to symbolically express his commitment to the parishes through a ritual utilizing the diocesan Jubilee Cross and the parish Jubilee Cross.

Below is the ritual text that the Bishop would like to use during his Jubilee visits to the parishes
A ritual text in Spanish will also be available shortly.

The ritual strives to be as adaptable and accomodating as possible to the parish's particular needs and characteristics, and it should not add too much time to the liturgy. It is modeled after the opening rites that took place at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph for the Opening Mass for the Jubilee Year.

Please feel free to download, print, and make as many copies of the ritual text as needed. If you have any questions, please contact Diana Macalintal at or 408-983-0136.


Rite for Praying over the Parish Jubilee Cross
upon the Visit of the Bishop

This rite may also take place outside of Mass by starting with the Sign of the Cross and Greeting, continuing with the Call to Jubilee and the transfer of the tessera (an individual tile in a mosaic), and ending with the Prayer over the Parish Jubilee Cross and the usual final blessing.

Gathering Rites

Gathering in the area where the Parish Jubilee Cross is installed

All the ministers and as much of the assembly as possible gather before Mass in the area where the parish Jubilee Cross has been installed. When all are ready, the Mass begins with the Sign of the Cross and Greeting below.

[If it is impossible or unreasonable to gather in the area where the Parish Jubilee Cross is, begin Mass as usual with the Opening Song ("Sumus Ecclesia!") and Procession and continue with the rite below. In this case, both the Diocesan Jubilee Cross and the Parish Jubilee Cross should be carried in as part of the Opening Procession.]

(Bishop removes miter and staff)
Sign of the Cross and Greeting

In the name of the Father, (+) and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Peace be with you. And also with you.

Introductory Words

Brothers and sisters,
we have been called by God to be Church,
to be a sign of Christ for the people of this Valley.
As we give thanks for the life of this parish
and for the jubilee of our diocese,
let us recall the many signs of God’s love all around us
that invite us to renewed life in the spirit of Christ.

Call to Jubilee

Three parish representatives may lead the invocations below.

Christ gave us the sign of light to mark the days and to guide our feet in darkness. In this year of jubilee, let us walk firmly in the path of justice until all creation is filled with God’s undying light. Rooted in faith and embracing our future, we proclaim: Blessed be God, forever!

All: Blessed be God, forever!

Christ gave us the sign of the Church as the doorway to our eternal home. In this year of jubilee, let us open wide the doors of our hearts wherever the poor seek refuge and the weary yearn for rest. Rooted in faith and embracing our future, we proclaim: Blessed be God, forever!

All: Blessed be God, forever!

Christ gave us the sign of the cross as the mark of his victory over death. In this year of jubilee, let us announce a word of life wherever pain and suffering abound. Rooted in faith and embracing our future, we proclaim: Blessed be God, forever!

All: Blessed be God, forever!

Transfer of Jubilee Cross Tessera

The pastor or minister of parish life removes the tessera from the Parish Jubilee Cross and hands it to the Bishop, saying:

Pastor or Minister of Parish Life:
Bishop McGrath,
the people of this parish are precious in the sight of God.
Receive the pledge of our commitment.
In this jubilee year, may this tessera from our cross
be your constant reminder to shepherd us with care,
teach us in wisdom, and guide us faithfully to our heavenly home
where we will all be gathered by Christ, as tiles in a mosaic,
into the one glorious image of God.

The Bishop takes the tessera from the pastor or minister of parish life, saying:

People of N. Parish,
this cross will be my constant reminder
of how boundless is God's love for us
and how immense is my responsibility for you.
Receive the pledge of my commitment.
May this cross that I bear on your behalf be a sign
of my love and fidelity to you and to this diocese.

Assisted by another minister, the Bishop places the tessera onto the Diocesan Jubilee Cross.

Prayer over the Parish Jubilee Cross

With hands outstretched over the Parish Jubilee Cross, the Bishop leads the prayer:

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
for in every age, you have called a people to yourself,
to be marked by the sign of your love.

Here, in the diocese of your servant, St. Joseph,
and in the county of your servant, St. Clare,
you call us once again to be your Church,
your holy people.

In your goodness, be near to this parish
that looks upon this cross
as a sign of commitment and faith.
In this year of Jubilee, may we always hold fast
to the mystery of Christ’s suffering
and enter the joy of his resurrection,
who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen. [1]

[If the preceding rite has taken place within the main worship space, omit the following and continue with the Penitential Rite or Sprinkling Rite and the Gloria, as appropriate, and the Opening Prayer of the Mass.]

(Bishop puts on miter and takes staff)
Come, let us glory in the cross of our Lord!
Come, let us worship our God who saves us!

Opening Procession and Song - "Sumus Ecclesia!"
Led by the Diocesan Jubilee Cross, the assembly and ministers process into the worship space accompanied by the gathering song ("Sumus Ecclesia!") in the usual way.

(Bishop removes miter and staff)
The Bishop and ministers kiss the altar.

The Liturgy continues with the Gloria, when appropriate, and the Opening Prayer of the Mass.
When possible, the Mass should begin and end with the Jubilee Song (“Sumus Ecclesia!”) during the gathering and dismissal processions.

Diocese of San Jose Jubilee Cross - back


Immaculate Conception, Holy Day of Obligation - December 8, 2005

Giotto: Anna and Joachim meet at the Golden GateThe Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady is only 151 years old. This teaching professes that from the moment of Mary’s conception, she was free from original sin, preparing her to become the Mother of God, the “God-Bearer” or Theotokos. (Don't forget that the Immaculate Conception is about Mary being conceived from the union of her parents, Anna and Joachim.)

What this dogma teaches us is that all of God’s children are destined to be free from sin and bearers of the divine, for everything that happens to Mary is our destiny as well. Mary is the first of all disciples and the first to taste the fullness of what Jesus’ incarnation, resurrection, and ascension promise us. In a way, Mary shows us what our Advent waiting will transform us into—persons fully alive and open to God.

Last year, on the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of this dogma, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offered four announcements to be used in parish bulletins about the Immaculate Conception. You can find them here.

Bishop McGrath's Statement on Stanley Williams

A Statement from San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath on the Impending Execution of Stanley Williams

November 30, 2005

“There is an appointed time for everything, a time to kill and a time to heal….a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Eccl 3:3, 7). We have had our time of killing. Now is the time for healing. Now is the time to speak out, once again, in defense of life.

It is possible that on December 13 our state will execute Stanley Williams by lethal injection. Many will feel that justice has been accomplished, and many will feel avenged. Many will be saddened because we know that the cycle of hatred and death will continue. Vengeance does not heal. It only escalates the violence.

I call upon Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to provide clemency to Stanley Williams. Catholic teaching on this is clear:

  • “Today, in fact as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ‘are rare, if not practically non-existent’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

  • “I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary” (Pope John Paul II, January 27, 1999).

  • “Twenty-five years ago, our Conference of bishops first called for an end to the death penalty. We renew this call to seize a new moment and new momentum . . . Our nation should forego the use of the death penalty because
    • The sanction of death violates respect for human life and dignity.
    • State-sanctioned killing in our names diminishes all of us.
    • Its application is deeply flawed and can be irreversibly wrong, is prone to errors, and is biased by factors such as race, the quality of legal representation, and where the crime was committed.
    • We have other ways to punish criminals and protect society. The sanction of death when it is not necessary to protect society undermines respect for human life and dignity” (“A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, November, 2005).

  • “We recognize that human beings can and do commit grievous crimes, but we reject the use of the death penalty—especially when we can protect society with an alternate penalty of life imprisonment. In addition, of particular concern to us is the fact that the application of the death penalty is deeply flawed—with those who are poor or from racial minorities most often its subjects. The three pending executions in California are illustrative of these facts.

    At this moment in time, we entreat Californians to ponder carefully whether the use of the death penalty makes our society safer. A moratorium is needed to evaluate whether the death penalty serves the common good and safeguards the dignity of human life. We are convinced that it does not” (Statement on Ending the Use of the Death Penalty in California, California Catholic Conference, November 30, 2005).

The death of Stanley Williams will not stop the hatred, crime and violence which engulf our cities, homes, work places and schools. His execution will be just another symptom of our failure to deal effectively with the serious social problems of our times.

Let us work together and reject the death penalty and look for other ways of dealing with violent crime, ways which are truly effective and which are consistent with a basic and fundamental respect for the dignity of all human life.

    Liturgical Coordinators' Gathering - December 6, 2005

    If you coordinate the liturgies of your parish or help prepare them in any way, you are invited to gather with other Liturgical Coordinators of the diocese to discuss current liturgical issues, share successes and good practices, and support each other in this ministry. We gather every other month, and the meeting is free and open to all.

    Liturgical Coordinators' Gathering
    Tuesday, December 6, 2005
    10:00a - 12:00p
    St. Francis of Assisi Church

    Other Liturgical Coordinators' Gathering dates for the year:

    Tuesday, February 7, 2006, 10:00a - 12:00p, St. Lawrence the Martyr
    (new date) Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 10:00a - 12:00p, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
    Tuesday, June 6, 2006, 10:00a - 12:00p, St. Elizabeth Parish

    For more information, contact Diana Macalintal at or 408-983-0136.


    Keep in Mind: Msgr. Frederick R. McManus

    Msgr. Frederick McManusIn this year commemorating the 40th anniversary of the closing of Vatican II, the Church mourns the loss of one of the great leaders of the liturgical movement in the United States. Msgr. Frederick McManus died on the First Sunday of Advent, the first day of the Year of Grace 2006. He was an excellent scholar who never lost sight of the purpose of scholarship--to bring all God's people into deeper union with Christ through the Christian life of prayer, work, and action.

    When we celebrate the holy liturgy in union with the word of God made flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, we first hear God's call and then react, respond, reply, with our faith and with our piety. Our liturgy is incomplete if seen only as a human effort of offering, giving, praising; it must include the act of God, making holy, giving life above all human power, sharing the life of Christ. Neither the holy scripture nor the liturgical celebration in which it is enshrined are or may be divorced from our daily life of toil and play. There is no ivory tower for the worshiper who hears God's word; the word of God and the fruits of the liturgical celebration must penetrate our thoughts and deeds, our every social relationship, our place in the society of others.
    --Frederick McManus, Address at the National Liturgical Week, Oklahoma City, 1961

    Msgr. McManus was instrumental in establishing the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions which is a consulting body for the United States bishops made up of diocesan directors and commissions for liturgy. The FDLC created an annual award in the name of Msgr. McManus in order to recognize the great liturgical leaders of our time. See the FDLC's special website dedicated to his work.

    Below are excerpts adapted from a letter from the administration of The Catholic University of America.

    Reverend Monsignor Frederick R. McManus died on November 27, 2005. He was Professor Emeritus of the School of Canon Law and former Academic Vice President at The Catholic University of America.

    Msgr. McManus was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on February 8, 1923, and was a priest for the Archdiocese of Boston. Msgr. McManus studied canon law at The Catholic University of America where he received the J.C.B. degree in 1952, the J.C.L. in 1953, and the J.C.D. in 1954. Msgr. McManus began his teaching career in 1954 and continued to teach until 1997.

    Msgr. McManus was well-known for his contributions to the liturgical renewal in the Catholic Church and to the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue. He served as consultor to the Pontifical Preparatory Commission on the Sacred Liturgy for the Second Vatican Council and was a peritus at the Council. He also was a consultor to the Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy that resulted from the Council. Msgr. McManus also served a term of ten years as the Director of the Secretariat of the Committee on the Liturgy of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Msgr. McManus also held membership on the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, the Consultation on Common Texts, and the English Language Liturgical Consultation. He further served as a consultor to the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity and was a member of the Catholic-Orthodox Bilateral Commission and the International Joint Commission for Catholic-Orthodox Theological Dialogue.

    Msgr. McManus was a prolific scholar, authoring eleven books and hundreds of scholarly and popular articles. He also served as editor of The Jurist for more than 40 years. Msgr. McManus received the Pax Christi Award from Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, as well as numerous other awards, including the John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America in 1990. Msgr. McManus was a member of the American Association of University Professors; Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities; Canon Law Society of America; Catholic Theological Society of America; Catholic Commission on Cultural and Intellectual Affairs; Consociatio Internationalalis Studio Juris Canonici Promovendo; Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture; The Liturgical Conference; North American Academy of Ecumenists; North American Academy of Liturgy; and Societas Liturgia.

    Animated Advent Calendar

    The Catholic Campaign for Human Development has put together an animated, fun Advent Calendar that highlights many of our Catholic social teachings and gives you ideas on how to live more justly during this season of waiting for justice. Find their calendar by clicking here.

    Keep in Mind: Annette Diana Gelineau

    Please keep in your prayers Annette Diana Gelineau and her family. Annette is the mother of Sue Schuttinger who has been very active in our diocese as a catechist. Annette died at 4:00a on Thanksgiving Day from advanced stage Alzheimer's. There was a private funeral on November 30th. If you would like to send a card to Sue, please contact me at for the address.

    Diocesan Liturgical Calendar 2005 - 2006

    The 2005-2006 Liturgical Calendar for the Diocese of San Jose has been posted on the Diocese of San Jose website. You can find the calendar by clicking here.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2005

    Temporary Position Open in Catechumenate

    The Campus Ministry office at Santa Clara University is seeking a temporary employee to coordinate the processes for the Sacraments of Initiation, both the ongoing Catechumenate and a separate adult Confirmation process. The ideal person would be one who has knowledge and experience in liturgical catechesis as it relates to the Sacraments of Initiation and can engage and collaborate with young adults in a university setting. This position would be part-time and for a fixed term: January to May, 2006. For more information, please contact Lulu Santana at

    Christmas Musicians Needed

    St. Martin of Tours Church in San Jose is in need of additional musicians for Christmas. They need an organist (and more choir members) for their Midnight Mass. They are also in need of liturgical musicians to lead their 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Masses on Christmas morning. They will pay according to scale for pianists, organists, and those who coordinate the music. For more information, contact Judy Swazey at408-289-9617 or

    I'm looking for an Administrative Assistant

    It was too short a time that Sandra Pacheco served as my administrative assistant, but her career in finance was calling her to another job. So sadly, we say goodbye to her and wish her well in her studies and career path.

    Now, if you are highly organized, a great people-person, and can keep me and the associate for youth and young adults in line, then we want you!

    The Office of Pastoral Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose in Santa Clara is seeking an Administrative Assitant for the Offices of Liturgy and Youth & Young Adult Ministry. This is an immediate opening for a fulltime administrative assistant with:

    • a minimum of 3 years secretarial experience, good organizational and telephone skills, ability to meet deadlines;
    • proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point, Internet Explore, Access and Publisher;
    • and some knowledge of parish and Church structures and procedures.
    • Bi-lingual Spanish is preferred.

    Fax resume to 408-983-0203 or email resume in text to

    For job openings in pastoral ministry in the parish, check out the diocesan job website. When I last looked, there were still many openings available in the parishes in various pastoral ministries.

    Vespers for Our Lady of Guadalupe - December 9, 2005

    San Juan DiegoEvery year, the diocese celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with processions and evening prayer in Spanish.

    This year's celebration takes place on Friday, December 9, 2005 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (2020 East San Antonio Street, San Jose). The procession of parishes begins at 6:00p and the vespers at 7:00p. This year, we will be honoring the work of Catholic Relief Services and supporting its Pakistan earthquake relief.

    Here's an article in Spanish by Lupita Vital, the Associate for Hispanic Catechesis for the diocese, about celebrating Advent with Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    Parishes are invited to participate in the procession to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Parishes near and far have walked the distance between their parish home and Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. Some parishes also gather at a closer location and begin their procession from there. However way you do it, it's always a wonderful sight to see people of faith walking together. Parishes should plan to arrive at the church between 6:00p and 7:00p.

    Evening Prayer in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe
    Friday, December 9, 2005
    Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
    Processions: 6:00p
    Evening Prayer: 7:00p

    Click below to get pdf flyers you can print:

    Open Call for Singers for Ordination

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comOn Saturday, December 10, 9:00a at the Cathedral, the Diocese of San Jose will celebrate an ordination to the priesthood. Singers and instrumentalists are invited to join the music ministry for the celebration.

    Choir Rehearsal for Ordination
    Monday, December 5, 7:00p
    Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph parish hall

    Ordination Celebration
    Saturday, December 10, 9:00a
    Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

    There will be only one rehearsal and you must be able to attend. Please RSVP with Julie Wind at or 408-283-8100 x2205.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Thanksgiving Prayers for the Dinner Table

    Art by Carmen Lomas Garza - www.carmenlomasgarza.comDo you still need a prayer card to give to parishioners to help them pray at family dinner? Below are simple cards that you can print. You'll need Adobe reader.

    Click here for English, and click here for Spanish. Print them on card stock and cut them in quarters. There are prayers on each side of the card.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Sample Intercessions for First Sunday of Advent - November 27, 2005 - Opening of Jubilee Year

    First Sunday of Advent, Year B
    November 27, 2005

    Things, events, and news items to keep in mind:

    • Click here for this Sunday's readings.
    • This Sunday begins the Jubilee Year in the Diocese of San Jose commemorating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of our diocese. The Jubilee Year culminates in a eucharistic celebration at the Cathedral on March 18, 2006, and ends on March 19, 2007.
    • This week the nation celebrates Thanksgiving Day. Some parishioners may be travelling, and visitors may be in your parish this weekend.

    The following are just samples meant to inspire your work. Use them as ideas for your own assembly's intercessions. Read 10 Principles for Writing Intercessions and Step by Step Guide to help you write your own.

    For the coming of Jesus Christ in glory,
    of Emmanuel, our hope, of peace and unity for all,
    let us cry out that God may remember us.

    For the Church,
    still waiting,
    still seeking the fullness of the revelation of our Lord Jesus [pause]:
    May we be unafraid to dream,
    alert to God’s presence,
    and awake to hear Christ’s call.
    We pray to the Lord.

    For the leaders of the world,
    still divided,
    still unable to see God’s face in the poor [pause]:
    May they be roused from their sleep
    to work untiringly for a world
    where all are fed, sheltered, healed, and at peace.
    We pray to the Lord.

    For families,
    still yearning for reconciliation,
    still striving in faith through the daily struggles of life [pause]:
    May they be abundantly blessed
    with thanksgiving for all that has been
    and hope for what is to come.
    We pray to the Lord.

    For those still waiting for welcome,
    still searching for meaning,
    still hoping for compassion, forgiveness, and love [pause]:
    May we be watchful
    for the many, surprising ways God comes to us.
    We pray to the Lord.

    For our Diocese of San José,
    still growing in God’s riches,
    still being worked by the potter’s hands [pause]:
    May we be faithful servants and courageous witnesses
    who show the face of Christ to the world
    until the day of the Lord.
    We pray to the Lord.

    For the dead who wait in joyful hope
    for the coming of the Lord,
    especially for those we now remember [pause]:
    May they be roused from their sleep
    and raised up to life eternal.
    We pray to the Lord.

    Lord Jesus, the Fullness of Time and Lord of History,
    prepare us to recognize the coming of your Kingdom,
    and make us watchful for your presence already with us.
    Form us in this Jubilee Year to be a Church that matters,
    especially to those most in need of good news.
    Hear our prayers and do not delay,
    for you are Christ, yesterday, today, and tomorrow,
    Lord, for ever and ever. Amen.


    A Marian / Advent Examination of Conscience

    Below is an examination of conscience written by Diana Macalintal based on the scripture passage of the Visitation and the Magnificat (Luke 1:39-56). It would be appropriate for use at reconciliation liturgies during Advent.

    Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. [pause]
    • Have we greeted one another with curses instead of blessings?
    • Have we borne bitter fruit in our thoughts, words, and deeds? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [pause]
    • Have we denied our own worth or the worth of others, disbelieving that God is present in ourselves or in others?
    • Have we missed the presence of God because we are too busy, too hurried, or too anxious?
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. [pause]
    • Have we closed our ears to the sound of God’s voice coming from unexpected people, places, and encounters?
    • Have we grown so serious that we cannot leap for joy? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. [pause]
    • Have we lost hope and faith in each other, in ourselves, in our church, in our world, in our communities?
    • Do we prevent the Word from being fulfilled by our apathy, passive-aggressiveness, despair, or complacency? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. [pause]
    • Does my very being, my very presence preach the goodness of God?
    • Do I sing, dance, play, and rejoice with others as often as I can? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. [pause]
    • Who have we looked down upon because of their particular spirituality, lifestyle, political party, educational background, or economic wealth or poverty?
    • How has our need to help the lowly dominated their need to know the dignity of helping themselves? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. [pause]
    • When have we taken credit for what we have not done?
    • When have we denied our own participation in the evil that our communities, church, families, countries, or other associations have done? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. [pause]
    • Have we lost our sense of mercy and compassion so that nothing ever angers or sickens us?
    • Have we lost our sense of fear, awe, and reverence that nothing ever moves us at our core? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. [pause]
    • Have we been secretly arrogant?
    • Have we used our own power, status, education, or religion to put others down, even in the silence of our hearts?
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. [pause]
    • Have we done all we can to participate in and influence the political life of our cities, states, and nations?
    • Have we been afraid to be prophetic and revolutionary even at the cost of our own comfort? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. [pause]
    • Have we become gluttonous for praise, solitude, piety, or the safety of those who are like us?
    • Who have we sent away empty, without our acknowledgment, thanks, care, or gratitude? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever. [pause]
    • Have we refused to give help and mercy?
    • Have we broken our promises?
    • Will we leave this world a more merciful, just, and beautiful place for our descendants? [pause]
    Holy Mary...

    ...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Wisdom from a Starbuck's Cup

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comDown the street from my home, there's a Starbuck's. Now that's not unusual, but what makes this Starbuck's unique is that young people pack the place every night and hang out there until late into the evening. Starbuck's has become the place of community for these young adults.

    I've always thought that it would be wonderful if the Church could somehow "do ministry" where young adults naturally gather. Meet them where they're already at. Wouldn't it be great if we could talk about faith over a cup of coffee?

    In college, I worked at the Newman Center with a priest who would "do ministry" at the campus gymnasium. He would work out and chat with the students there--mostly those who would rarely come to the church--just so they could see "Fr. Joe" in their own environment. It made it a lot easier for them to venture to the church if they already knew that "those holy people there" were just like them.

    The other day, I noticed a quote on my Starbuck's cup:

    I wonder…if young people were actively engaged in all aspects of society, and thought of themselves as community leaders, problem-solvers, role models, mentors and key ‘stakeholder’…how would the world change?
    -- Jennifer Corriero, Co-founder of She has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.
    Sometimes all young people need is an invitation from those who enjoy the same things in life as they do. Starbuck's gets it; so should we.

    To learn more about "The Way I See It" project, click here.