Monday, January 31, 2005

Burying the Alleluia

This article by Diana Macalintal first appeared in Eucharistic Ministries 239, February 2004.

St. John's Abbey Great Hall angels
We desist from saying Alleluia, the song chanted by angels, because we have been excluded from the company of the angels on account of Adam’s sin. In the Babylon of our earthly life we sit by the streams, weeping as we remember Sion. For as the children of Israel in an alien land hung their harps upon the willows, so we too must forget the Alleluia song in the season of sadness, of penance, and bitterness of heart. (Bishop William Duranti, 1296).
This medieval understanding of Lent and its traditions can help us voice our faith in the heavenly world to come and strengthen our awareness of our role in this earthly world now.

Before the reform of the liturgical calendar by Vatican II, the three weeks before Ash Wednesday were an additional time of preparation for Easter. The third Sunday before Lent was called Septuagesima Sunday (Latin for “seventy”). This was probably not to number the days before Easter but to remind the church of the seventy years of exile spent by the Jews in Babylon. Psalm 137 recalls how they prayed their tongues would be silenced if they forgot Jerusalem in ruins. From this psalm came the practice of fasting from singing the “Alleluia” during the Gospel acclamation throughout Lent and replacing it with a different acclamation of praise for Christ.

During the Middle Ages, the practice of “burying the Alleluia” on the eve of Septuagesima Sunday became popular. This lay-led ritual included a solemn procession to the church cemetery with a plaque, scroll, banner or even a coffin inscribed with the word “Alleluia.” Those in mock funeral procession wept while some sang the hymn, Alleluia, dulce carmen (known today as the hymn, “Alleluia, Song of Gladness”). The “Alleluia” was then laid to rest with the hope of its resurrection on Easter Sunday.

This burial was also called depositio, a Latin legal term meaning “the giving on deposit.” (Gravestones in Catholic cemeteries may have the inscription Depositus, or simply D, which comes from depositio.) When the burial of the Alleluia or of the faithful departed is understood by this term, the Christian belief in resurrection is clear. As we bury our dead, or as we enter into the fasting of Lent, we do not silence our tongues because of despair or permanent loss. Rather, we do so with confidence that what has been deposited into the earth—our dead, our Alleluia—will rise again. Yet in this period of preparation, we remain keenly aware of the mystery of sin and of our exile from the place where “Alleluia” abounds. So until we return to the New Jerusalem, let us not forget the sin that continues to devastate our world and our mission to heal what has been broken.


Monday, January 24, 2005

Flower Arranging Workshop - March 1

flower powerChristopher Citti of Citti's Florist and Joe Tirado of the Diocesan Environment and Art Committee will present a free hands-on workshop, teaching participants basic techniques of floral arranging for Easter liturgies.

Flower Arranging for Easter
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

7:00p - 9:00p

St. Cyprian parish hall
1133 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale

Register by contacting Sandra Pacheco at
408-983-0136 or

  • Wear comfortable work clothes.
  • Bring floral clippers if you have them.
  • Children are welcomed to participate.

Click the graphic below for a flyer you can print and distribute. Click here for a PDF version of the same flyer.


Monday, January 17, 2005

Last Call for Vino & Vespers

Vino & Vespers

You still have time to RSVP for our first Vino & Vespers this Friday. If you haven't heard of it yet, click here to find out what all the V & V buzz is all about.

Here are directions to the chapel at Villa Holy Names Spirituality Center where V & V will take place this Friday night.

The address for the chapel is 200 Prospect Avenue, Los Gatos.

From Downtown San Jose
  • 280 N toward San Francisco
  • HWY 17 S toward Santa Cruz
  • Exit HWY 9 (Los Gatos-Saratoga Road). Get into left lane immediately.
  • LEFT at the first stoplight which is University Avenue.
  • Take University to the end where it forms a T with Main Street. LEFT on Main Street.
  • Go to the first stoplight which is College Avenue and turn RIGHT (there’s a sign for “Novitiate” on the corner of College and Main).
  • Go one block to the top of the street and turn RIGHT at Villa Avenue (follow the signs for “Novitiate”).
  • Go 0.6 miles up the hill. When you see the Jesuit Novitiate and Winery on your right, turn LEFT onto Prospect Avenue.
  • Go 0.1 miles and turn LEFT at the sign for "Sisters of the Holy Names Main Entrance." Parking will be in the lot on your left. The Chapel entrance is in the building to your right.


Reverence: Revealing the Presence of God

Revealing the HolyThis article by Diana Macalintal first appeared in Eucharistic Ministries #246, September 2004.

Reverence, which is the synthesis of love and fear.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Spirituality is the consistent integration between action and feeling, the marriage of creed and deed. A Christian spirituality is one of reverence. It is our intimate love for the mysterious God expressed through our ordinary actions to reveal the extraordinary presence of the Creator in all things. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal defines reverence as an “interior disposition and outward expression” that proclaim the mystery of the Lord’s presence (3). Through our reverence, we are evangelizers, prophets and icons that say, “Look! God is here.”

As liturgical ministers exercising public ministry, think of yourselves as signposts for the holy. We have to know not only where to point but also how to give clear directions. That is, the sign we present has to accurately convey what we believe.
  • Do you outwardly express your respect for the holiness of time and the work of the liturgy by giving time during the week to prepare for your ministry and arriving early before Mass?
  • Do you show your belief in the Incarnation — God in human skin — by clothing yourself with dignity and moving with intention and grace?
  • Do you honor the Body of Christ with words and actions by making and keeping your commitments to your parish community?

The church has always been about reverence for the holy. Yet, this reverence must always flow from an integration of action and feeling, an equal expression of familiar intimacy and dreadful mystery and a deep respect for both the human and the divine. Reverence without love is piousness, and reverence without awe (fear) is carelessness. Reverence never expressed deadens love, and reverence that attends only to the human or the divine while ignoring the other is idolatry.

As we proclaim the mystery of the Lord’s presence, we must do so from that middle ground between love and fear. When we walk upon holy ground, we remove our shoes to feel the dirt between our toes. We know in our bones and in our hearts that Eucharist is both meal and sacrifice, the altar is both dinner table and gravestone and the Gospel is both word of comfort and two-edged sword. As artists of faith, we pay attention to the discipline of structure, form and rubrics so as to move confidently, freely and gracefully through the dance that is the liturgy. We point to altar and tabernacle, font and infant, baptismal garment and priestly stole, host, cup, communicant and minister alike and proclaim with our thought and our actions, “Look! God is here.”


Three Ways to Grow in Reverence

RedwoodThis article by Diana Macalintal first appeared in Eucharistic Ministries #246, September 2004.

Revealing the presence of God is an extraordinary task, yet we can do so with simple ordinary actions.

Slow down. Like speeding down the highway, busy-ness and hurriedness prevent us from seeing God in unexpected places. Move slowly as you do your ministry. When the unexpected happens, look for the God hidden in disruptions.

Be fully present. Once the liturgy begins, your work is first as an assembly member. Don’t let the tasks of your specialized liturgical ministry overshadow your participation in the primary ministry of the baptized. Sing, respond, listen, move and pray as carefully as you do your other responsibilities during the Mass.

Seek the sacred in unfamiliar places. As Catholics, we have a common understanding of where God is present. These we call sacraments. Yet our vision of God’s presence need not be limited to just these. Note the people, places and things that you most outwardly reverence. Then look at those other people, places and things that seem more “ordinary” to you. For one day, give your reverent attention to these people. Spend time in an ordinary place and look beyond what you see. Enter into an unfamiliar experience and let God surprise you.


Eucharist: Many Ways to Describe Our One Mission

This article by Diana Macalintal first appeared in The Valley Catholic, January 2005, the diocesan newspaper of San Jose.

Year of the Eucharist 2005In his letter inaugurating the Year of the Eucharist, Pope John Paul II reminds us to begin at the end:
The dismissal at the end of each Mass is a charge given to Christians, inviting them to work for the spread of the Gospel and the imbuing of society with Christian values. The Eucharist not only provides the interior strength needed for this mission, but is also —in some sense—its plan. (Mane Nobiscum Domine,
Throughout this year, we will explore how the Eucharist we celebrate every Sunday is a plan for spreading the Gospel. We begin by looking at some of the ways our tradition has described what we do on Sunday.

Our celebration of the Eucharist, which means “thanksgiving,” reminds us that all of creation is a gift from God. Our ongoing and public thankfulness for all God has given us is a powerful witness to those who are unaware of God’s bountiful love. “Eucharist” says we are dependent on a loving creator for all we have.

Lord’s Supper
The Eucharist is also called the “Lord’s Supper” because what we celebrate is a meal. Of all of Jesus’ meals, it is especially his “last supper,” the meal before his death, which gives shape to Eucharist. In that final meal, Jesus gave us the mandate to “do this in memory of me.” As disciples, we continue to gather around the table to eat and drink in constant faithfulness to the Risen Christ.

Breaking of the Bread
The Eucharist was first called the “breaking of the bread.” When the consecrated bread is broken, it is the Body of Christ that is broken. When the wine is poured out, it is the Blood of Christ that flows. These simple actions remind us that our Eucharist is not only a meal; it is also a sacrifice. And, the Pope suggests, it is also a plan for how we are to follow Christ’s example. In the breaking of the bread, we offer ourselves to be broken for the sake of the world, especially the poor.

When we join ourselves to Jesus’ sacrifice, we are doing what our Jewish ancestors did when they offered sacrifices in the temple. They were giving back to God some of what God had first given to them. In doing so, they were offering their very selves to God. When we offer ourselves as a sacrifice to be broken and poured out for the world, we do so in union with Jesus and with each other as an assembly of believers.

Eucharistic Assembly
“Assembly” comes from the Greek ekklesia, which is, itself, a translation of the older Hebrew word, qahal. A qahal is a divine summons to gather. “The Old Testament qahal is an assembly of those who are gathered together by the Lord for life in the presence of the Lord” (John Gallen, SJ, “Assembly,” The New Dictionary of Sacramental Worship, 71). When the faithful assemble for the Eucharist, we become “the visible expression of the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1329).

“Liturgy” means “public work of the people.” The Church teaches that “the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 10). The Eucharist is the public work of all the people of God in union with Christ. While it is not the total work of the Church, liturgy is its most central and most fundamental work.

“Mass” brings us back to the end. We are sent forth (missio) “so that [the faithful] may fulfill God’s will in their daily lives” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1332). The purpose of Eucharist is the sending forth to accomplish the plan that has just been set out for us in our thanksgiving. In this sense, the Eucharist is mostly about what happens after the dismissal. As Pope John Paul II says:
It is the impulse which the Eucharist gives to the community for a practical commitment to building a more just and fraternal society. In the Eucharist our God has shown love in the extreme, overturning all those criteria of power which too often govern human relations and radically affirming the criterion of service: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mt 9:35). (28, emphasis in original)

In the next article, we will look at Communion and its relationship to Eucharist.


Monday, January 03, 2005

Week of Epiphany

The Great Wave at KamagawaMy father lived most of his life on a beach. Once I visited his hometown in the Philippines and climbed up a ladder into a small beach hut on stilts made of bamboo shoots and banana leaves where a cousin I just met taught me to play chess. Every day my father and my brother would wade out into the ocean, and I would watch from the hut, never once venturing out into the water even though the days were mild and the ocean calm.

Many years before when I was a child, I went to the beach with my parents. We lived in Los Angeles then, and the beaches there are nothing like the beaches here in the Bay Area. The days were usually warm, if not hot, and the beaches were wide and inviting. You could watch the planes flying into LAX during the day and build a bonfire at night.

One summer day at the beach, my father took me out into the ocean. Hand in hand, we waded through each wave as the water crept up higher and higher until I was straining on tip-toe to feel the sandy bottom. Eventually I couldn’t reach the bottom any longer, yet we continued on as I wrapped my arms around my father’s neck. Finally, he too was treading the water as he led me to a small group of other swimmers. It felt like we were out in the middle of the ocean, the beach a distant line. I couldn’t comfort myself with the feeling of standing on my own legs and I couldn’t see the safety of the beach any longer. And I began to panic, grabbing my father’s neck so tightly that he couldn’t keep both of us afloat. I found myself underwater struggling to get my head back above it. As I broke through the surface I groaned and gasped for air, even though I couldn’t have been under water for more than a few seconds. The other swimmers nearby laughed as I cried and demanded that my father take me back to the beach.

To this day, I still have dreams of being submerged under water, and I still don’t go out into the ocean.

Each of us probably has some memorable experience of water—learning to swim, jumping off the high board, bubble baths and rubber ducks, water balloon fights and crossing the Golden Gate for the first time. Most of the time, water is a source of joy, refreshment, life, pleasure. Then other times, it kills and frightens. In these last two weeks, my nightmare of drowning became a reality for 150,000 people, and some of the poorest places on the planet were destroyed by the simple power of water.

TheophanyThis Sunday, we end our Christmas season in water. California is right now being blasted with the second major storm of the winter, and the liturgical calendar places Jesus in the middle of the Jordan river. The silent night of Christmas has become a tempest and the child in a manger is now a man on mission. Perhaps nature and the liturgical calendar are conspiring to teach us a deeper meaning of Christmas. As comforting as the nativity scene is, as safe as the beach feels, as warm as our beds are on blustery winter mornings, we can’t stay there. The Christ cannot remain a baby in our religious imaginations, we can no longer take for granted the force of water to change our world, and we cannot simply retreat back into our “usual” pre-Christmas routine as though the Incarnation had been just a “time out” from our normal lives.

The Christmas season, like the baptismal water into which we were drowned and out of which we were resurrected, is meant to change us and move us out into mission. Our gift-giving of the Christmas season now must become the daily sacrifice of love on behalf of those who are unloved. Our evergreens, dried out and discarded, must be transformed into a constant concern for the circle of all life and an appreciation for the resources of our planet. The candles and lights and holiday decorations that adorned our homes must become the mantle of joy and hope that now clothes our hearts throughout the year. And the wishes for peace sung in carols and proclaimed in Christmas cards now must become the hard work for justice in all our endeavors.

Ultimately Christmas is not for children. It is for the adults who have waded through the waters of tumultuous fear and uncertainty and yet still cling to hope, believing in the promise of peace, working for the dream of justice, and moving ever nearer to the reality of God’s reign.

In this week’s DSJ Liturgy Notes, you’ll find:

Next time you dip your hand into the baptismal font, think of all the ways water has touched your life. And when you touch that holy water to your forehead, breast and shoulders in the sign of faith, recommit yourself to plunging fully into the joys, fears, hopes, and resurrections of daily life.

Diana Macalintal
Associate for Liturgy


Upcoming Events and Workshops

Put this on your calendar!Break in your brand new calendar with these upcoming events and workshops.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Sunday, January 9
After the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Ordinary Time begins. Thus, the Masses for this day as well as the environment and music still should contain elements of the Christmas season.

Catechumenate Support Group
Thursday, January 13, 12:30p - 2:30p
Chancery Offices, 4th floor, Education Department
900 Lafayette Street, Santa Clara
The Catechumenate Support Group meets every other month and is open for all who have responsibility for initiation of adults and children.
Free, bring your own lunch.
For more information: Diana Macalintal, 408-983-0136 or

Creating Sacred Space Workshop
Thursday, January 13, 7p - 8:30p
St. Martin of Tours Church
200 O'Connor Drive, San Jose
Learn how to create an appropriate space for prayer in almost any setting. Participants will learn four basic elements that go into preparing an environment for prayer. This workshop is especially suited for those who facilitate small faith groups and lead prayer at group meetings.
Free, registration required.
To register: Sandra Pacheco, 408-983-0126 or

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Tuesday, January 18 - Tuesday, January 25
Pope John Paul II calls the Catholic Church to join with all Christian churches to pray for the unity of all who believe in Christ. For Sunday, January 23, Bishop McGrath encourages parishes to use the prayers of "Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions - For Unity of Christians" found in the Sacramentary or of "Eucharistic Prayer for Masses for Various Needs and Occasions: I. The Church on the Way to Unity." Click here for more information as well as liturgical resources, such as an ecumenical worship service, intercessions, and an eight-day biblical reflection.

Cantor Workshop
Tuesday, January 25, 7p - 9p
St. Simon Church
1860 Grant Road, Los Altos
Learn basic cantoring skills and singing techniques. In this master-class style workshop, some participants will have the chance to cantor a psalm and receive immediate feedback. If you would like to be one of the cantors at the workshop, please bring a copy of your psalm for the accompanist.
Free, registration required; please indicate if you would like to cantor at the workshop.
To register: Suzanne Fitzgerald, 650-967-8311, Click here for a flyer you can print.

Ongoing Professional Education Series
Thursdays, January 27, February 3, and February 10, 9:30a - 12p
Transfiguration Church
4235 Jarvis Road, San Jose
Let’s Get Comfortable with the “E” Word: Catholic Evangelization in the 21st Century is a 3-part workshop series led by Fr. Keenan Osborne, OFM. All ecclesial lay ministers of the diocese are welcomed.
$20 total for pre-registration; $10 each session at the door.
To register: Iracema Gurbiel, 408-983-0127, Click here for a registration form you can print.

Vino & Vespers
Friday, January 28, 7:30p - 9p
Villa Holy Names Spirituality Center
82 Prospect Avenue, Los Gatos
Spend an informal evening sharing prayer, intimate conversation, and good food. Our guest speaker is Tom Beaudoin.
Free will donation; registration required; adults over 21 only.
To register: Diana Macalintal, 408-983-0136 or Click here for a flyer you can print.

Liturgical Coordinators' Gathering
Tuesday, February 1, 10a - 12p
St. Nicholas Church
473 Lincoln Avenue, Los Altos
If you are responsible for preparing the liturgy for your parish, you're invited to gather with other liturgists and coordinators to discuss current issues in liturgy.
Free. RSVPs appreciated.
To RSVP: Sandra Pacheco, 408-983-0126 or

Diocesan 25th and 50th Wedding Anniversary Mass
Saturday, February 5, 10a - 11:30a
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
80 South Market Street, San Jose
Bishop Patrick McGrath invites all married couples celebrating 25th or 50th (or more) wedding anniversaries to a special diocesan bilingual Mass at the Cathedral.
Free; registrations required.
To register: Sylvia Blanch, 408-983-0126 or Click here for a registration form you can print.

Rehearsal for Rite of Election
Monday and Tuesday, February 7 and 8, 7p - 8p
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
80 South Market Street, San Jose
There will be two rehearsals for the Rite of Election. At least two people from your parish must attend one of the rehearsal (the catechumenate director may be one of the following persons):
one person to carry your Book of the Elect, and one (or two) people to read your names of the Elect. There is free parking on the street and public lots after 6p.
For more information: Diana Macalintal, 408-983-0136 or Click here for more information and for reservation forms for your catechumens.

Ash Wednesday
Wednesday, February 9

This begins the season of Lent and is a day of fast and abstinence. Click here for the day's readings.

First Sunday of Lent
Sunday, February 13

Make sure you celebrate the Rite of Sending this weekend for any of your catechumens who are ready to be baptized. Click here for the day's readings.

Rite of Election
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, February 14, 15, and 16, 7:30p - 9p

Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
80 South Market Street, San Jose
This is the turning point for those adults who are seeking to become baptized. Those who are deemed ready for the Easter sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Communion will be declared "the Elect" by Bishop McGrath at this rite. All are welcomed to participate. Read more about becoming Catholic here.
For more information: Diana Macalintal, 408-983-0136 or


Catechumenate Support Group - January 13

Click here to find out about this parishIf you coordinate the catechumenate process (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) in your parish, you have a place where you can ask questions, get some answers, and share your own stories with others who share your ministry. The Catechumenate Support Group meets every other month and is open for all who have responsibility for initiation of adults and children.

Catechumenate Support Group
Thursday, January 13, 2005

12:30p - 2:30p
Chancery Offices, 4th floor, Education Department
900 Lafayette Street, Santa Clara
Free; bring your lunch.

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


Creating Sacred Space - January 13

sacred space here?Many times, we need to prepare prayer for small groups or classes, and we don't always have the church building or chapel available. How do you make a classroom, living room, or parish hall a place where prayer can happen well?

You are invited to a free workshop to learn how to create an appropriate space for prayer in almost any setting. You'll learn four basic elements that go into preparaing the environment for prayer, and participants will learn by doing. The workshop facilitator is Diana Macalintal, the Associate for Liturgy for the Diocese of San Jose. Those who coordinate faith sharing, JustFaith, youth, or Bible study groups are especially invited.

Creating Sacred Space
Thursday, January 13, 2005
7p - 8:30p
St. Martin of Tours Church, Community Building
Free, but registration is required

To register, contact Sandra Pacheco at 408-983-0126 or


What Christmas Carols Teach

This article by Diana Macalintal first appeared in Eucharistic Ministries, #249, December 2004.

Caroling around the TreeEaster and Christmas are like two sides of a coin. The sights and sounds of one remind us of the smells and bells of the other. Theologically, one can say that the saving work of Christ’s resurrection and ascension began with his incarnation and, if we recall John’s Gospel on Christmas day, with creation itself.

Of these two feasts, Easter is the pre-eminent celebration. In the first three centuries of the Church, Christians celebrated an annual memorial of Christ’s resurrection, but it wasn’t until the fourth century that the Church began to celebrate Christ’s birth. These earliest Christians understood what one Christmas carol tries to teach: “Christ was born to save.”

Some of our oldest carols understand well this unified theology of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. Charles Wesley’s 1739 text, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” has several verses that are rarely sung in Catholic churches today:
Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

Here in this text, the meaning of the Word becoming flesh is not simply a Hallmark-card image of a baby in a manger or a sweet-sounding lullaby. It is the great exchange—the cosmic dance—between the Divine and the human. It is the primordial clash between light and dark, the serpent in the garden and the empty tomb that shouts, “Death, where is your sting?” God becomes one of us so that we may become more like God. In this lover’s exchange, God is clothed in human skin and takes on the mortality of earthly life so that we may be clothed with Christ and wear the garment of immortality.

This mystical union is the nuptial dance between God and creation, the weaving together of death and life, the push and pull of sadness and joy, and the counterpoint of our earthly song with the heavenly choir.

The definition of a carol is “an old round dance with singing.” It is the dance that comes first. Our carols teach us that Christian life is not about remaining at Bethlehem, frozen in winter snow, but about dancing together through the seasons of life to Jerusalem, to the cross and the empty tomb, dying and rising and thus birthing new life. Christmas is our reminder that our daily encounters with each other are another step in this pas de deux with God.

To reconnect carols with dancing and to give people the exquisite sensation of once again dancing to singing and singing while they dance, here is a collection of dances to fit 64 popular Christmas carols.


Six Undervalued Carols

This article by Diana Macalintal first appeared in Eucharistic Ministries, #249, December 2004.

Christmas choirLet’s face it. Some of our Christmas songs are clichéd, trite and a bit too “sweet.” Yet our musical tradition is full of carols and hymns that, in the words of Environment and Art in Catholic Worship 21, are “capable of bearing the weight of mystery, awe, reverence and wonder which the liturgical action expresses.” Here are some of those songs.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
This is probably not listed in the Christmas section of your hymnal, but this 5th century text is an extraordinary image of the Word made Flesh.

Of the Father’s Love Begotten
This simple chant sings of the Incarnation as salvation history.

What Child is This?
The chorus (“This, this is Christ the King”) originally sang of “nails, spear, shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you.”

Good Christian Friends, Rejoice
This 14th century text answers why Christ was born: that we may no longer fear death.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Find Charles Wesley’s original verses and see the rich Easter theology in the text.

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
William Sandys’ 1833 text conveys that Christmas is “merry” because God dances with us even through death.


Cantor Workshop - January 25

don't cantor like thisDon't be chicken! You can become a better cantor! Learn the basics that will improve your singing technique and your leadership skills, and practice the habits that will make you a better leader of musical prayer. Some participants will have the opportunity to cantor and receive immediate feedback. This free master-class style workshop will be led by Diana Macalintal.

Cantor Workshop
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
7p - 9:30p
St. Simon Church
Free, but registration required.
If you want to cantor, bring a copy of your psalm for the accompanist.

To register, contact Suzanne Fitzgerald at 650-967-8311 or Please indicate if you want to cantor at the workshop.

Cantor Workshop flyerClick the graphic to the left for a flyer that you can print.


Diocesan 25th and 50th Wedding Anniversary Mass - February 5

Married couples celebrating 25th or 50th (or more) wedding anniversaries are invited to celebrate with Bishop Patrick McGrath at the Diocesan Silver and Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass on Saturday, February 5, 2005, 10:00 a.m., at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph (80 South Market Street, San Jose). Reservations are requred. For information and to register, call: Sylvia Blanch, 408-983-0128 or

Las parejas que celebran su aniversario de bodas de plata o de oro (o más) están invitados asistir a la celebración con el Obispo Patrick McGrath el día Sabado, Febrero 5 de 2005, a las 10:00 a.m., en la Catedral Basílica de San José (80 South Market Street, San Jose). Reserve su lugar a tiempo. Para más información y registrarse, llame: Sylvia Blanch, 408-983-0128 o

Wedding Anniversary flyerClick the graphic to the left for a registration form that you can print.


Liturgical Coordinators Gathering - February 1

Come have one last pre-Lenten bash the way only liturgists can--by talking about liturgy! If you coordinate the liturgy, you are invited to gather with others who know your joys and hopes, your fears and tribulations, your long hours for the sheer love of it all.

Liturgical Coordinators Gathering
Tuesday, February 1, 2005
10a - 12p
St. Nicholas Church
Free; RSVPs are appreciated.

RSVP with Sandra Pacheco at 408-983-0126 or
Come for the sharing of questions and concerns, stay for the good company.


Finding God in Thailand

Sunset in ThailandSue Schuttinger, a catechetical and liturgical leader in our Diocese, was on her way to visit her son who is in the Peace Corps in Thailand when the tsunami hit. Neither of them were directly affected by the wave, but both have witnessed first hand the sacrificing love of the Thai people for those who have suffered. Below is Sue's email about her experience.

You might want to let the Catechetical Community know that I was traveling to Thailand the day the tsunami hit. My son is in the Peace Corps there. There were no Peace Corps volunteers in the southern part of Thailand (Phuket, Koh Phi Phi where the tidal wave hit) since there had been some terrorist activity there where Buddhist monks, police officers, women and children were murdered, so the Peace Corps pulled all volunteers from Southern Thailand. There are many volunteers in the rest of the country which is 99% Buddhist. The people there are so kind and caring. All of the stories on the news are true: a Thai nurse taking off her shoes to give to an American to ease her walk through the bloody hospital floors; a Thai man who lost his wife and children, walking inland to a village only to return, carrying on his back, sacks of rice for the foreign tourists. I can tell many stories of the tremendous caring of the Thai people for others. Many news agencies have used the word magical about the Thai people, and it is so true. We Americans have much to learn from them. Any aid that can be sent is much needed and will be deeply appreciated. We Catholic Christians can learn much from the gentle, caring, compassionate people of Thailand. I was truly humbled and awed to be in their presence.

Take care,
Sue Schuttinger

Peace CorpsCatholic Relief Services
Click here to donate to Catholic Relief Services Asian earthquake and tsunami aid.

Click here to donate to the Peace Corps.


Welcome to Sandra Pacheco!

Hi!Though we are sad to say goodbye to Rebeca Aldaz who served as secretary for the liturgy office for so many years, we are happy to welcome Sandra Pacheco who has accepted the job in the Office of Pastoral Ministry (OPM). She will bring some great skills and energy to this position. She also comes highly recommended by two pastors and one of our associates in OPM. She has volunteered at St. Maria Goretti and Second Harvest Food Bank. She has her BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and is completely bilingual in English and Spanish. So when you call the liturgy office, you'll hear a new voice on the line and you'll be in good hands. You can reach Sandra at 408-983-0126 or Welcome, Sandra!


Pope Paul VI Awards

Pope Paul VIThe Diocese of San José will once again honor liturgical ministers of our parishes who qualify for the annual Pope Paul VI Award (learn more about Pope Paul VI here).

The Diocesan Liturgical Commission has established the following criteria as qualifications for reception of the Pope Paul VI Award:

  1. Service as a liturgical minister is to be calculated from December 4, 1963 (promulgation date of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy). Awards are given for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40+ years of service. An individual can receive only one award in a given year.
  2. Such service is to have been rendered within the Diocese of San José since its creation in 1981 or within the County of Santa Clara before the establishment of the Diocese.

Years of service may be calculated as the cumulative number of years a person has served in any liturgical ministry. For example, one who has served as a music minister for 5 years then became a Communion minister for the next 10 years may be given an award for 15 years of service.

Personally signed certificates will be distributed to your parish in April, 2005. During a liturgical service in your parish, please present these certificates and acknowledge the years of ministry given by these individuals. Recipients of the Pope Paul VI awards will be recognized in a future issue of the Valley Catholic.

The deadline for submitting names of the recipients is February 16, 2005. Forms are available in PDF form at or in DOC form from Diana Macalintal at


Classifieds: Seek and Ye Shall Find

Job Available: Payroll Administrator
The Personnel Office of the Diocese of San Jose has an immediate opening for an experienced payroll professional. This challenging position offers a wide variety of duties including data entry, management reporting, and month end reconciliation. 2-5 years experience, ADP-PC for Windows, and strong communication and organizational skills required. Please fax your resume to 408-983-0203 or email it (no attachments please) to as soon as possible.

Available: Musician
Regina Mercado (St. Albert the Great parish, Palo Alto) is available as a substitute pianist or cantor. Please place her on your substitute musicians lists. May also be available on a regular basis. Contact information: 415-215-5629.

Special Event: Workshop on Islam
The Knights of Columbus, with the Social Justice committee of St. Elizabeth Parish, has invited Fr. Jose Rubio, Director of the Diocesan Office of Inter-Religious Affairs, to present "Islam 101" on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 8 pm at St. Elizabeth (750 Sequoia Drive, Milpitas). Fr. Rubio will provide basic information for a better understanding of Islam. The intent, in the ecumenical spirit of Vatican II, is to work toward more than just tolerance, but rather, toward acceptance, and, eventually, cooperative activities with other cultures and religions in our community. Our peace and security in today's world, locally and nationally, not to mention our Christian charity, demands a better understanding of Islam. The presentation will be followed by questions and answers. Please bring questions! This is a free presentation. To RSVP and for more information: Andy Wang, Peace and Justice Liaison for St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 408-946-2605 or

Special Event: Benefit Concert
The music ministers of Holy Family parish invite you to a benefit concert to raise funds for their church's renovation. The concert will be held on Friday, January 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 23 at 2:00 p.m. at Holy Family church (4848 Pearl Avenue, San Jose). It will be a time of great music and an opportunity to sing praises to our wonderful God.

Special Event: Concert
To all choral conductors: You are cordially invited to participate in the inaugural Pueri Cantores Festival and Mass in San Jose, CA., bringing together singers ages 7-18 from the five Bay Area dioceses. The date of the festival is February 26, 2005. Bishop Patrick McGrath will celebrate the Mass and Patrick Flahive, noted American children's choral conductor, will direct the singers. Participants will sing as one large, combined choir of several hundred choristers--a sound your singers will never forget! The repertoire is varied and accessible. The beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph (80 South Market Street, San Jose) offers one of the most resonant settings for music and worship in Northern California. All parish and school choirs and encouraged to attend! Please click here for more information and to register your singers for this event.