Friday, February 10, 2006


Work of the PeopleLast night around midnight, this blog quietly welcomed its 30,000th reader. When I started this site in August, 2004, I did not know that it would become so popular not only in the Diocese of San José but also across the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

So I’d like to thank all you who read this site and come back to it each week. Thanks for putting up with the long dry spells and for spending your time clicking every link when the posts come fast and furious. Thanks for your emails with helpful tips and your online comments, anonymous or not. Thanks for your suggestions for improvement, for your reasonable complaints, and for your encouragement and supportive words. (I keep a folder in Outlook with emails I receive that say “good job.” I read these on those days that all of us have when we wonder why we keep doing what we do.)

But most of all, thanks for being dedicated to making good liturgy happen. Without your passion and love for the Church, this site and my work wouldn’t be needed.

I pray that Work of the People will always be a place where you can find help, creative ideas, affirmation, beauty, humor, and words that challenge all of us to be better at the work we do together.

Diana Macalintal
Associate for Liturgy

Blessed Are They Who Blog

This article by Diana Macalintal first appeared in Today’s Parish, vol. 38, no. 1, January 2006.

You remember the way the Internet used to be in the good old days, don’t you? It used to be that you got onto the Web, got what you needed, then, you got out. But the way we use the Internet and the World Wide Web is changing. Now it’s where we work, play, and explore, share our ideas and form community, connect with those like us and meet those most unlike us, inform our knowledge and even change the world (check our

Web analysts have called this a shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. In Web 1.0, sites disseminate information (think of your typical parish Web site); in Web 2.0, sites enable participation (check out Before, there was a single source of expertise and only one voice—the author of the Web page; now there is a sharing of collective wisdom and a venue for multiple voices (for example, user reviews and listmania on The content of Web pages used to be the domain of only those who “knew the code,” and we, the consumer, were recipients and spectators. Now, some Web sites, like and, thrive only by the participation and content provided by their readers who act more like agents and co-authors.

A Conversion Moment
My introduction into the world of Web 2.0 began two years ago when I stumbled across a Web site that was different than the static sites I was used to. This site had no pictures and consisted only of stories written by a bartender of his daily interactions with his customers. The stories were funny snippets of conversations and events, and the writer was witty. Every few days, there was a new story, and you could read past entries in the site’s archives. Though the arena and the speaker were not your typical sources of holy writing, I often gleaned some insight about my faith from his daily parables.

However, what got me hooked were not the stories but the comments left by his readers. This 2.0 kind of Web site—a blog, short for “Web log”—allowed anyone who came to the site to leave a public comment on any of the “posts,” or entries. These were mostly “nice post” compliments. But as the commentators became daily regulars, they began to develop into a community all their own, spanning thousands of miles across the globe. Their comments focused first on the post then evolved into sharing of their own stories. Eventually, this blog became the gathering place, common connection, and conversation-starter for this tight-knit digital small-group support system.

De-Lurking the Church
The paradigm shift from 1.0 to 2.0 is not unlike the shift that began with Vatican II and continues today in the church. To use a term for those who read blogs without posting a comment, we no longer are “lurkers” who simply attend Mass. Now, we are called to fully, actively, and consciously participate. Before, Father, Sister, or the Catechism was the expert to which we turned to learn about our faith. Now, in addition to these voices, we have what the United States bishops call “a comprehensive, multi-faceted, and coordinated approach to adult faith formation,” including liturgy, family- or home-centered activities, small groups, large groups, and individual activities (Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us: A Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States, pp 34-38). Before, the church had promoted a static text-book style of catechesis in which unchangeable answers to doctrinal questions were memorized in rote fashion. Today, “the model for all catechesis is the baptismal catechumenate” (General Directory for Catechesis, 59) in which process, adaptation, integration into daily life, and, in tech-speak, a user-friendly focus are central characteristics.

Blogs reflect this paradigm shift, and parishes can use them to support their adult faith formation efforts. For example:

  • Blogs enable participation by a large group of people without needing them to be physically in the same room at the same time. Participants can share comments with not only the author of a post but also with other readers. Many blogs even invite readers to submit their own posts. This can facilitate a parish sharing of a “question of the week” or other discussions on faith. This also allows those who are not usually heard at parish meetings—think of children and teens, the homebound, the night-shift worker, the college student away from home—to have a voice in the parish.

  • Blogs are simple to create and update. This ease allows parishes to quickly adapt posts to the current news of the day to help parishioners join faith and life. Pictures from last night’s parish festival or Easter Vigil, the minutes from the last parish council meeting, up-to-the-minute audio travelogues of the choir tour in Europe, the pastor’s daily reflections, even online registration forms for the next parish workshop can be quickly placed on the blog without the need for a computer wiz on staff.

  • Blogs can enable a fuller participation in the worship life of the parish. Last Sunday’s homily, catechetical reflections on next Sunday’s rite of acceptance, simple blessings and prayer ideas for the home, liturgical season recipes, a listing of daily intercessions, pictures of the parish liturgical symbols with reflections contributed by those preparing to celebrate the sacraments—all these can be easily placed on your parish blog to give parishioners resources and a place to connect Sunday worship with their home and work life. Further, parishioners can easily add their own comments and ideas to share.

  • Blogs and Web sites use “hyperlinking” to collaborate and connect with other sites to provide more information on a particular issue or to enable participants to put that information into action. Imagine how many more people were encouraged to donate to hurricane relief because all they had to do was click on a link on their parish’s web site to donate to the Red Cross.

  • Blogs and the Internet, in general, use the gifts of the digital culture to enrich the church by communicating in a medium familiar and second-nature to most young people. It is the digital way of “bringing Old Truths in new forms” (Fr. Isaac Hecker).

The world is shifting from technology that provides information to one that creates community. If used wisely, the church can answer the challenge given by Pope John Paul II:

“For the church the new world of cyberspace is a summons to the great adventure of using its potential to proclaim the Gospel message….I dare to summon the whole church bravely to cross this new threshold, to put out into the deep of the Net, so that now as in the past the great engagement of the Gospel and culture may show to the world ‘the glory of God in the face of Christ’” (Message for the 36th World Communications Day, 2002).

How to Start a Blog

This article by Diana Macalintal first appeared in Today’s Parish, vol. 38, no. 1, January 2006.

When the chancery offices of the Diocese of San José moved from a paper system to fully electronic communication, the liturgy office had already passed 10,000 visits to its blog, Work of the People (you’re reading it!). All of the services that make up this blog are free.

The blog template was created by going to and signing up for a free account. Follow the simple instructions to begin blogging in minutes. The comments feature is provided by Pictures are stored using, and the online calendar is manages through

Update: The liturgy office has just started using wikis—another kind of web site which allows for quick publication and for groups of people to edit the site (think of We’ve been using a wiki developed at to keep track of all the catechumens, schedules, and seating charts for our diocese’s Rite of Election. Check it out at

10 Things a Blog Can Do that your Bulletin Can’t

This article by Diana Macalintal first appeared in Today’s Parish, vol. 38, no. 1, January 2006.

  1. Get updated daily, even hourly.
  2. Be accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
  3. Allow parishioners to publicly comment and share ideas.
  4. Give quieter parishioners a way to speak up and ask questions.
  5. Provide photos, audio, and videos of parish events.
  6. Respect the environment by eliminating paper waste.
  7. Let young people share podcasts of their own daily reflections.
  8. Take a parish survey.
  9. Immediately link readers to other online resources.
  10. Connect parishioners according to their own schedule.

Jubilee Song - Audio Files

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To help your choirs learn our diocesan Jubilee song, "Sumus Ecclesia! We Are the Church!" written by Gregory Schultz, there are audio files available for free download. Currently they are zipped in Windows media format (.wma).

Sumus Ecclesia! We Are the Church audio files:

Welcome to Bernard!

Bernard NemisNext time you call the liturgy office at the Office of Pastoral Ministry, you'll hear a new voice. Bernard Nemis joined the staff to work as the administrative assistant for myself and for Sandy Scott who is the Associate for Youth and Young Adults.

Bernard is making my office ultra-organized with his excellent attention to details, schedules, and handy computer skills. He's already got his feet wet by helping out at the diocesan Wedding Anniversary Mass, and he's busy helping me get the Rite of Election and Chrism Mass ready.

So next time you come by, say hello and welcome Bernard Nemis. You can contact him at 408-983-0126.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lent Articles Repeat

Check out these Lenten articles from last year:


Chrism - Collection of Holy Oil Vessels

In preparation for the Chrism Mass on Tuesday, April 4, 2006, 7:30p at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, please be sure that your parish oil vessels are undamaged, properly cleaned, and delivered to the Office of Pastoral Ministry in the carrying boxes in which they were presented last year.

Empty oil vessels may be delivered in one of two ways:

  1. They can be brought to the Office of Pastoral Ministry, 900 Lafayette Street, Suite 405, Santa Clara by noon on Monday, March 20, or,
  2. Arrangements have been made for a one-time courier pick-up of the vessels. The service that picks up the ADA collections will bring parish vessels to the Office of Pastoral Ministry on Tuesday, March 14 if you have asked for an ADA pickup. The vessels must be in the carrying box with the parish name clearly visible and must be with the ADA materials. The courier will not ask if there are vessels for delivery. Please note this service is only available on Tuesday, March 14.
Attention Institutions:
Hospitals, religious communities, and other institutions who wish to have oils blessed for use in 2006 are asked to bring stocks, carefully cleaned, to the Office of Pastoral Ministry by noon on Tuesday, March 28. Stocks will be available for pick-up from the Office of Pastoral Ministry on Wednesday, April 5 after 12:00p.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Jubilee Year Paschal Candle

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Image hosting by PhotobucketMartin Marklin, who created our diocese’s Jubilee Cross and the parish Jubilee Crosses, is offering to design a special Jubilee Year Paschal Candle for our diocese’s churches and communities to help us mark this unique time in our diocese’s history.

To see specific design and pricing information, click here (pdf file).

If your parish or community is interested in ordering this specially-designed Paschal Candle for use this Easter and throughout our 25th Anniversary Jubilee Year, please contact Marklin Candle Design at 1-877-MARKLIN (1-877-627-5546).


Chrism - Purchasing New Oil Vessels

If you need to purchase new Holy Oil Vessels, we recommend vessels from Meyer-Vogelpohl. The most common style vessel used in our diocese is their MV200 or MV201 set. You can get more purchasing information on this set by clicking here.

However, your Holy Oil vessels need not be limited to this style of vessel. Here are some things to consider when deciding on purchasing a vessel for your oils.

Beauty and Dignity
Any vessels used for liturgy should be beautiful and dignified. They should show care in craftsmanship and appropriateness for its liturgical use. Clear glass is good because you can see the oil, but vessels with some colored glass can also show off the oil. Plastic vessels are not appropriate. Well-crafted and dignified metal containers might be appropriate, but they may be more difficult to clean than glass containers.

Liturgical Use
These vessels are not simply pieces to be admired in an ambry (a niche or box in a sanctuary wall where holy oils are stored; usually placed near the baptismal font) like museum artifacts but are meant to be used during liturgies of anointing. Therefore, parishes should have at least one set of vessels that can be carried and held easily during a liturgy. If larger vessels are kept in an ambry, then smaller portable vessels can be filled from them.

What do OC, OI, SC, OS mean?
These are acronyms for the three different types of oils used--Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens, and Sacred Chrism. Older vessel sets used the initials SC for Sacred Chrism, OI for Oil of the Sick (infirm), and OS for Oil of Catechumens. Newer sets have changed OS to OC for Oil of Catechumens. In any case, you should be able to distinguish which oil is in which vessel. Most parishes use vessels marked with SC for Chrism, OI or OS for Oil of the Sick, and OC for Oil of Catechumens.

St. Patrick's - March 17

Image hosting by PhotobucketThis year, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, falls on a Friday during the Lenten Season. After receiving some requests, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath has decided to grant a dispensation from the obligation of abstinence on that day.

This dispensation is granted to the Catholic faithful who may wish to celebrate the feast of St. Patrick more festively.

March 17 is also the eve of the 25th Anniversary celebration of the establishment of the Diocese of San José. Be sure to celebrate St. Patrick's Day wisely so you can wake up in time for our diocese's Jubilee Mass the following day, March 18, 2006, at 10:00a at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph!


What Time Can the Easter Vigil Begin?

The Easter Triduum this year is Thursday night to Sunday night, April 13 to 16, 2006.

The Easter Triduum is the culmination of the entire liturgical year. It begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. Between the Mass of the Lord's Supper and the Easter Vigil, Mass is not celebrated.

The Sacramentary states:

The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil takes place at night. It should not begin before nightfall; it should end before daybreak on Sunday (Sacramentary, Easter Sunday, During the Night, The Easter Vigil, #3).
Therefore, the Easter Vigil must begin after nightfall. Ideally, it should be completely dark before the start of the Easter Vigil. Sunset begins on this day at 7:43 p.m. for San José. Thus Easter Vigil for 2006 may not begin before 8:15 p.m.

Further, the Sacramentary states:
In the United States, although it is never permitted to celebrate the entire Easter Vigil more than once in a given church or to anticipate the Mass of Easter before the vigil, in those places where the local Ordinary permits the anticipation of Sunday Masses on Saturday evening, for pastoral reasons an additional Mass may be celebrated after the Mass of the Easter Vigil. Such a Mass may follow the liturgy of the word of the Mass of the Easter Vigil and other texts of that Mass and should include the renewal of baptismal promise (Sacramentary, Easter Sunday, During the Night, Easter Vigil, #3).
Ideally, parishes celebrate only one Easter Vigil. So, on April 15, 2006, no Mass may be celebrated before the Easter Vigil, and, ideally, there should be only one Service of Light (blessing of fire, first lighting of Easter Candle, and exsultet) and one blessing of the baptismal font per parish. The initiation of Elect ideally takes place at the one parish Easter Vigil, though it may also be celebrated on Easter Sunday for pastoral reasons, and initiation sacraments are appropriately celebrated throughout the Easter season. Any additional Masses on the night of April 15, 2006, must be celebrated after the parish's one Easter Vigil and does not include the Service of Light or the blessing of the water in the baptismal font.