Friday, December 21, 2007

Updated World Day of Peace Message

Benedict XVI's 2008 World Day of Peace message is now available and can be found at the Vatican website.

The resource for the World Day of Peace (Jan. 1) from the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has also been updated to include a summary of the message and discussion questions for use in small groups.

You can open a printable (PDF) version of this resource by clicking here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Classifieds (outside diocese): Adult Faith Formation Director

Position Available: Adult Faith Formation Director for the Diocese of Orlando

Closing Date: When Filled
FT/PT: Full-time/benefits
Salary Range: $45,000 to $50,000

Brief Description of Job: The Diocesan Office of Religious Education is seeking an energetic faith-filled person to coordinate adult faith formation for the Diocese of Orlando. Responsibilities include the baptismal catechumenate; integrating programs of adult faith formation with other ongoing diocesan and parish programs of religious education, sacramental preparation, and the Diocesan Catechist Certification Program; and working collaboratively with other catechetical initiatives of the Diocesan Office of Religious Education. Position to begin July - August 2007.

Minimum Qualifications: M.A. degree in theology or related area; teaching experience; and at least three years experiences as a diocesan catechetical leader. Must be a Catholic in good standing.

Send letter of interest, resume, transcripts and three letters of reference to:
Ms. Theresa Simon
Human Resources Director
Diocese of Orlando
P.O. Box 1800
Orlando, FL 32801-1800

Phone Number: No phone calls please
Facsimile Number: (407) 246-4941
E-Mail Address: humanresources [at] orlandodiocese [dot] org

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

God, the Psyche, and Me - beginning January 24, 2008

God, the Psyche, and Me
(Ongoing Professional Education Series)

January 24, January 31, February 7, 2008
9:30 a.m. – 12 noon
Transfiguration Church
4325 Jarvis Avenue, San Jose

David Richo, Ph.D., M.F.T., will explore the following topics: The Dialogue between Spirituality and Psychology, Ego, Shadow and Conversion, Understanding the Process of Forgiveness.

David Richo is a psychotherapist, teacher, and writer in Santa Barbara and San Francisco California who emphasizes Jungian, transpersonal, and spiritual perspectives in his work. He is the author of: How To Be An Adult (Paulist, 1991), When Love Meets Fear (Paulist, 1997), Unexpected Miracles: The Gift of Synchronicity and How to Open It (Crossroad, 1998), Shadow Dance: Liberating the Power and Creativity of Your Dark Side (Shambhala, 1999) and Catholic Means Universal: Integrating Spirituality and Religion (Crossroad, 2000).

Click here for online registration.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What time can we begin the Easter Vigil in 2008?

I know we haven't even celebrated Christmas yet, but this liturgical year is super-fast, and Easter will be here before you know it.

As you know, the Easter Vigil must begin in darkness. Click here for more information on why.

Based on sunset information from the U.S. Naval Observatory, Easter Vigil this year (March 22, 2008) in the Diocese of San José cannot begin any earlier than 8:00 p.m.

From the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department, the following information is provided for San Jose, Santa Clara County, California (longitude W121.9, latitude N37.3):

22 March 2008, Pacific Daylight Time
  • Sunset 7:22 p.m.
  • End civil twilight 7:48 p.m.

If sunset is at 7:22p, why can't we begin Easter Vigil 2008 at 7:30p?

Because there is a big technical different between "sunset" and "civil twilight." The technical definition of "sunset" is when the upper edge of the sun hits the horizon. At this point (7:22p) there's still some daylight in the sky. But what we're looking for is complete darkness.

Civil twilight in the evening is technically when the center of the sun is geometrically 6 degrees below the horizon. At this time (7:48p) there's still enough light to see the horizon, but it's dark enough to see the brightest of stars in the sky. Complete darkness, however, begins sometime after the end of evening civil twilight.

So 8:00p is the earliest time we can begin the Easter Vigil in 8:00p.

For more information:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pope Paul VI Awards for liturgical ministers - 2007

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 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.

To apply for this award, please complete and submit an eligibility form.

The deadline for submitting names of the recipients is February 29, 2008.

Awards certificates will be distributed to your parish in April, 2008. 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.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Liturgy Files: In the Rite of Reception, do you confirm a Lutheran confirmed in the Lutheran Church?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPart of my job is to answer email. Some of these emails are simple Q&A. In these Liturgy Files, I'll share some of the most helpful Q&As.

Q: We have a candidate preparing to celebrate the Reception into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. This person was baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran. Do we recognize Lutheran Confirmations as valid sacraments? Or do we confirm him at the Easter Vigil?

A: From John Huels’ book, The Catechumenate and the Law: A Pastoral and Canonical Commentary for the Church in the United States, Liturgy Training Publications, 1994, p 24:

Confirmation is valid only in those churches that have the valid sacrament of holy orders. Besides the separated Eastern churches, this would include the Old Catholic, Old Roman Catholic, and Polish National Churches. The Protestant denominations are not recognized as having valid orders, so persons baptized in those ecclesial communities should be confirmed during the rite of reception into full communion.
However, the other question you could also ask is: Should you celebrate the rite of reception at the Easter Vigil? Some points to ponder:

Anything that would equate candidates for reception with those who are catechumens is to be absolutely avoided. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, 477)
The commentary on The Code of Canon Law, commenting on canon 206 regarding catechumens, makes these distinctions between candidates and catechumens:
  • "[B]aptized non-Catholics who seek full communion with the Catholic Church are not catechumens or 'converts,' although they are moved by the Spirit and have an explicit will to join the Church."
  • "They are not, however, to be exorcised or to receive other elements of the liturgical rites involved in baptism, since they are already baptized."
  • "No greater burdens are to be imposed on them than are necessary for them to come into full communion."

Back to the initiation documents...

Those who have already been baptized in another Church or ecclesial community should not be treated as catechumens or so designated. Their doctrinal and spiritual preparation for reception into full Catholic communion should be determined according to the individual case, that is, it should depend on the extent to which the baptized person has led a Christian life within a community of faith and been appropriately catechized to deepen his or her inner adherence to the Church ("National Statutes for the Catechumenate," 30)
This means that a baptized Christian who wants to become Catholic and has been faithfully participating in a Christian community (not necessarily a Catholic community), who lives a Christian (not necessarily Catholic) lifestyle, and who has been catechized in order to deepen his or her resolve to live as a Christian disciple in the Catholic Church is ready to celebrate the Rite of Reception into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church.

When could reception take place then?

The reception of candidates into the communion of the Catholic Church should ordinarily take place at the Sunday Eucharist of the parish community, in such a way that it is understood that they are indeed Christian believers who have already shared in the sacramental life of the Church and are now welcomed into the Catholic eucharistic community upon their profession of faith and confirmation, if they have not been confirmed, before receiving the eucharist. ("National Statutes for the Catechumenate," 32)
It is preferable that reception into full communion not take place at the Easter Vigil lest there be any confusion of such baptized Christians with the candidates for baptism, possible misunderstanding of or even reflection upon the sacrament of baptism celebrated in another Church or ecclesial community, or any perceived triumphalism in the liturgical welcome into the Catholic eucharistic community. ("National Statutes for the Catechumenate," 33)
In other words, if a baptized Christian is faithfully participating in the Sunday assembly of the Catholic Church, is living a Christian lifestyle, and is adhering to the Catholic teaching, they may be received into full communion as soon as possible—even at the next possible Sunday celebration. They need not wait until the Easter Vigil to be received.

For more information on the RCIA and the catechumenate, check out

Season of Hope 2007

Season of Hope 2007

The Season of Hope Performance Series,
in its 12th year, welcomes an array of talented artists
to perform in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph
during the “12 Days Before Christmas.”

December 12th through the 23rd

Two performances nightly at 7:00PM AND 8:00PM are free.
Take a break from the holiday “busy-ness” and take in
a memorable evening of the performance arts for the entire family.
  • Wednesday, December 12 TBA
  • Thursday, December 13 San Jose Youth Symphony
  • Friday, December 14 Diocesan Filipino Priests Chorale
  • Saturday, December 15 Presentation High School
  • Sunday, December 16 Harper’s Hall Celtic Harpists
  • Monday, December 17 “Friends of Jesus” Catholic Contemporary Band
  • Tuesday, December 18 San Jose Youth Chamber Orchestra
  • Wednesday, December 19 Castillero Middle School of the Performing Arts
  • Thursday, December 20 Notre Dame High School
  • Friday, December 21 Maranatha Hope of Glory Choir
  • Saturday, December 22 Bella Sorella (Opera Duo)
  • Sunday, December 23 Cathedral Schola (Under the direction of Julie Wind)
San Jose Cathedral Foundation
Preservation ● Service ● Arts
80 South Market Street
San José, California 95113

Click here to print out a copy of the flyer.

Vatican I, II and You - beginning January 9, 2008

Breaking Bread
Making Ministry

7:30 - 9:00pm
(7:00pm Hospitality)

January 9, Santa Teresa
"Breath Normally"
Sr. Sharon McMillan, S.N.D., S.L.D.
Associate Professor of Systematic and Liturgical Theology

January 16, Santa Teresa
"The Transforming Power of Hospitality"

January 23, Saint Anthony
"To Be 'God With Skin On'"

January 30, Saint Anthony
"Plastic Flowers, Plastic Mind"
Art and Environment

Sponsored by Deanery Seven

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Prophetic Ministry of a Church in Transition

Those of you who know me know that I spent several summers at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. While I was there, I fell in love with the abbey and the community of monks there. Most of all, I was deeply touched by their faithful life together, a life of daily prayer and simple work.

Being a monastic community at what I would call the birthplace of 20th century liturgical reform in the US does not keep them immune from the turmoils of the broader church. The monks there are somewhat of a microcosm of the crises the church faces. The number of monks continues to dwindle, even as more men are attracted to their lifestyle. The monks are definitely getting older and frailer (my first summer there, we celebrated the 69th anniversary of priesthood of Fr. Godfrey Diekmann, OSB; although he was bound to a wheelchair, he was as fiesty as I had heard him to be). And the community itself has been rocked by scandal and disappointment.

Through it all, their leader, Abbot John Klassen, OSB, had been, and continues to be, a steadfast, simple voice, calling each member of the community back to hope and faith. In his presentation to the Diocese of San José on December 5, 2007, Tom Zanzig mentioned this address by Abbot John. Just as Tom Zanzig said, it is one of the most powerful statements I have heard a church leader speak publicly.

The statement is from 2005, but it is even more relevant today as we near the end of 2007. And although it is addressed to a particular monastic community, it should be a clarion call, an alarm waking us from our sleep. We are blessed here in the Diocese of San José to feel little of the priest shortage that so much of the rest of our country feels. Yet we are not a church unto itself. We are members of a larger church in transition, whether we feel it or not, like it or not. More is changing in this church of ours than just ordination numbers.

"Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new!" (Is 43:18-19)

"I suggest that it is our task as a monastery to facilitate the present Church's passing in order to assist in the birthing of the new" (Abbot John Klassen, OSB).

In this Advent season, we prepare for new birth. Listening to the prophets of this season and to the prophets of our day, we would do well, as a church, to look also at what needs to die so that the new birth promised by God may happen.

Read Abbot John's full statement here.