“Welcome, Your Majesty”

Text of homily by Oakland Bishop Michael Barber at Ordination Mass

(The following is an excerpt from Bishop Barber's homily from the May 25 Ordination Mass.) There are lots of nice people in the Oakland diocese. You see the fire of Faith in their eyes — the reflection of the presence of God. As a priest: They will shower you with love, respect, even reverence. I visited a parish recently, and was welcomed by some nervous parishioners … [Read more...]

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“This action by our president is heartbreaking”

Oakland Bishop Michael Barber decries decision by Trump administration to rescind Temporary Protective Status for El Salvadorans, offers those affected help from the diocese

Dear brothers and sisters, I write to you today regarding the recent decision by the Trump administration to rescind Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for approximately 200,000 El Salvadorans living in the United States.  This action by our president is heartbreaking. I am particularly troubled we are disrupting the lives of people who immigrated here legally under an order … [Read more...]

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The extent of my religious education: ‘Love God, draw a rainbow’

Oakland Bishop Michael Barber: "Students should be able to articulate the answers to three questions when they leave your school: 'Why do I believe in God?' 'Why do I believe in Jesus Christ?' 'Why do I believe in the Catholic Church?'"

The following is by Most Rev. Michael C. Barber, SJ: As we begin the new school year, I'd like to recognize the principals and presidents of our Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Catholic educators have a unique role in one of the primary missions of the Church: To form missionary disciples. You will be a success if your students leave your school — and your classroom … [Read more...]

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First Steubenville NorCal Catholic Youth Conference draws nearly 1000 teens

Priests of Oakland diocese report they heard confessions until 11:30 p.m. the night before

About 1,000 teenagers — the official count was 995 — and their chaperones rocked the bleachers of Cal State East Bay's gym at a Saturday morning hour when most would expect to find 13- to 18-year-olds still sleeping. They were wide awake, singing along with Christian rock musicians as they waited for Mass to begin. Their wakefulness was all the more astonishing, given reports … [Read more...]

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Two California bishops take prisoners’ petitions to Lourdes

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Oakland Bishop Michael Barber placed intentions of San Quentin inmates against the stones of the grotto

A pilgrimage to Lourdes is outside the bounds of possibility right now for the men imprisoned at San Quentin State Prison, but two Bay Area bishops brought their intentions and placed them before Our Lady at the grotto at Lourdes earlier this month. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone and Oakland Bishop Michael Barber placed the pieces of paper with the prisoners’ intentions … [Read more...]

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Oakland bishop issues statement on Trump’s orders on refugees and immigrants

Bishop Michael Barber: "Christ and His teachings must come before our favorite political party"

Bishop Michael Barber, SJ, Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, has issued the following statement regarding President Trump's executive orders on immigrants and refugees and responses to those orders: With all the rancor and division circulating in the media recently, I think it is good to remind ourselves who we are as Catholics and Christians. We are Christ-centered, not … [Read more...]

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Dominican friars to leave Berkeley parish

They will also leave their ministry at Newman Centers at UC Riverside and UCSD

On the Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, the news was anything but joyful at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Berkeley. The Dominican priests who have served the parish since its founding in 1923 are leaving, the pastor told the congregation. The Berkeley parish, with 500 families and a vibrant elementary school, is one of three places in California from which the … [Read more...]

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Oakland bishop outlines goals for diocese

Bishop Michael Barber: "Some of our parishes do a good job of 'building community' — but so does a Raiders game"

Based on a total reliance on Christ, and listening to parishioners, priests and the larger Oakland/Alameda/Contra Costa community for the past three years, I would like to offer my vision and goals for our Diocese of Oakland. 1. We need to pay way more attention to "The Sunday Experience." Sunday Mass, and everything associated with it: an intelligent and inspirational … [Read more...]

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Oakland diocese cemetery source of prizewinning wine

Cheaper than planting grass

The following comes from a June 6 story in the New York Times. For an additional $1,000, a family can have a loved one buried near the chardonnay vines glistening in the sun, or if they prefer, near the pinot noir vines at a cemetery here in an East Bay suburb of San Francisco. The vines were planted 10 years ago as a less expensive and more water-frugal alternative to … [Read more...]

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Sacramental wine from sacred ground

Aesthetic and economic decision for Oakland

The following comes from a Jan. 5 story in the Catholic Sentinel, the archdiocesan paper of Portland, Oregon. A decision several years ago to plant vineyards to beautify vacant cemetery land and produce wine for Mass has proven to be a win-win for the Diocese of Oakland and its parishes and schools. The plan by Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services of the diocese took … [Read more...]

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