Bishop Michael Barber ordained fifth bishop of Oakland


Bishop-elect Barber prostrate before the altar

Bishop-elect Barber prostrate before the altar

On Saturday, March 25, at Christ the Light Cathedral, Father Michael Barber was ordained and installed as the fifth bishop of the diocese of Oakland. Eighteen bishops attended the event, including the second, third and fourth bishops of Oakland: Bishop Emeritus John Cummins, Archbishop Allen Vigneron, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States was in attendance. The cathedral was filled to overflowing—at least 300 ticketed guests watched the ordination outside of the cathedral on a big screen video.

Prior to the Mass, music was provided by the Voices of St. Benedict, a local youth choir. This was followed by a processional Call to Worship in the tradition of the Eritrean Catholics of the Ge’ez rite. The Ge’ez rite traces its roots in Ethiopia/Eritrea back to at least the 4th Century. Members of the procession chanted in the Ge’ez language and carried the ancient tau cross-staffs.  Then the Diocesan Festival Choir, 42 strong, entered. They were followed by the diocesan Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary, and the Knights of Columbus. Next came the papal orders of chivalry: the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Rhodes and Malta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Then the bishops and priests entered to the hymn “Church of God, Elect and Glorious.” The principal consecrater was Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco. He was joined by co-consecrators Carlos Sevilla, S.J., bishop emeritus of Yakima and Thomas Daly, auxiliary bishop of San Jose. The Mass was dignified — all sung and chanted. During the incensation of the Altar and Cross the choir chanted the “Sacerdotes Dei.”

Archbishop Vigano reads the letter of appointment

Archbishop Vigano reads the letter of appointment

The first reading, Jeremiah 1:4:9 was read by Bishop-elect Barber’s brother, Kevin Barber. (Another brother, the Rev. Stephen Barber, S.J., assisted Bishop Barber at the Mass.) Following the Liturgy of the Word, the rite of ordination began. The hymn was the chanted “Veni Creator Spiritus.”  Archbishop Viganò, apostolic nuncio and personal representative for Pope Francis, read the letter of appointment of Bishop Barber.

Archbishop Cordileone gave the homily. He spoke of a recent homily given by Pope Francis at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome, where the Holy Father preached on the same Gospel that had just been read: among the Risen Christ’s final words to Peter “Do you love me? Feed my sheep.” The theme was our unworthiness and how it can be cancelled out by true poverty, by the openness to the will of God wherever it may lead. His Excellency noted that even after Jesus’s death and resurrection, Peter and the apostles had gone back to fishing. But Jesus came to the apostles, and especially Peter, again and asked him three times if he loved him.

The Archbishop noted that after Peter’s thrice-affirmative response, Jesus told him that “when you are older you will be taken where you do not want to go”— foretelling Peter’s martyrdom. Archbishop Cordileone then noted the first reading included Jeremiah’s vain protestations to the Lord of his lack of qualifications. He said that he saw Bishop-Elect Barber nodding and that he might be saying with Jeremiah, “Lord… are you sure you have the right Jeremiah?”  Archbishop Cordileone then went back to the recent words of the Holy Father: “None of us is qualified… it is the Lord who qualifies those on whom he calls.”

Bishop-elect Barber then made the Promises of the Elect. Next, he prostrated himself before the altar; the faithful knelt and joined in chanting the Litany of Supplication and the Litany of the Saints. Then the bishops, led by Archbishop Cordileone, laid their hands on the bishop-elect. Archbishop Cordileone then anointed the newly-ordained Bishop Barber, placed the ring on his finger, the mitre on his head, and presented him with the crozier. Archbishop Cordileone invited him to take his occupy the Cathedra, the seat of authority and governance of the church of Oakland.

Following the Mass, Bishop Barber addressed the congregation. He thanked his predecessors, his brother bishops, and those who had been present at formative times in his life. He straightforwardly faced the problems of the Oakland diocesan debt: “People ask me: what are you going to do about the diocesan debt… I don’t know yet, but I do know this: if we are generous in responding to God and in taking care of God’s people, God will take care of us!”

He closed by saying, “I know that I am unworthy, but I do know one other thing: that through all eternity in the mind of God to be bishop of Oakland has been my vocation, and with God’s help and your prayers and the love of Mother Mary, I intend to fulfill it. Thank you!”

The recessional music was the Navy Hymn, in recognition of Bishop Barber’s service as a U.S. Navy chaplain.


  1. Clinton R. says

    That is one ugly looking altar, totally unfitting for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Then again, what is one to expect with these “Spirit of Vatican II” modernists cathedrals? Many prayers for Bishop Barber. +JMJ+

    • What????????????? It is a marble altar sitting on a raised platform with a direct connection to the tabernacle. It contains several relics of various saints. How can that be bad. See the Pope’s comments about Faith Police! He is talking about you.

      • Clinton R. says

        Does this altar look anything like a pre-Vatican II altar? Does not Our Lord deserve His Churches to look as beautiful as can be? Instead of the stripped down hangar-like structures like this cathedral and Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral? Sadly Bob One, you don’t realize what the “Spirit of Vatican II” has taken from the Church.

    • Bwangi Kilonzo says

      ♫come to the feast of heaven and earth, ♫♫, come to the table of plenty♫

  2. The Installation Mass of new Bishops in the USA is usually carried live on EWTN (Mother Angelica’s ‘Eternal Word Television Network’), as was this one.

    “Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States was in attendance.” – it is much greater than that.
    Without the US Papal Nuncio reading the words from the Pope appointing the new Bishop (which he did) – there would be no installations or new bishops.

    Bishops can not run around appointing new Bishops by themselves. (This is one of the things that what got the SSPX Bishops excommunicated.)

    • Sorry, I missed that one sentence in the article. It does state the US Papal Nuncio read the words of appointment from the Pope.
      It would be great if the article included the words of the Elect – which is like an oath of office. (“Bishop-elect Barber then made the Promises of the Elect”.)

  3. At no time did Bishop Barber acknowledge his family but he did take the time to acknowledge Gov. Jerry Brown and initiate a round of applause for him. He also
    later said how happy he is to have a Jesuit Pope, he as a Jesuit Bishop of Oakland and a Jesuit Governor. Why in the name of all that is holy would you praise a man who is so against the sanctity of life and promotes abortion every chance he gets. I just do not understand the message. So very, very disappointing. We will wait to see where Bishop Barber is on promoting the sanctity of the unborn. The message so far is not encouraging.

    • Yes, he did, but it was not clear to be that Moonbeam Brown was happy to be called a Jesuit.
      It looked to me like Brown was clearly frowning.
      I did not see Moonbeam receive Holy Communion – which would have been a Sacrilege.

      • “Judge not and you shall not be judged”

        • Bwangi Kilonzo says

          Who said anyone is judging?

          And the Govonor is a Jesuit? I thought lay people are not Jesuits?

        • You cannot get into Heaven without being judged; this is why we have what is called the Last Judgment.

        • Never tolerate Sin. Always judge sin.
          Admonishing sinners, Instructing the Uninformed, Counseling the doubtful are Spiritual Works of Mercy.
          (Only Jesus can judge if a particular individual is actually going to Heaven or Hell because he or she may have repented just prior to death.)

          “Do not JUDGE by appearances, but JUDGE WITH RIGHT JUDGMENT.” – JESUS (Jn 7-24)

      • Bishop Barber did give communion to Gov. Brown; picture was in the Oakland Tribune. Not good for the Bishop… not good at all.

        • If this is true, it is Sacrilegious, Scandalous, and very Sad.
          Surely the New Bishop knows that Moonbeam obstinately supports abortion, same sex marriage, etc.

          We need to write to the Bishop about Canon 915 and Canon 1399, to encourage compliance.

  4. St. Christopher says

    Yes, “Amy” the good bishop is likely cut to the same pattern as Cardinal Dolan and the vast majority of USCCB bishops — embrace modernity, be entirely ignorant of what “being Catholic” really means. In fact, almost all bishops no longer read, or understand Latin, at any level. And, they are almost all anti-Traditional. Who cares what Popes say about the TLM? Not these guys. And look at what they call a “cathedral” in Oakland. The people there should go out of their way not to pay a penny toward the debt toward that place. Instead, give all your money to foster and maintain the TLM at St. Margaret Mary, including elimination of the “ordinary form” latin mass there. Nope, Bishop Barber will be a “company man” much like his predecessor, who has done virtually nothing at all in San Francisco to change things toward the orthodox. Why? Because the “Dolan American Catholic Church” sees what is going on now as “Orthodox enough”. This brings to mind a recent homily at a church run by the Franciscans in Northern Virginia. It is like many in CA, where the pastors demand that all parishoners “obey” and not show too much devotion. This Dolanite Franciscan demanded that all people going to communion not genuflect, as they did not want anyone to seem “holier than thou” types in “their” church. Perhaps the Bishop could sell the “cathedral” and take the money and build a simple, traditional, church (or several) in Oakland. However, we do need to pray for the Bishop; the Holy Ghost always has the last word.

    • This is why the CCC is so important. Because of those Bishops and Priests who are not faithful to the teachings of the Church, and confuse people.

      Read GIRM on the USCCB web site – you have the right to kneel and/or receive Holy Communion on the tongue if you so choose.
      When you accurately know your Faith, you can insist that those in error adhere to the Faith as well.

      These are the documents that everyone must be familiar with – because even Bishops MUST conform –
      1) “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”,
      2) Code of Canon Law, and
      3) GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal).
      (They are all on the Vatican web site.)
      Never be afraid to correct ERROR – even if as a last resort you must report a Bishop to the Vatican.

      • Catherine says

        TANNER is also a faithful apostle. TANNER, This is a faithful Catholic website yet you are being pridefully assailed by your own fellow apostles as if you were an evil and misleading voice in the wilderness. Catholics should truly value your grace filled desire to cooperate with the Teachings of the Catholic Church. Fellow Catholics are free to live and explain which traditions that they hold fast without undermining this valuable teaching tool that clarifies and instructs. It is one thing to fight the encroachment of pervasive evils but it is a sign of lack of understanding or a lack of love when good men do not support or see the value of other good men who are only pointing attention to obeying God. Yes, we should hold fast to traditions but not at the expense of undermining or taunting fellow Catholics who valiantly strive to ONLY serve God.

        The Catechism of the Catholic Church is very important. Anyone who belittles or distorts it’s importance IS not thinking clearly, no matter how much they have been wounded by changes within the Church. We have all been wounded. No servant is greater than the Master.

        This taunting can also be showing that someone is thinking in terms or comparing the CCC to the Protestant rally of Sola Scriptura. They do not understand the entire compendium or meaning of the CCC or it’s value and then attempt to habitually turn it into a pride-filled competition.

        It is one thing to assist the devil out of dangerous gullibility or sheer ignorance but we are not supposed to assist the devil out of foolish pride.

        TANNER, Many heretical teachers in positions of authority become either enraged or compliant when a member of the faithful clarifies a particular Church teaching from the CCC. There are numerous stories and I have witnessed this personally when speaking with a bishop. In some circumstances, it is like holding a Crucifix up to Dracula and in other circumstances the bisop in authority will understand that you are informed and that you do have the holy privilege to kneel if you want to kneel or to receive Holy Communion on the tongue if you want.

        Dissenters mock and hate the CCC, because it beautifully instructs with the Wisdom of Holy Mother Church. Heretics, dissenters and betrayers love to see the CCC Second Edition mocked and devalued in any way possible. It makes their job of confusing others SO much easier. Yes, many are suffering because of the loss of faith yet we are not supposed to foolishly aid and abet the devil out of pride or anger or injustice.

        It is wrong to completely undermine or mock the value of the CCC Second Edition because of certain revisions or translations that have been corrected. The CCC Second Edition IS a compendium of Sacred Scripture and the traditions that the faithful SHOULD hold fast to, even when those in authority reject those traditions. Catholics who truly understand their Catholic faith may always hold fast the good traditions that they have learned and lived. They may also enrich fellow Catholics who are interested with knowledge of these traditions. It takes great love and patience to open the CCC and share it’s rich treasury with friends or with someone who is serially offending God.

        In a turbulent atmosphere of spiritual warfare that is aimed at the destruction of many souls , it is certainly not pleasing to God to competitively or pridefully undermine a fellow Catholic who is faithful or undermine a faithfully courageous priest who is striving to help others uphold the Church’s teachings that are contained in the CCC Second edition

        It is always disheartening to see foolish pride or envy come before truth and it is also disheartening to see a good person ignore Jesus’s important instructions to OBEY His Commandments and LOVE one another as He loved us. TANNER IS ONLY OBEYING AND LOVING GOD by pointing, never to himself, but to the beautiful truths contained in the CCC Second Edition.

        We are battling against the agendas of dark powers and dark principalities…not against faithful Catholics. The Servant of God Father John Hardon SJ urged us to: “Learn and live the faith; speak, write and teach it; coordinate, cooperate, and organize “without competitiveness”, and suffer and endure all the trials and tribulations that can be expected when spreading the truth in a pagan society.”

      • Anonymous says

        Very good, someone who understands the function and purpose of the CCC etc.

        • Catherine says

          Thank you!

        • Skai, since you said this post is yours – only YOU have tried to put words in other people’s mouth that never existed and never was stated nor intended by them.
          Everyone quoting Church teaching (CCC), has stated it is Church teaching and Catholics are required to adhere to its contents.
          Many have quoted Popes John Paul II, Benedict, and now Francis in asking us all to study the CCC so we will accurately know our Faith.

          Those who quote Church teaching are not giving their personal opinions.

    • Let’s be sure that we have all of the facts correct. The Ordaining Bishop was the Metropolitan for the area, Archbishop Cordelione. At the start of the event, just after the procession, he made special mention of and welcome to Governor Brown, who himself had studied at a Jesuit seminary. The Archbishop also mentioned how wonderful that the event was taking place in the magnificant cathedral. I understand that some people don’t like the architecture. That is fine and it is their choice. But, there are plenty of people who do like it and call it their home parish. It sings of the new evangelism called for in VII. You can also be certain that very few people will contribute to the TLM because so few people know what it is and where it is. Except for the few people who act as religious police on this site and a few hundred others who attend the TLM throughout the diocese, it is not a subject brought up in day to day conversation by most Catholics. That is not a bad thing, it just is! Most of the people I know who are very active in the church are out feeding the poor and the homeless, conducting Bible studies as juvenile prisons, etc. For the most part, Latin has not been taught in U.S. high schools for nearly 50 years. Why would anyone be in the streets protesting the use of English? When you consider that Mass, each weekend, is said in dozens of languages, throughout the diocese, the pastors have enough to do without using a dead language few, if any people understand.

      • Spoken like a good, modern Protestant, Bob.

        • Jim McCrea says

          Ad hominem comment aside, what do you find wrong about what Bob had to say?

        • gravey, you’re confusing and even conflating your labels. What Bob has said is NOT modernism, as in the heresy that you and others like you enjoy hurling at other people. There’s nothing remotely “modernist” about it. Admit it: this silly accusation you hurl at people is sounding like a cliche.

          • Bob One generates his theology and religion out of a bureaucratic mentality: This is a heresy, basing salvation on a passing fad is a false religion. Modernism is the summation of all heresies, therefore Bob One is a modernist.

          • You have no proof. Straight up. You’re all about being presumptuous, which makes your comments/arguments Skai, illogical, invalid, wrong!

          • Anonymous says

            Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies. Skai, can you write a post that doesn’t make insulting assumptions about the person you are replying to? It would help your posts immensely. Do you even know what a modernist is? Why would you call Bob one that? Who bases their salvation on a passing fad? The Church is not a bureaucracy. It is a hierarchy-like the 9 choirs of angels. I don’t want to hurt your feelings because I know it takes a long time to learn Catholicism and when you come from a different Christian denomination there is a lot to unlearn, but sometimes your post just sound like you are needling people with words and ideas that you don’t have a full grasp of. I hope you can handle that without getting too indignant. Sorry if it was offensive. Trying to let you know as a friend.

      • Canisius says

        Much like the “new springtime of Vatican 2” Bob One’s comments are nonsense as usual. He is another relic of a failed generation that has left a devastated vineyard that is so worried about “feeding the poor” but does not once think about the welfare of their souls. Bob is proper modernist who detests the TLM along with most of the liberals that post here, one thing is for sure the remnant of the faithful who survive the coming persecution at the hands of the State and their sodomite allies will be attending the TLM.

      • All Latin (Extraordinary Form) Masses must adhere to the 1962 Roman Missal. This was approved by the Vatican.
        The 1962 Missal has the Latin with the English translation immediately across from it on the same page (for those who do not understand Latin).
        The English words are beautiful.
        Through the teaching of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict, and now Pope Francis, the Latin Mass is being revived throughout the entire World.

        Bob One, as my sainted grandmother used to say – “If you don’t know, shut up”.

  5. If Moonbeam Jerry is a Jesuit, there is not hope for the order.

  6. And so it starts…all the attacks on the new Bishop. Sad.
    He is, from all I’ve read, very faithful and dedicated, and not some wild-eyed, marijuana-smoking liberal.
    If you’ve got Bishops like Tom Daly and Salvatore Cordileone as the major consecrators of Bishop Barber, that, too, speaks volumes!!!

  7. Read what you can about Bishop Emeritus John Cummins and you will understand why the Cathedral in Oakland is unlike other Cathedrals. As
    was stated above, it should be sold and something else erected in its place. It
    can hardly be called a place of worship that helps to lift your mind and heart to God. There was a wonderful article about Bishop John Cummins just a few days ago in Cal Catholic Daily. It is an accurate account of his tenure as Bishop and what he brought to California and the rest of the United States. We can all hang our heads in shame for allowing it to happen and not doing more to fight it. And now we are all paying the price for his ill conceived efforts in strengthening the gay agenda and life style. God help us and protect us against Bishops and clergy such as he is.

  8. governor brown did receivae caommunion at the hands of a smiling ‘Bishop Barber , no less; opposiston to right t o life and not being married iin the Church does not seem to matter if you are a Jesuit!

  9. Michael, May 28 – 12:11 P.M. These are not attacks but merely statements of truth. As the old saying goes “and the truth shall set you free” and it also enlightens one as to what is in store for the diocese of Oakland. Bishop Barber already stated before he was installed that he would not engage in the politics about Same Sex Marriage as AB Cordioleone has but that he was going to serve the poor. That is admirable, to say the least. But we also must adhere to the laws of morality and the church about abortion, same sex marriage, etc. The last time I checked, these things are mortal sins.

    • Please read the story about the Pope’s comments about Faith Police. He has said, in other morning homilies, that we should be good people and do good things. We don’t have to get too legalistic to be saved. Just believe in the Lord Jesus as your savior, love your neighbor as yourself, and all the other stuff will work itself out.

      • Bob One – be careful how you quote Pope Francis if you want to be accurate.
        He never said people should be or remain ignorant.

        Here is an accurate quote:
        “ In this Year of Faith let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments. ” – Pope Francis 5/13/2013

        • Abeca Christian says

          The problem with interpretation, what the Pope actually said can be another thing. I remember reading about when Mother Teresa was alive, she spoke in front of a special event of some sort in another country. She had an interpreter there…as mother Teresa was speaking, she then took a pause and turned to her interpreter and said “stop saying things that I am not saying” or something to that effect…’s interesting how the Holy Ghost warned her that her interpreter was not accurately interpreting what she was saying.

          I hope our Pope will catch those things.

  10. If the new Bishop refuses to teach Faith and Morals, but merely help the poor – in is in the wrong profession.
    Are you sure he said he would not teach Faith and Morals. Where can we find this quote?

  11. Abeca Christian says

    There were many saints who encouraged the faithful to be Church Militants….so we must not confuse this message with the other.

  12. Another blog mentioned the new Bishop’s comments after his ordination and investiture. The new bishop’s mention of the cleric who baptized him – Fr John Cummins, later Oakland’s shepherd for half the diocese’s 50-year history – scored a raucous standing ovation … and paid a wavering-voiced tribute to the prelate who ordained him a priest: John Raphael Quinn, former Archbishop of San Francisco.

    • Applause, the voice of God??

    • “Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.”
      -Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

      “It is not fitting to applaud the servant in the house of his Master.”
      – Pope St. Pius X .

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.