One of patron saints of the diocese
Bishops to preside at celebrations in honor of
Our Lady of Guadalupe
As Catholics across the Diocese of Sacramento gather to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas and one of the patron saints of the diocese, Bishop Jaime Soto and Auxiliary Bishop Myron J. Cotta will preside at celebrations in her honor.
On Saturday, Dec. 10, Bishop Cotta will preside at a Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 11:30 a.m. in St. Basil Church, located at 1225 Tuolumne St. in Vallejo. (https://stbasilvallejo.org/).
On Sunday, Dec. 11, Bishop Soto will preside at a procession and Mass at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, located at 711 T Street in Sacramento. (https://guadalupe-sacramento.org/)
On Monday, Dec. 12, the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Bishop Soto will preside at the Mananitas Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 5 a.m. in St Theresa Church, located at 1041 Lyons Ave. in South Lake Tahoe. The Mass will be followed by breakfast. (http://www.tahoecatholic.com/)
That same day, Bishop Soto will preside at Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 12 p.m. on the campus of California State University, Sacramento. For more details on location visit http://www.sacramentonewman.org/).
That same day, Bishop Cotta will preside at Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 5:30 p.m. in St. Thomas the Apostle Church, located at 1330 Bird St. in Oroville. (http://www.orovillecatholic.org/).
In 1910, Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Patroness of Latin America and in 1945 Pope Pius XII declared her to be the Empress of all of the Americas.
Check your parish bulletin and websites for other Masses and celebrations in the diocese in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The U.S. bishops have declare the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be a day of prayer and solidarity with families of immigrants, with a focus on the plight of refugees and migrants. According to a Dec. 1 press release, “it will be a time to place before a merciful God the hopes, fears and needs of all those families who have come to the U.S. seeking a better life.” (For more information, visit the link below.)
taken up Dec. 10-11 in parishes
Annual collection helps elderly sisters, brothers and religious order priests in U.S.
The annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be held Dec. 10-11 in parishes of the Diocese of Sacramento. Now in its 29th year, the collection is coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) and benefits nearly 33,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests whose religious communities lack adequate retirement funding.
The appeal raised $30.7 million in 2015, the sixth highest total in its history. As a result, the NRRO distributed $25 million to 401 religious communities across the county. Communities utilize this assistance to bolster retirement savings and subsidize such day-to-day expenses as prescription medications and nursing care. Throughout the year, additional funding is allocated for religious congregations with the greatest needs. A portion of the proceeds also supports education in retirement planning and eldercare delivery.
"The ongoing generosity toward the needs of senior religious is truly heartwarming," said Sister Stephanie Still, a member of the Sisters of the Presentation and the newly-appointed executive director of the NRRO.
The U.S. bishops initiated the Retirement Fund for Religious in 1988 to address the significant lack of retirement funding among religious communities in the United States. Proceeds are distributed to eligible communities to help underwrite retirement and health-care expenses. Since the collection began, Catholics have contributed more than $785 million. Almost 95 percent of donations directly support senior religious and their communities.
Despite overwhelming generosity to the collection, many religious communities continue to struggle to provide for aging members. Of 550 communities submitting data to the NRRO in 2015, only 8 percent were adequately funded for retirement.
served in diocese for 30 years
Memorial Mass for Father Alfred Kaster is Saturday, Dec. 17 at St. Thomas More Church in Paradise
Bishop Jaime Soto will preside at a memorial Mass for Father Alfred Kaster, a priest serving in the Diocese of Sacramento for 30 years before his retirement from active ministry, on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. in St. Thomas More Church, located at 767 Elliott Road in Paradise. A reception will follow the Mass in the parish hall.
Father Kaster retired from active ministry in January 2004. He died on Nov. 28 in Long Lake, Minn., where he resided. He was 85.
A native of Long Lake, Father Kaster graduated from the Crosier Seminary in 1952 and under the supervision of the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., he completed his philosophy and theology education at the Benedictine Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood for Diocese of Duluth and served there for 25 years before being transferred to California due to health reasons.
In the Diocese of Sacramento, Father Kaster served from 1983 to 2002 as associate pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Placerville. From 2002 to 2003, he was parochial administrator of St. Thomas More Parish in Paradise; He served as parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish and St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Auburn from 2003 to 2004 and at St. John the Baptist Parish in Chico from January to April 2004.
at the end of 2016-17 school year
Diocese announces closure of Holy Cross Academy
in West Sacramento
The Diocese of Sacramento announced Dec. 2 to parents and families of Holy Cross Academy in West Sacramento that the school would close May 31 at the end of the 2016-17 school year. The school, which has operated for 60 years, serves about 180 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“Everyone at Holy Cross Academy – families, staff and students – have worked incredibly hard to keep the school open,” said Lincoln Synder, Executive Director of Catholic Schools, in the letter to parents and families. “Sometimes that’s just not enough, and sadly, this is one of those times. The gap between tuition and the cost to educate plus increasing maintenance costs have forced us to make this hard decision.”
Snyder emphasized that any family from Holy Cross that wants their student to remain enrolled in Catholic school will be guaranteed placement at another school in the diocese, and that any student currently eligible for financial aid will continue to receive that financial aid regardless of which Catholic school they enroll in for the 2017-18 school year. He said there are a dozen other schools within a 10-mile radius of Holy Cross Academy.
Snyder also released in the letter other details to families wishing to transition their children to another Catholic school. Link here to read the full text of Lincoln Snyder's letter of Dec. 2
On Dec. 7, Snyder told The Sacramento Bee that Catholic schools are establishing a scholarship fund that will follow affected students for the balance of their K-8 years. “We know that once we’ve committed to a family at a certain level, it’s our presumption we’re going to stay with them at that level through their (eighth grade) education,” he said.
Bishop Jaime Soto on Dec. 8 released a statement saying that with the closure of Holy Cross Academy “we are not leasing the facilities to a charter school enterprise. I want to support the neighboring Catholic schools as they incorporate the children and families from Holy Cross Academy. The bishop added that he was “instructing the pastor to consult with his pastoral and finance council to make a recommendation to me regarding the future use of the (school) buildings.”
Serving those in need
Vincentians gather at Top Hat dinner to present service awards to parish conferences
More than 250 members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP) in the diocese gathered on Dec. 4 for the annual “Top Hat” dinner to reflect on the Vincentians’ accomplishments during 2016.
Several awards were presented at the dinner. At left, Paul Starkey, president of the SVDP Sacramento Diocesan Council, congratulates Chaig Shaw of the St. Vincent de Paul conference at St. Mel Parish in Fair Oaks, as Marion Bishop of the Sacramento East District looks on. Shaw received the Top Hat award, so named to honor the Society’s principal founder, Frederic Ozanam, who was known to wear a top hat in the style of 19th century Paris. The award is presented each year to recognize – in Vincentian fellowship – an individual from among the Society who, in the model of Ozanam, has demonstrated exemplary Vincentian virtues in service to the poor. (Photo by Cathy Joyce).
Immaculate Conception Parish conference in Sacramento received the Blessed Sister Rosalie Rendu Award for excellence, with Mary De Lost, conference president, accepting the award. The award is named for a Daughter of Charity who was performing Vincentian acts of charity in Paris before the first conference was formed. It was to Sister Rosalie that Ozanam and his companions turned to learn how to serve those in need.
The Emmanuel Bailey Award was presented to the conference at St. Joseph Parish in Lincoln. Ron Morin, Placer District president, accepted the award, which recognizes a conference or council president for exemplary servant leadership in the manner of Emmanuel Bailey, the Society’s first conference president. This award is selected by the council president.
To learn more about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the Diocese of Sacramento, visit www.svdp-sacramento.org.
you helped others encounter christ
Annual Catholic Appeal releases its 2016 'Report of Gratitude' to parishioners
As the faithful celebrate Thanksgiving, Auxiliary Bishop Myron J. Cotta, chair of the 2016 Annual Catholic Appeal, and Stan Devereux, executive director of The Catholic Foundation, invite all parishioners to view the 2016 Annual Catholic Appeal “Report of Gratitude” by visiting www.tcfsac.org.
In a letter to parishioners in the diocese, they noted: “Your generosity enabled Catholic charitable organizations and parish ministries assist thousands of people, many in your own neighborhood. This year, throughout the diocese, a near-record number – more than 24,000 Catholic households – participated in the appeal. You helped more than 200,000 men, women and children, sometimes entire families -- receive material and financial assistance.
“We may not all be able to work in a bread line, but together we financially supported the efforts of food lockers or St. Vincent de Paul conferences. Together in spirit, we made home visits to drop off food or deliver a check for a late rent payment or electric bill that occurred because of unexpected illness or job layoff. Together, the funds we raised went directly to the organizations that provide support to people like Leon. Once homeless and struggling with mental illness, you helped Leon find an apartment, a car and a job as he successfully manages his mental illness.”
The 2016 ACA is approaching $3.5 million in donations. The Catholic Foundation is still accepting donations for 2016. You can donate online by visiting www.tcfsac.org.
to mark 100th anniversary of apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima
Bishop Myron J. Cotta
leading pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal Sept. 15-24, 2017
The year 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady appeared six times to the Three Shepherd Children -- Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco -- between May 13 and Oct. 13 in 1917.
In honor of the centenary anniversary of the apparitions, the Diocese of Sacramento is sponsoring a 10-day pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal, from Sept. 15-24, 2017, with Bishop Myron J. Cotta as its leader.
"I invite you to join me on this special pilgrimage to Fatima," Bishop Cotta says. "It promises to be a unique location for the experience of prayer. It will give the pilgrim the opportunity to reflect upon the significance of the message which Our Lady conveyed to the three children and to the world. The message of mercy revealed at Fatima is an ideal way to follow the recent celebration of the Year of Mercy. In addition, you will enjoy several excursions in the surrounding area outside of Fatima. We will conclude with a vist to the historical and cultural sights of the beautiful city of Lisbon."
For more detailed information about this pilgrimage, including booking your space, visit the links below.
Parish receives replica of Holy Door
Father Snyder, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Redding, granted private audience with Pope Francis at conclusion
of the Year of Mercy
Father George T. Snyder, Jr., pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Redding, greets Pope Francis on Oct. 28 during a recent pilgrimage to Rome for the Year of Mercy. Father Snyder was accompanied by his mother, Elvira Snyder of Fairfield.
They were granted a private Mass and audience with the Holy Father on the feast of Saints Simon and Jude in the Chapel of Santa Marta Residence. Father Snyder was one of 11 priests invited to concelebrate Mass with Pope Francis and 38 guests also attended.
After the Mass and private audience with the Holy Father, Father Snyder's group met with Cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general of the Holy Father and president of the Fabric of St. Peter. Members of the group received a blessing and private tour inside the Vatican. Cardina Comastri presented St. Joseph Parish a brick and bronze replica of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica.
In his homily on the feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Pope Francis noted that the cornerstone of life for Christians is Jesus who is praying for us, pointing out that Jesus always turned to prayer at all of the key moments in his life.
(Text courtesy of Father George Snider, Jr.,; photo courtesy of Bill Koppes)
bishop alphonse Gallegos recognized as venerable by pope
Late Sacramento bishop on his way to becoming a saint
Bishop Jaime Soto presided at a Mass of thanksgiving for Venerable Alphonse Gallegos on Saturday, Nov. 19, in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento. Prior to the Mass, there was a brief wreath-laying ceremony at Bishop Gallegos' statue, located on 11th Street between K and L Streets.
Pope Francis has advanced the sainthood cause of the late Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, who served as auxiliary bishop of Sacramento from 1981 until his death in an auto accident near Yuba City in 1991. He was particularly known for his ministry to farmworkers and the poor and marginalized. He was a member of the Order of Augustinian Recollects.
In his homily during the Mass of thanksgiving, Bishop Soto noted: "Peter and Paul were described as 'the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.' Today we honor another olive tree and lampstand who stood humbly before the Lord while on earth and now stands joyful in the Lord's presence among the heavenly court. While still hoping for the day when the church will formally canonize our brother, Alphonse Gallegos, as a saint of the church, we his friends and family still cherish his enduring friendship and savor the blessed testimony of Christian discipleship he tenderly gave to us." (Visit the link below to read the full text of Bishop Soto's homily in English and Spanish.)
Bishop Gallegos was known as the “bishop of the barrio” because of his work with the marginalized and the “lowrider” bishop because of his support for members of local modified-car clubs. He was particularly concerned about the poor, un-catechized young people, migrants and other people who lacked support from the community, and often spent his summer vacations living with farmworkers in the Central Valley.
(In photos above; Bishop Jaime Soto, right, greets retired Auxiliary Bishop David Arias of Newark, N.J., a member of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, left, as Bishop Emeritus William K. Weigand looks on near the statue of Bishop Gallegos on 11th St. in Sacramento; Bishop Gallegos' niece, Loretta Lee, lays a wreath at his statue. Cathy Joyce photos)
concluding the year of mercy
Bishop Soto presides at closing of Holy Door at Cathedral during celebration of feast of Christ the King
Bishop Jaime Soto presided at the closing of the Holy Door at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento to conclude the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The bishop closed the center front doors of the cathedral during 5 p.m. Mass on Sunday, Nov. 20, signifying the official end to the Jubilee Year of Mercy and celebrating the feast of Christ the King.
In his homily, Bishop Soto noted that the Jubilee Year of Mercy "has been an extraordinary time for us to rediscoer the power of the Mercy of Jesus. Pope Francis has helped us understand that the mercy of Jesus is the mission of the church. The mercy of Jesus is the truth and power of the disciples of Jesus. We have received the mercy of the Father from the crucified Christ and so we are called to be merciful like the Father by imitating the crucified Christ." (See the link below to read the full text of Bishop Soto's homily.)
In Vatican City, Pope Francis, celebraitng the feast of Christ the King and officially closing the extraordinary Jubilee celebration of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis insisted "we have received mercy in order to be merciful." In his homily, Pope Francis said that even if the Holy Door is closed, "the true door of mercy, which is the heart of Christ, always remains open wide for us."
At the end of the Mass, Pope Francis signed his new apostolic letter, "Misericordia et Misera" (Mercy and Misery), which a papal aide announced was written to affirm that the commitment to sharing the merciful love of God continues because it is "the heart of the Gospel."
'in the oasis of mercy...'
Bishop Soto celebrates Mass, blesses chapel door at Folsom State Prison as Year of Mercy comes to a close
Bishop Jaime Soto made a pastoral visit and celebrated Mass at Folsom State Prison on Saturday, Nov. 5. Below he shares his reflections on the visit.
Sin and its consequences can overwhelm a prison environment. Shame and sorrow, fear and anger, bitterness and retribution, regret and despair -- these can be the daily grind wearing down the souls of those incarcerated.
Father Humberto Gomez, the chaplain at Folsom State Prison, brought a request from the Catholic inmates that I open a Holy Door of Mercy. Because of their predicament, they could not make a pilgrimage to any of the available holy doors in the diocese. Would I open the door for them at Folsom?
I responded to their request on Saturday morning, Nov. 5. I performed the rite celebrated at the Cathedral and many churches when the Jubilee Year of Mercy began. The ritual in Folsom seemed to bring the Year of Mercy full circle. We should always be walking through the door of God's mercy. I asked that, when crossing the threshold of the door into the chapel, they imagine themselves entering into the wounded side of Christ and touching His sacred heart. As Catholics, we should do that with one another and for one another.
It was good to live that out in such a visible way at Folsom Prison. I found myself in the oasis of mercy urged by Pope Francis.
digital edition on this website
of Catholic Herald magazine
is published; stories focus
on Catholic Charities
The November-December issue of Catholic Herald magazine of the Diocese of Sacramento has been published. The digital edition is available on the right margin of this website or by clicking on the image at the left.
The theme of this issue is Catholic Charities and charitable volunteers. The cover story, "It Fills My Heart to Help People," features an interview with Blake Young, president/CEO of Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, a Catholic Charities agency of the Diocese of Sacramento. Blake leads a monumental effort to assure that no one goes hungry in Sacramento County. He details how SFBFS staff and volunteers are working overtime to supply more than 220 food pantries and closets in the county with enough food to help eradicate hunger and bring self-sufficiency to those in need.
Other feature stories include how Northern Valley Catholic Social Service has had a "mission to serve" in six northern counties of the diocese for the past 30 years and has served thousands of people in need; how Catholic Charities of Yolo/Solano is expanding with services to strengthen individual lives and families in need; how SFBFS assisted Samer and Mena Takmaje, refugees from Iraq, in making Sacramento their new home; and how Father Michael Canny and parishioners of St. Anthony in Mount Shasta, St. John the Evangelist in Dunsmuir and St. Joseph in McCloud serve needs and provide social outreach in the Siskiyou County communities.
Bishop Jaime Soto is publisher of the magazine, which is published six times each year and includes moving faith stories and high-quality photography about Catholics in the diocese as well as news and events of the local church. Individual faith stories are the cornerstone of Catholic Herald Magazine and columns also explore the Catholic faith and educate about the teachings of the church. To donate $15 per year to receive Catholic Herald, call (916) 733-0266.
reiterates church teaching
Vatican instruction: Cremated bodies may not be scattered
CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY, OCT. 25 -- The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released an instruction Oct. 25 regarding burial and cremation, reiterating the church's teaching that cremation, while strongly discouraged, can be permissible under certain restrictions -- and that scattering the ashes is forbidden.
Ad resurgendum cum Christo, or "To rise with Christ," states taht while cremation "is not prohibited" the Catholic church "continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased, because this shows a great esteem towards the deceased."
The document explains that after "legitimate motives" for cremation have been ascertained, the "ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place," such as in a cemetery or church. It goes on to state that it is not pemitted to keep the ashes in a home or to scatter them "in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects."
"The burial, the last liturgy for us, is an expression of our hope for the resurrection, wrote Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the congregation, "and therefore the church continues to teach that the normal burial of the body is the normal form."
As the document explains, "by burying the bodies of the faithful, the church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body, and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity."
through February 2017
Saints of Mercy relics tour being hosted by various parishes and schools
The Divine Mercy Support Network is coordinating the Saints of Mercy Relics Tour through February 2017 at various parishes and schools in the Diocese of Sacramento.
The tour includes 30 relics of saints, blessed from Rome. They are ordinary men, women and children who embraced Christ's call to holiness and discipleship by living lives of faith-filled mercy through daily life and service.
The Saints of Mercy Relics Tour includes booklets about the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the tour, which are beautifully-designed with hand-illustrated portraits of the saints and include prayers for the veneration of the saints and their relics.
In photo above, the relics recently were displayed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Fairfield for 24 hours. Left to right: Deacon Raymond Elias, Carmelite Father Pedro Manilag (parochial vicar) and Carmelite Father David Fontaine (pastor). Some 700 people attended each Mass and venerated the relics. Some 300 people attended the blessing and anointing of the sick. Hundreds came to venerate the relics during the all-night vigil. The parish's "The Army of God" youth ministry led praise and worship form 12:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
For dates and locations of the tour, visit the link below. For additional information or questions, contact John Doering at (530) 677-2805 or at info@DivineMercySacramento.org.
Learn about liturgy, worship, prayer
Series of liturgical formation workshops being offered
The Diocesan Liturgical Commission’s committee on formation, in conjunction with the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis, is offering a series of workshops leading to a liturgy specialization certificate. The series continues on Jan. 7.
The five-part series is for those who do sacramental preparation, liturgical ministers and coordinators, musicians, members of liturgy committees and anyone who wants to learn more about liturgy, worship and prayer. Anyone discerning involvement in a liturgical ministry will also find these workshops helpful.
Each workshop will take place on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Parish, located at 660 Florin Road in Sacramento.
— Session 3, Jan. 7, 2017: Source and Summit of the Christian Life: The Holy Eucharist and the Mass.
— Session 4, March 18: Medicine of Mercy: Sacraments of Healing.
— Session 5, April 29: The Joy of the Gospel: Sacraments at the service of the church and the world.
The cost to attend is $45 per workshop (including lunch and snacks.) For more information, visit the link below or contact James Cavanagh at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 733-0221.
searchable PDF on this website
Diocese of Sacramento 2016 Directory is now available
The 2016 edition of the Diocese of Sacramento Directory is now available for purchase.
The directory contains contact information for all parishes, schools, diocesan offices and institutions and agencies of the diocese. The directory also contains listings for all priests, deacons and men and women religious.
A searchable PDF of the 2016 diocesan directory is available on this website (see right hand navigation margin). Here you can search all content in the directory.
Additional copies of the directory may be purchased by using the link to the PDF form below. If you wish to order, print out the form with your requested order. The suggested donation per book is $14.50 ($10 plus $4.50 for postage and handling). You may pay $10 per book (and avoid the postage and handling fee) by picking up your directory order at the Diocesan Pastoral Center at 2110 Broadway in Sacramento from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Only orders with payment by check or money order payable to the Diocese of Sacramento will be processed.
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