Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Sunday Homilies

Homily for 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, January 31, 2010
(Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

In his homily for Jan. 31, Father McSorley honors St. Bernard School and speaks about the value of a Catholic education.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Catholic Schools Week; funeral for my cousin

Today we begin Catholic Schools Week.

We celebrate the great contribution of Catholic school to the well-being of our church and our society. We especially celebrate the marvelous achievement of St. Bernard School over the past 69 years. We thank all those who have been a part of the great success of our parish school and we rejoice that the mission of St. Bernard School continues with the dedication of the present Principal Margaret Samaniego, the faculty, staff, parents and students.

St. Bernard School is truly the jewel of Glassell Park.


During the past week I celebrated the funeral Mass in Phoenix for my first cousin, Father John Cullinan. He had been a priest of the Phoenix diocese for the past 64 years. This week I will be accompanying his body back to Ireland. There will be another funeral Mass, and he will be laid to rest beside his parents and his brother, Dan, who was a priest of the diocese of Sacramento. Please remember him in your prayers.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Together in Mission 2010: A Time for Reflection

This week, you are asked to read and reflect upon the Together in Mission materials that you received today.

Together in Mission provides substantial financial support to 35 parishes and 61 schools in our Archdiocese. These parishes and schools provide education, ministry and a Catholic presence for tens of thousands of our sisters and brothers.

Sometimes it is difficult to envision how your pledge can help so many people. But, it does. To see how, please review the materials and read the statements of those whose parishes and schools receive support.

The theme of the campaign is “I Give Thanks to You, Lord" (Psalm 138:1). Together in Mission provides an opportunity to show our concern for those served by the parishes and schools that need your financial support. If you received your pledge form in the mail, please complete it and mail it back or bring it to Mass next weekend.

Also, we will conduct our annual Together in Mission in-pew pledge process at all Masses next weekend and the following weekend. As always, what you give should be given in gratitude and thanksgiving for what God has given to you.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration and generous response. St. Bernard School is blessed to receive a subsidy each year from Together in Mission.


Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple; Feast of St. Blaise

Feb. 2 is the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Candles will be blessed and available for purchase at the 8 a.m. Mass.

Feb. 3 is the Feast of St. Blaise. The blessing of throats will be offered at the 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Masses.

Saint Agatha (d. 251) (Feb. 5)

By Peter Scagnelli

“Of noble birth and great beauty,” so the ancient accounts describe Saint Agatha, martyred during an early persecution for refusing a powerful Roman’s offer of marriage, since she had consecrated her virginity to Christ.

An early preacher, St. Methodius, reflects instead on her name, noting that, in Greek, Agatha means “good,” goodness being something we can all strive for, nobly born or common, blessed with beauty—or not! So brutal the tortures that violated her youthful innocence, Agatha, like Agnes and several other women martyrs, was honored from time immemorial by having her name inscribed in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I).

Long invoked as protector against earthquakes — Mount Etna erupted as she was being tortured — recent attention has focused on the particularly cruel torture decreed for Agatha, the cutting off of her breasts. This has inspired cancer survivors to promote St. Agatha as patron and intercessor for women courageously facing breast cancer, for their families and the multitude of supporters who participate in fund-raising marches and races, and, of course, for the dedicated researchers who seek a cure.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Theology on Tap on YouTube

The young adults of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles put together this video promoting Theology on Tap, which is held every summer throughout the archdiocese.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Sunday Homilies

Homily for 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, January 24, 2010
(Third Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Father Paul promotes the California Legislative Network, where we, as Catholic voters, will receive education on how legislation is impacting our Catholic life.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Please help the suffering people of Haiti

Catholic Relief Services is one of the charitable agencies helping the victims.

You may send a donation to: Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090 Baltimore, MD 21203-7090.

Memo portion of check: Haiti Relief; or you may leave your donation in our church office or place it in the collection basket on Sunday.

You may make out the check to St. Bernard Church. We will forward all earthquake donations to Catholic Relief Services.

The need is great!!

— Rev. Gerald McSorley,
St. Bernard's Church

Friday, January 22, 2010

Food for 50,000 at Haiti Camp

By Michael Hill
Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services is increasing our delivery of aid to the people of Haiti, preparing to hand out supplies to feed 50,000 people at a camp in Port-au-Prince as we take over food delivery in the devastated town of Leogane.

Working with the parishes of Port-au-Prince, CRS is also identifying up to 50 points throughout the city that will be used for food distribution that could reach as many as 150,000. Parish personnel will organize the distributions, registering recipients, as CRS provides food and logistical support. This comes as flights head to Haiti, filled with those who will tend to its sick and injured and those who will mourn its dead.

A team of doctors from the University of Maryland, Baltimore — a partner with CRS in the AIDSRelief consortium that works to combat that disease in Haiti — is heading to Haiti to assess bringing in more University of Maryland doctors to staff the St. Francois de Sales hospital.

CRS helped to get this heavily damaged site — one of the largest and oldest hospitals in Port-au-Prince — back in operation. AIDSRelief had been active at St. Francois de Sales and an AIDSRelief doctor from the University of Maryland's Institute of Human Virology is already at work there along with many Haitian and international medical teams. The additional University of Maryland doctors would open a fourth operating room.

CRS President Ken Hackett is in Haiti with Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, the CRS board chairman; and Msgr. David Malloy, the general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. They will attend the Saturday funeral of Joseph Serge Miot, the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince who died in the January 12 earthquake. The funeral and burial will be held on the grounds of the city's cathedral, which lies in ruins.

The flight will also bring relief supplies. Archbishop Dolan says that he will take the opportunity to visit CRS workers and assess how the Church in the United States can best help our efforts.

The generous outpouring of support continues as CRS has raised more than $19 million for Haiti relief, with many donations still to be tallied.

This ramp-up in aid delivery comes as CRS relief workers helped turn the golf course of the Petionville Club into a functioning camp for displaced people. An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 people have been taking shelter at the course. Tokens will be handed out to 10,000 of the families staying there, who will use them to receive the rations — a mixture of corn and soy grains and vegetable oil that will feed a family of five for two weeks.

"We are able to do this because of the security and logistical help provided by the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne," said Annemarie Reilly, CRS' vice president for overseas operations. "Their help is invaluable."

The food comes from the U.S. Agency for International Development's Food for Peace program—supplies that were either already in Haiti or on the way when the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck. Initial relief and recovery efforts focused on Port-au-Prince, where at least a third of the city's 3 million people were affected.

As relief workers began heading out of Port-au-Prince in the days after the quake, they found towns to the west that suffered similar or even worse damage along with thousands of residents who had received no help. One of these towns is Leogane, about 15 miles west of Port-au-Prince, near the quake's epicenter. CRS did an initial food distribution there Wednesday, January 20, as other members of the international Catholic aid group Caritas Internationalis handed out tarpaulins and other supplies.

Now CRS has been asked to take on large-scale food distributions in Leogane and is organizing the delivery and security needed to get help to 50,000 people there. Residents say that as many as 500 nuns, priests and students were crushed to death when Sainte Rose de Lima School collapsed in the quake.

CRS has been working in Haiti for more than 50 years with a variety of aid and development projects. The last emergency response there was in 2008 when a series of major storms caused extensive damage. Now some cities that were devastated by those storms—such as Gonaives—are taking in those displaced from Port-au-Prince. CRS is working to make sure these people have food and shelter.

"We have been in Haiti for a long time and we will be here for a long time to come," said CRS Country Representative Karel Zelenka. "The work in recovering from this disaster has just begun."

Michael Hill is CRS' communications officer for sub-Saharan Africa. He is based at the agency's headquarters in Baltimore.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti earthquake relief: Six ways to give

To contribute to Haiti earthquake relief, here is a sampling of reputable charities responding to the crisis.

Here are ways to help contribute to some of the many reputable charities that are responding to the Haiti earthquake relief effort.

American Red Cross
2025 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
(800) 733-2767

Mail donations to:
P.O. Box 4002018
Des Moines, IA 50340

Donate online directly at

You can donate via your cellphone by sending a text message "HAITI" to "90999." A donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your mobile phone bill.

151 Ellis Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(800) 521-2273

Mail donations to:
P.O. Box 1871
Merrifield, VA 22116

Donate online directly at

Direct Relief International
27 South La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
(805) 964-4767

Donate online directly at

Mercy Corps
Department W
P.O. Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208
(888) 842-0842

Donate online directly at

Oxfam America
226 Causeway Street
5th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
(800) 776-9326
Donate online directly at

World Vision
34834 Weyerhaeuser Way,
Federal Way, WA 98001
(888) 511-6550

Donate online directly at

US Department of State

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sunday Homilies

Homily for 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, January 10, 2010
(The Baptism of the Lord)

Father McSorley talks about John the Baptist and how he pointed people in the direction of Jesus. Jesus himself was very humble, even though he had no need for baptism, because the baptism of John was a sign of repentance ...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Because of the generous contributions we receive, our St. Vincent de Paul Conference was able to hold a grand Christmas party for 196 low-income parish families. Each child was given at least two gifts. Adults all got Super A grocery vouchers. Everyone enjoyed complimentary hot dogs, drinks, snacks and candies. We were also delighted that Santa could attend.

Our special thanks to the Holy Name Society for significant financial support. Thanks, too, to the Super A Foods on Division Street who provided $7,500 in gift certificates on a discount basis and donated the delicious hot dogs.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teach kids to protect themselves at home

We consider our homes to be safe places for our children. But being home alone can pose risks for children. Here are a few tips to teach kids that will help keep them safe when you are not with them at home:

• Never answer the door if alone.
• Do not invite anyone in the house without the permission of a parent or babysitter.
• Don’t tell anyone on the phone that your parents are not home. Instead tell them that your parents can’t come to the phone, and take a message.

For more tips, please visit For particular help, call Assistance Ministry at (213) 637-7650.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Catholic Engaged Encounter

Married? Great! What a better way start 2010 than with a resolution to share your sacrament of matrimony.

Catholic Engaged Encounter provides free training based upon your busy lifestyle. Whether you’ve been married two months or 22 or more years, we need your help.

Call Tom and Diane Krause at (310) 316-4857 or visit

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Commending work and generosity

I wish to commend those whose work and generosity made possible several important parish charitable projects for Christmas: The St. Vincent de Paul Conference of our parish took registrations from 196 families and distributed to those families food vouchers to provide a Christmas meal. Thank you to the members of the Conference. The children of those families also received toys. This part of the project was organized by Berna [Gurule], the parish manager. Thank you to her and to those who helped by donating, wrapping or distributing the toys.

Another project was the Angel Tree Program. Thirty children, whose parents are in prison, received gifts of clothing, a fun gift and the sharing of the Gospel passage (John 3:16). Thank you to Mary Trujillo, program director, to the parishioners who donated the gifts, to those who delivered them to the homes of the children and tour church office staff. This was the second time for our parish participation on the Angel Tree program and it was a great success.

Thanks also to Arlene Wilks for organizing the Advent can and food drive. God reward you all for sharing the Christmas spirit.

Happy new year to all.

The Sunday Homilies

Homily for 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, January 3, 2010
(The Epiphany of the Lord)

In his 9:30 a.m. Mass homily for Jan. 3, 2010 (The Epiphany of the Lord), Father Paul talks about the dynamics of partnerships in life.

Rise up in splendor

This great feast of the Epiphany of the Lord opens with these words: "Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you" (Isaiah 60:1). That reading goes on to describe a world covered with darkness. Even in that world, the prophet announces that the glory of the Lord will shine on Jerusalem.

Many would agree that our world is covered with darkness — the darkness that war, terrorism, and famine bring. Today we announce that even in today's world, the Lord can scatter that darkness, if only we would welcome Epiphany's light.

As we remember the visit of the magi to the manger, let us pray that one day our weary world will rise up in splendor — the splendor of peace and justice.