By Vanessa Bookenhagen

 Every year, without fail, in the midst of the frantic pace of staff and volunteers distributing Christmas food and toys to hundreds of low-income families, the story of the nativity becomes very real and very local for Catholic Charities. This past holiday season, Catholic Charities met the Holy Family in the faces of a local family that had nowhere to rest their heads only days before Christmas.

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California is facing its third straight year of lower than normal rainfall. Because of the potentially dangerous impact on people, industry and the environment, the Catholic Bishops of California are asking all people of faith to join in prayer for God’s mercy and compassion.

View Memo | Suggested prayers | Message from California Catholic Conference

By John Andrews

 For many Catholics in the diocese, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is about the mañanitas, the mariachis, the procession, and reenactments of the story of the Virgin Mary’s apparition to a poor Mexican peasant.

 Indeed, the Feast Day, celebrated December 12, has become a cultural event that has even begun to transcend the Hispanic culture from which it came. Most parishes in the diocese offered multiple activities along with Mass this year. Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in San Bernardino featured a talk on the relationship between Our Lady of Guadalupe and the New Evangelization. In Riverside, Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine led a procession to the top of Mt. Rubidoux for the 15th year in a row, this time in the driving rain. In the Coachella Valley, the 30-mile procession along Interstate 10 from Palm Springs to Coachella once again took place.

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SAN BERNARDINO—In an effort to improve communication with the significant number of local Catholics who speak Spanish as their primary language, the Diocese of San Bernardino has launched El Compás Católico, a Spanish language newspaper that will be distributed in parishes and through Spanish language ministries and groups beginning in December.

 The eight-page newspaper will be published quarterly and features articles written by diocesan ministers and members of the diocesan Department of Communications staff. The BYTE will continue to feature two pages of Spanish language news in months that El Compás Cátolico is not published.

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By Andres Rivera
Staff Writer

RANCHO CUCAMONGA—Inspired and encouraged to accept the call to service by clergy and peers, three men entered the Order of Deacons Nov. 16 at Sacred Heart Parish, Rancho Cucamonga. 

 Auxiliary Bishop Rutilio del Riego ordained Antonio Hernandez from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Rancho Cucamonga; Alfredo Vargas from St. George, Fontana and Mark Weber from Our Lady of the Assumption, San Bernardino.

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By Mary Huber

SAN BERNARDINO—The Diocese of San Bernardino will again be represented at the 10th annual West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco on January 25, the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized abortion in the United States. 

 The day will start with a beautiful Mass in the morning at St. Mary’s Cathedral, where Bishop Rutilio del Riego will concelebrate with his brother bishops. Walkers will then gather at the Civic Center Plaza for a kick off rally followed by a walk down Market Street to the Justin Herman Plaza. 

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