By Mary Huber

 California Senate Bill 926 which promised gender equality and income opportunity came and went. Authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) and sponsored by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, this legislation would have authorized financial compensation for the harvesting of women’s eggs for the purpose of scientific research. 

 While working its way through the State Legislature with stealthy precision, the bill appeared to sail under the radar. But it could not circumvent the watchful eyes of the California Catholic Conference, women’s health groups and the Center of Bioethics and Culture. Bonilla’s bill ultimately failed because Governor Jerry Brown vetoed it on August 13. 

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By Deacon Michael Jelley

SAN BERNARDINO—Did you ever wonder whom to contact at the Diocesan Pastoral Center (DPC) to get the answer to a question or advice on a problem? You’re not alone! 

 Beginning last September, through a series of nine workshops, employees and clergy, including priests, pastoral coordinators, religious, deacons, pastoral associates, parish administrative staff, secretaries and receptionists, as well as all new Diocesan Pastoral Center employees were invited to learn about the purpose and functions of every department and office in the DPC. 

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By Elena Klopfer

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—Working in the Missions Office for the Diocese of San Bernardino allows me to be mindful of the Missions worldwide. The continuous flow of donations from parishes and schools benefit the various missions throughout the world. 

 Recently I had the privilege of going on Mission to the Dominican Republic, where I experienced missionary work whole heartedly. I joined a small group from Houston, Texas and we were led on a Mission Experience by Sister Lisa Valentini, MSC.

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Diocesan Director of Hispanic Affairs Petra Alexander received national recognition for her ministry when she was named Outstanding Diocesan Director of Hispanic Ministry. Alexander received the award at the Annual Convention of the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors of Hispanic Ministry in Las Vegas, NV on Aug. 28 (pictured with Alexander is Fr. Paul Campbell and Teresa Locke of Loyola Press who presented Alexander with her award). The award included a $2,000 gift from Loyola Press, most of which will benefit the Hispanic Affairs ministry of the diocese.

   While the great recession made it more difficult to raise money for new church construction over the past five years, the need for more worship space in many parishes has only increased.

 Now, with early signs of economic recovery in the region and a new diocesan design template that significantly lowers construction costs, several parishes are making headway in their efforts to build new churches, education centers and multi-purpose spaces. In all, 21 parishes are proceeding with plans for major new construction or renovation.

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By Andres Rivera
Staff Writer

THERMAL—Waiting for a group of religious sisters to appear from the sky blue coach bus parked in front of a gas station in Thermal, a group of supporters chanted and held signs calling for comprehensive immigration reform. 

 Taking a slight detour on their way to San Diego, the nationally known “Nuns on the Bus” tour stopped at Thermal on June 14 to tour mobile home parks and speak with residents there.

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