SAN BERNARDINO—In a letter read at Masses March 15-16 Bishop Gerald Barnes encouraged those without health insurance to sign up for it before the March 31 deadline to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act.

 Bishop Barnes said he was especially concerned about reports of low enrollment among Hispanics in San Bernardino and Riverside counties and wanted to clarify the position of the Church on the controversial law.

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SAN BERNARDINO—In January, Lisa Stiefken, the long-time dedicated director of the Pregnancy & Family Resource Center in San Bernardino, lost her husband to cancer. But not before Chuck Stiefken had saved the lives of well over 1,000 children and given hope for the future to countless women and men. 

 For more than 12 years, at least four times a week, Chuck stood peacefully and prayerfully before Family Planning Associates, reaching out to women approaching the abortion facility. With gentleness and compassion he offered these women a better solution for their crisis pregnancy, directing them to the Pregnancy & Family Resource Center nearby.

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 Last December, Pope Francis spoke out against the scourge of hunger saying that “the scandal that millions of people suffer from hunger must not paralyze us, but push each and every one of us to act: singles, families, communities, institutions, governments, to eliminate this injustice.”

 The Challenge Hunger Campaign is one of Catholic Charities’ responses to the challenge of Pope Francis to act on hunger. This campaign has great potential in this emerging age of virtual communication – particularly with youth and younger adults. And this hunger awareness opportunity can serve as a powerful Lenten activity for families as well.

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By John Andrews

CHINO—Amid the somber reflection of Ash Wednesday, as he gave his homily to inmates at the Chino Institute for Men (CIM), Bishop Gerald Barnes offered a bit of his characteristic levity.

 “The ashes are only meant for those who are sinners, so if you’re not a sinner, please don’t come to receive the ashes.”

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SAN BERNARDINO—Four Diocesan Offices moved down the street to occupy the third level of the newly renovated Rezek Centre in January. The diocesan Office of Mission, Office of Mission Advancement, Office of Catholic Cemeteries and Catholic Mutual satellite office make up the pastoral center extension.

 “This brings the diocesan presence out to the community,” said Sister Sara Kane, CSJ, Chancellor of the diocese. “It is an opportunity for us to really serve the public in another way and will be a tremendous gift to see the collaboration and partnership taking place with St. Bernardine and the Rezek Centre.” 

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   On April 26 at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort in Indian Wells, Bishop Gerald Barnes will recognize the following two individuals and two religious orders with his "Amar Es Entregarse" award:

Naida Castro

Honored for ministry leadership and cultural expertise

 Naida Castro, a native of the Philippines, has a passion for the natural sciences, concerned with the study of life and how the world’s living beings work together. That passion, magnified by her Catholic faith, allows her to serve anyone ... anytime in the name of Jesus. 

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