SEMINARIANS PLEDGE COMMITMENT TO FORMATION
Three new seminarians, Jose Cortez, Christopher Rodriguez and Anthony Gutierrez, pledged their commitment to their priestly formation in a special Mass at Christ the Redeemer, Grand Terrace, on Dec. 11. Also present was returning seminarian Isaias Delgadillo. From left to right: Christopher Rodriguez, Anthony Gutierrez, Jose Cortez and Isaias Delgadillo.
BISHOP ROJAS COMPLETES ONE YEAR OF EPISCOPACY
This month, Bishop Alberto Rojas completes his first full year as the Ordinary Bishop of San Bernardino. After the retirement of Bishop Emeritus Gerald Barnes, Bishop Rojas succeeded as bishop on Dec. 28, 2020.
NEW DIRECTOR OF RESPECT LIFE AND PASTORAL CARE APPOINTED
Maria Valadez has been appointed the Director of the Diocesan Office of Respect Life and Pastoral Care, effective Nov. 1. The Office of Respect Life and Pastoral Care advocates for life at all stages and develops life-affirming programs for those in need of spiritual and pastoral care. Previously, Valadez served as the Administrative Assistant in the Department of Life, Dignity and Justice.
“My reaction is of full gratitude and praise. There really is not much I can do but turn to God and praise Him for this great new mission. The verse that keeps playing over and over in my head is 2 Corinthians 5:7, ‘for we walk by faith, not by sight,’ because truly walking into this new position is a huge step in faith, a humble reminder that I need Him more than I may think,” said Valadez.
“I thank [Department head] Sister Chilee [Okoko, DMMM,] for this opportunity to ministry together in building a culture of life in our diocese,” she added.
FALCONS WIN CIF, FALL SHORT IN STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Despite their best efforts, the Aquinas High School football team was defeated in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State 3-AA Championship, losing to Vanden High School by a final of 14-13 on Dec. 11. The Falcons had registered impressive wins in the CIF Divisional Championship on Nov. 27 and the CIF Regional Championship on Dec. 3.
BISHOP ROJAS INVITES PARISHES TO CELEBRATE CARE FOR CREATION MASS
As part of the universal Church’s seven-year initiative for environmental stewardship, called the Laudato Si’ Action Plan, Bishop Alberto Rojas is inviting all parishes in the Diocese to select a Sunday to celebrate a Care for Creation Mass.
“We begin this important journey entrusting our hopes and challenges to our Loving God and Creator. I invite all of my brother priests to celebrate a Care for Creation Mass with your community to pray for the guidance in responding to our call for healing in our relationships with God, our neighbors, and the Earth, itself,” said Bishop Rojas in a memo to parishes.
Diocesan employees, volunteers reach out to less fortunate brethren
The Department of Life, Dignity and Justice partnered with the Knights of Columbus from Council 4488 Del Rosa with their Grand Knight William Calderon and the Transforming A Life ministry on an outreach mission to the homeless in San Bernardino and Riverside on Dec. 3.
The Transforming A Life ministry, run by St. Peter & St. Paul parishioners Zaki and Loretta Mustafa, is a non-profit that donates jackets, blankets, stockings and personal hygiene items to those in need.
On this particular mission outreach, over 300 people received a donation to keep them warm this winter. To learn more about the Transforming A Life Ministry or to donate, visit transformingalife.org/.
DIOCESE CELEBRATES FEAST OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Parishes around the Diocese celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe through Masses, singing, plays and dancing despite the cancellation of two large processions that are normally held in the Coachella Valley and in Riverside.
Director of the Office of Hispanic Affairs Petra Alexander said that this year, parishioners were not able to raise the large amount of funds needed for security and permits. She said that having large gatherings during the pandemic also remained a concern.
“We pray to God to improve the situation and be able to recover such a beautiful tradition [next year],” said Alexander.
ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC RAISES OVER $350,000 TO FUND CATHOLIC EDUCATION
The Annual Bishop’s Golf Classic, held Dec. 2 at PGA West, La Quinta, raised over $350,000 to fund Catholic education. About 200 attended, including Bishop Alberto Rojas. The Golf Classic has been occurring every year since 2002, except for last year when the event was cancelled due to COVID-19. Pictured from left to right, Father Ian Hollick, Rafael Flores, Father David Andel and Father Ciro Libinati.
U.S. BISHOPS, INCLUDING BISHOP ROJAS, VOTE TO ACCEPT EUCHARIST DOCUMENT
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted overwhelmingly to accept the document “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church” during the morning session of the fall USCCB meeting on Nov. 17.
The vote, which is held in a secret electronic ballot, was 222 in favor to eight against, with three abstentions. To pass, two-thirds of the bishops had to vote in favor of the document.
Bishop Alberto Rojas was among the vast majority of U.S. bishops who supported the statement. “I totally supported [the statement]. It will be a great teaching document for everybody to refocus our belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Thanks be to God,” said Bishop Rojas. (Catholic News Agency contributed to this report.)
BISHOP ROJAS CELEBRATES CLOSING MASS FOR ST. ANDREW KIM JUBILEE YEAR
Bishop Alberto Rojas celebrated the Closing Mass for the Jubilee Year of St. Andrew Kim at the parish community of St. Andrew Kim, Riverside on Nov. 20. The Jubilee Year was declared in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Korean saint’s birth year.