Holy Name of Jesus parishioner Freddie Olmos shares the story of his decision to donate his stem cells to save a life

By Freddie Olmos

“Gracious God, fill me with your grace that I may be open to your presence in every fiber of my being, every minute of my day, and in every person I meet.”

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 A central calling in Pope Francis’ letter declaring the Jubilee Year of Mercy is for the faithful to make a pilgrimage as part of their spiritual journey from indifference to mercy.

 Roman Catholics in the Diocese can now plan to make that pilgrimage as sites in each of the six Vicariates in the Diocese – San Bernardino, Riverside, West End, High Desert, Low Desert and Hemet – have been designated by Bishop Gerald Barnes.

 Parish leaders in each Vicariate discussed the matter through the Fall and made recommendations to Bishop Barnes. The first to offer itself as a pilgrimage site was Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Bernardino. It will serve as the site for that vicariate.

 “We feel very happy and appreciative to God and our Diocesan Church for considering our parish a location for pilgrimage during this Year of Mercy,” said Father Pablo Medina Gomez, CORC, Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, San Bernardino. “This Jubilee is a great opportunity to renew the faith of each one of those who can visit this pilgrimage site.”

 The San Bernardino Vicariate will have two pilgrimage sites because Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral contains the Holy Door for the Jubilee Year, automatically making it a site. Other pilgrimage sites in the Diocese are as follows:

St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, Riverside – Riverside Vicariate

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Chino – West End Vicariate

Holy Family Church, Hesperia – High Desert Vicariate

St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, Temecula – Hemet Vicariate

Sacred Heart Church, Palm Desert – Low Desert Vicariate

 The door of each church that is a pilgrimage site will be marked by a Year of Mercy wreath that was blessed by the Bishop during the Opening Mass of the Jubilee Year on December 8.

 Pilgrims arriving at these sites may have an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation; pray before the Blessed Sacrament; receive informational materials on themes of the Year of Mercy and prayer cards; attend a monthly evening of prayer and reflection with a designated speaker. Pope Francis has also allowed that pilgrims may receive a Plenary Indulgence (see related article on page 5), if conditions are met, at each site. Parishes are encouraged to make pilgrimages to the designated sites together as a faith community.

 The Vatican has also designated a special Jubilee for Places of Pilgrimage January 19-21, 2016. Pilgrims in the Diocese can be in solidarity with Roman Catholic brothers and sisters all over the world by visiting one of the seven sites in the Diocese during that period.

Bishop Barnes begins Jubilee Year of Mercy with Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral

SAN BERNARDINO—Calling on the faithful of the Diocese to recommit themselves to both receiving and showing God’s mercy, Bishop Barnes began the Year of Mercy with an opening Mass on Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

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By Dr. Jose Antonio Medina

 Pope Francis offers the opportunity to be closer to God in this Year of Mercy. He wants us all to work for our holiness, but this entails opening our heart to others, especially to the poor and abandoned. As a special motivation to encourage us, we are given a gift of the Church called Plenary Indulgence. 

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