Priests’ Picnic 2014


We had a great time Friday during our annual priests’ picnic. Friday, June 27 was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a day when priests around the world get together or make a special day of retreat. We had a great time sharing our fraternity as brother priests. Looking around I saw the different ages, the different nationalities, the different kinds of parishes represented and united in one heart of faith. It was especially a blessing to see Bishop Cummins there, and moreover Msgr. Ray Breton, who has incurable cancer, and who was in the center of everybody’s love.

Bishop Cummins is my father in faith, because he baptized me. It was great hearing him saying: “You know guys, for those of you looking for retirement, let me tell you something: it is overrated”. That is truly the heart of a priest.

Bishop Cummins is my father in faith, because he baptized me. It was great hearing him tell us: “You know guys, for those of you looking forward to retirement, let me tell you something: it is overrated.”  That is truly the heart of a priest.

Msgr. Ray Breton, seated center

Msgr. Ray Breton, seated center


It was a very happy day to celebrate being a priest. Celebrations like this remind me of what St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests once said: “The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.”

Pictures courtesy of Fr. Benedict Pradit

Bay Area Catholic-Jewish Relations

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, Rabbi James Brandt, Dr. Andy David

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ; Dr. Andy David (left); Rabbi James Brandt (right)

On Tuesday, the Jewish Community Relations Council hosted an evening of reflection and camaraderie at the San Francisco residence of Dr. Andy David, the Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest.  The dinner was held to reflect on and honor the recent visit of Pope Francis to Israel.  Archbishop Cordileone and I, along with other local Catholic representatives, spent some time reflecting with our hosts on past and future relations between the Catholic and Jewish communities of the Bay Area.

Jewish Community Relations Council Dinner

Corpus Christi Procession

I was thrilled to participate at the Corpus Christi procession and the 100th Anniversary of Corpus Christi Parish down in the Niles neighborhood of Fremont on June 22. There were over 500 people in the procession – they were altar boys, choir, flags, the Knights of Columbus… It was a great way to honor our Lord, as He and we walked through the streets of the town of Niles.

Corpus Christi Procession

People came out of Starbucks to take pictures. The baristas and waiters with their aprons came up and bowed their heads,  people in their cars made the sign of the cross as they pulled to the side of the road as the procession of our Lord came by with the police escort. It just brought so much joy to me, as did the Eucharistic celebration we had afterwards.

Congratulations to Corpus Christi Church on their 100th Anniversary!

Corpus Christi, FremontLQ3A1594LQ3A1599All photos: Jose Luis Aguirre/The Catholic Voice

Mercy and Mystery

Last week I was invited to Phoenix to celebrate Mass for the annual LifeTeen Catholic youth ministers’ convention. When I stepped out of the airport it felt like opening the oven door when you take out a pizza. 101 degrees in the shade.

I was pleased we had over 30 youth ministers and priests from our Oakland diocese among the 800+ participants. We even had our own reception, and took the (in)famous photo that has inspired over 5,000 hits on our diocesan Facebook page.


You can check out the website to get an idea of how successful they are in bringing youth to Christ: edgy, yet solid.

In my homily I thought what could I say to folks who are more advanced than me in connecting with youth? I told them what I’ve seen:

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