Saturday: 5:00pm & 7:00pm (Spanish)
Sunday: 7:00am, 8:30am, 10:30am,
12:30pm, 5:30pm (Youth)DAILY MASS:
Monday - Friday: 7:30am & 9:00am
Saturday: 8:00amFIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH: 7:30pmRECONCILIATION: SAT. 3:30-4:30pm
|ST JOSEPH CHURCH
837 Tennent Ave. Pinole, CA 94564PARISH OFFICE - PARISH CENTER
Regular Hours: Mon-Thu: 9-7:30, Fri: 9-5
(check weekly bulletin for exceptions)
2100 Pear Street - Pinole, CA 94564
510.741.4900 FAX: 510.724.9185ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL
1961 Plum Street, Pinole, CA 94564
510.724.0242 FAX 510.724.9886
Pope Francis has given us an opportunity to let him and the bishops of the world know what we think about issues concerning the family. There will be a special meeting of the Synod of Bishops in Rome in the fall of next year, to discuss these issues. Our input is requested. That is the good news.
The bad news is that this input is requested by December 13 of this year, that is, next Friday. Elsewhere in the bulletin, you can find out how to answer a questionnaire that was issued by those planning the synod. You can answer on line on your own or at the parish, or you can send in your response to the Marriage and Family Office at the Diocese of Oakland, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland, CA 94612.
Not many people will have the time or the skill to answer all the questions. Some of the issues mentioned in the introduction do not affect our culture (e.g. dowries and caste conditions). Other issues are very much part of the challenges we face in the United States. I would recommend that you read through the questionnaire, then select the issue or issues which particularly concern you, and send in your comments about those, noting the number of the question, so that those who are collating the information will easily be able to put your response in the correct category.
This questionnaire is not a test. It is a real attempt to find out what is going on in the world. It can also be an instrument of the Holy Spirit speaking in the churches to uncover new ways of approaching difficult matters. As you will note from the introduction, the Pope and bishops are not expecting to repeal Catholic teaching. They may be looking for new ways of dealing with people in the light of that teaching.
Many people are in pain because of the present status of the family, sexuality matters, government policy, sacramental practice, etc. It is important that the Synod have a realistic idea of what is happening. The Pope has asked the Shepherds to get to know the sheep. He wants bishops and priests to be in contact with people where they are, to know “the joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted,” as the Second Vatican Council put it in the introduction to its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.”
Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel condemns the Pharisees because “they fashion burdens to lay on people’s shoulders but will not lift a finger to help them.” This is one of the most chilling statements Jesus ever made. It is one which the leaders of the Church must take to heart. Some of God’s laws are not easy to obey. We cannot change those laws to make them easier. But some of our man-made interpretations and laws are changeable. These can and should be changed when they become oppressive or contrary to the Gospel message.
Sometimes it is not so clear what is God’s law and what is man’s. The Holy Father, as a good Jesuit, is calling for discernment. Discernment calls for prayer and openness to the Holy Spirit. The information retrieved by this survey will help in the discernment process.
I encourage you to participate in this project. What you have to say does matter. And your prayers also matter. Please offer them for our Pope and bishops.
Been away from the Church awhile?
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If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the parish office at 510-741-4900 and ask to talk to a priest. We are here to serve you.