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Insights: Tuition-Free Assistance for Fire Victims; Bishop Garcia Installed in Monterey

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February 1, 2019

Tuition-Free Education: Helping Families Affected by the Camp Fire

In November 2018, the town of Paradise and surrounding areas in Butte County were ravaged by the worst wildfire in state history.  Paradise itself was virtually obliterated and nearly 90 lives were lost in the Camp Fire, one of the nation’s deadliest. 

In the aftermath, families continue to struggle to regain some normalcy in their lives.  This is an exceedingly difficult challenge as many of these families’ homes are destroyed or inaccessible.  Additionally, many schools are gone as well leaving 4,000 displaced students.

To help ease the struggle faced by families with school-age children displaced by the Camp Fire, the Diocese of Sacramento quickly reached out to assist.  Specifically, the Diocese offered open seats in Catholic elementary and high schools in the Northern Sacramento Valley to all students affected by the fire.  While tuition at a diocesan Catholic school normally ranges from $5,000 to $6,000 for the first child, these openings are tuition-free for the remainder of the school year.

As of January 2019, 30 children have enrolled in participating Catholic schools with more expected to be admitted.

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World Day for Consecrated Life Celebrates the Diversity and Beauty of Consecrated Vocations

The Catholic Church will hold its annual celebration of the World Day for Consecrated Life on February 2, 2019. This celebration is a special time for the Church to celebrate the beauty of the consecrated vocation, highlight its various forms, and reflect on the unique Christ-centered witness that consecrated men and women bring to the Church and the surrounding community.

Instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1997, the day is celebrated in conjunction with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day, which commemorates through the blessing and lighting of candles that Christ is the light of the world. In the same way, consecrated persons, by belonging exclusively to Christ, act as the true hands and feet of Jesus by bringing his love and the light of the Gospel to all those they encounter in their life and work.

Each form of consecrated life is distinct and inspired by the Holy Spirit to serve the Church through a particular charism. Discerning consecrated life involves a process of identifying the unique way in which Christ is calling a person to love. 

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February is Black History Month

Black History Month is being called to mind in several ways for Catholics this month.

Last year, by a nearly unanimous vote, the U.S. Catholic bishops issued Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love - A Pastoral Letter Against Racism. In the pastoral letter, the bishops examined the “persistent” history of racism in the U.S. (download here or see this summary).

According to the Bishops, to rebuild the relationships broken by centuries of oppressive acts of racism requires us to “love goodness” and to ‘walk humbly with God.”

A Catholic Social Ministry gathering will take place February 2-5 in Washington, D.C. that will include the topic of racism and restorative justice. Click here to learn more.  

The Mid-Atlantic Congress (MAC) taking place February 13-16, 2019 in Baltimore, MD, has several sessions that may be of special interest such as “Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers” led by the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church. Click here for more info.

As always, please pray for the canonization of African Catholic being considered for sainthood - Fr. Augustus Tolton, Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, Mother Henriette DeLille, Pierre Toussaint, Julia Greeley and Sr. Thea Bowman – or watch a video.


Diocese of Monterey Installs Bishop Daniel Garcia

The Diocese of Monterey officially celebrated the installation of Bishop Daniel Garcia during a mass at Madonna del Sasso Pro-Cathedral in Salinas on Tuesday.

Bishop Garcia is the 5th bishop of Monterey, following the late Bishop Richard Garcia who passed away in July.

Bishop Daniel Garcia, 58, was most recently the auxiliary bishop in Austin. He was raised in Cameron, Texas.

“I come to you first and foremost as a pastor. That is what I know best. That is what I was trained to do,” said Bishop Daniel Garcia at his installation Mass. “But hopefully, with your assistance, I will be a good shepherd.”


Follow Renovations of Christ Cathedral

The countdown to the dedication of Christ Cathedral in Orange County is on, with approximately 160 days to go before the celebration taking place on July 17 this summer.

Christ Cathedral (formerly Crystal Cathedral) is home to the Diocese of Orange and the region’s 1.3 million Catholics. The Diocese is in the midst of a holy year of preparation for the dedication.

The doors to the cathedral were officially closed in 2017 to maintain optimum climate control during the renovations. To date, each of the 11,000 windows has been removed, cleaned, sealed and replaced. Mass continues to be held outside Christ Cathedral during the remodel.

Click here to track the progress of the renovation.


February 1, 2019
Vol. 12, No. 3