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EPISODE #249
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: “BE NOT AFRAID” – TURNING TO FAITH AMIDST FEAR

Today’s podcast is an important and timely edition of Empowered by the Spirit, as Deacon Steve Greco welcomes two very enthusiastic guests to the studio (Katie Hughes and Martha Garduno).

Our topic of discussion is primarily about Deacon Steve’s brand new book which is hot-off-the-press and so needed for today. It’s called “Be Not Afraid,” which encourages all of us to turn to our faith amidst the pandemic and all the challenges we currently face.

Listen in.. and you’ll surely glean some wonderful insights and encouragement!

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 7/12/2020

EVERYONE IS WELCOME

Thieves. Tax collectors. Prostitutes. Vagrants. Thugs.  

Jesus engaged with these people, and many more like them. He listened, comforted and challenged them as, like all of us, imperfect, fallible human beings. Opening his heart to each individual’s experience, he met them where they were. 

Derided by some religious leaders at the time, Jesus remained willing to bring His message to everyone, particularly the sinners.  

“Dr. Robert Schuller used to say that ‘Church isn’t a museum for saints; it’s a hospital for sinners,’” says Mark Purcell, pastoral associate for Liturgy and Music at Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church. 

For more than two millennia, this willingness to engage, love and pray for all visitors, particularly those less fortunate, has remained a core tenant of hospitality. “We’re here to provide direction, joy, purpose and community,” Purcell says, adding that no parish can do that without an ever-present, ongoing focus on hospitality.  

“Bishop Vann launched the Diocese’s Strategic Plan after our 40th anniversary,” says Sr. Katherine (Kit) Gray, Christ Cathedral’s director of Mission Integration and Ongoing Formation. “His intention is that the Diocese flourish into the future. This plan has a number of key priorities. One of those is evangelization.  

“Pope Francis says that evangelization begins with attraction,” Sr. Kit continues. “How do I reach out to you? How do we connect? How do we find something in common? Hospitality is closely connected to evangelization.”  

Sts. Simon and Jude serves as a wonderful example of hospitality in action. While adhering to Bishop Vann’s key priorities, the Huntington Beach-based parish emphasizes four of its own: “gospel, Eucharist, stewardship and hospitality,” Purcell says. “And not necessarily in that order.” 

The Very Rev. Christopher Smith, Christ Cathedral’s rector and episcopal vicar, says. “What we call our ‘Sunday experience’ is very much based on the hospitality of the community to which the people are coming. Let’s say somebody not in our community arrives, and someone comes up and says, ‘You know, I don’t think I’ve seen you before. Welcome. My name is Father Christopher,’ or whatever his or her name might be. That can really make a difference.” 

How can a parish re-emphasize hospitality as a top priority? Purcell notes that it starts with its vision statement. “Other parishes should have [one] that outlines the importance of hospitality at its core. And as a first step, the parish’s ministers need to be taught this, and so do each and every person in the parish. … Every church is His church, and we’re a part of it. It’s always about smiling, always welcoming others.” 

“If you look at the heart of the liturgy, you’re talking about gathering people around a table,” says Rev. Daniel Barica, pastor of Sts. Simon and Jude. “We honor that when people first step on the property. We want them to feel welcome, from the parking lot to the end of Mass, and it extends later, when we have them come into our plaza to continue that fellowship.”  

Here’s a change parishes can consider: “Announcements are usually done after Communion,” Purcell says. “However, after we greet one another, we share parish news: ministry updates and upcoming events, for example. At this time, we occasionally have a guest speaker who shares for two minutes about a recent event or an earlier experience. For example, we’ve had someone talk about an upcoming men’s retreat.” 

The advantage of having announcements before the service, Purcell notes, is that after Mass, visitors tend to think more about leaving the parish and getting on with their day. They may not really pay attention to what’s going on at their parish. The result: Community engagement may be compromised.  

To invite parishioners to stick around, “We’ve created a hospitality table outside, with coffee and donuts,” says Rev. Daniel. “People come and ask questions about who we are as a Christian faith community. What an opportunity to meet people where they’re at. That’s hospitality.”  

“We also have several kiosks outside that showcase our different ministries and provide information about their activities,” Purcell says. “We recently had a Blessing of the Bikes, followed with hot dogs, chips and lemonade.” 

Several times a year, those newly registered are invited to have lunch and tour the parish. Rev. Daniel meets them after the final morning Mass, and a Hospitality Committee serves them lunch. “While they’re eating lunch, we highlight what’s going on with our programs and refer them to our bulletin,” he says. “We send them home with a bottle of wine, to let them know that we’re glad they chose to come and be a part of our community.”  

“Christ’s prayer at his last meal with his disciples was that all may be one,” Sr. Kit says. “And essentially that was His mission: to bring all people into a unity with one another and with God. Hospitality is an extension of that. Hospitality is a way to help us become one – with one another and with God.”

PRIEST ASSIGNMENTS

Bishop Vann is pleased to announce the following appointments, effective July 1, 2018.

Pastors:  

 

Rev. Steve Sallot 

From Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia, Garden Grove 

To Pastor, Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, Newport Beach 

 

Pastors renewed/extended:  

 

Rev. Fred Bailey 

From Pastor, Santa Clara de Asis Church, Yorba Linda 

To Pastor Renewed, Santa Clara de Asis Church, Yorba Linda 

 

Rev. Joseph Luan Nguyen 

From Pastor, Our Lady of La Vang Church, Santa Ana 

To Pastor Renewed, Our Lady of La Vang Church, Santa Ana 

 

Rev. Timothy Ramaekers 

From Pastor, Corpus Christi Church, Aliso Viejo 

To Pastor Renewed, Corpus Christi Church, Aliso Viejo 

 

Rev. Reynold Furrell 

From Pastor, Holy Trinity Church, Ladera Ranch 

To Pastor Extended, Holy Trinity Church, Ladera Ranch 

 

Retired:  

 

Msgr. Kerry Beaulieu 

From Pastor, Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, Newport Beach 

To Retired Priest Status, In-residence at St. Justin Martyr Church, Anaheim (effective date August 5, 2018) 

 

Msgr. Ted Olson 

From Pastor, San Francisco Solano Church, Rancho Santa Margarita 

To Retired Priest Status in private residence 

 

Administrators:  

 

Rev. Duy Le 

From Parochial Vicar, San Francisco Solano Church, Rancho 

Santa Margarita 

To Administrator, San Francisco Solano Church, Rancho Santa Margarita 

 

Parochial Vicars:  

 

Rev. Frederick Atentar, A.M. 

From Chaplain, Rosary Academy, Fullerton/CHOC Hospital 

To PV, St. Irenaeus Church, Cypress 

 

Rev. Juvy Crisostomo, A.M. 

From Philippines 

To PV, St. Pius V Church, Buena Park 

 

Rev. Randy Guillen 

From Parochial Vicar, La Purisima Church, Orange 

To PV, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, La Habra 

 

Rev. Marco Hernandez Quintanilla, O.F.M. 

From Parochial Vicar, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Santa Ana 

To PV, St. Edward the Confessor Church, Dana Point 

 

Rev. Benjamin Diep Hoang 

From Parochial Vicar, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, La Habra 

To PV, St. Barbara Church, Santa Ana 

 

Rev. Matthias Kim 

From Parochial Vicar, St. Mary Church, Fullerton 

To PV, St. Joseph Church, Santa Ana 

 

Rev. John Duy Nguyen 

From Parochial Vicar, St. Norbert Church, Orange 

To PV, Holy Trinity Church, Ladera Ranch 

 

Rev. Martin Hiep Nguyen 

From Parochial Vicar, St. Pius V Church, Buena Park 

To PV, La Purisima Church, Orange 

 

Rev. Nicolas Nguyen 

From Parochial Vicar, La Purisima Church, Orange 

To PV, St. Justin Martyr Church, Anaheim 

 

Rev. David Otto 

From Parochial Vicar, St. Joseph Church, Santa Ana 

To PV, St. Mary Church, Fullerton 

 

Rev. Sergio Ramos 

From Parochial Vicar, St. Vincent de Paul Church, Huntington Beach 

To PV, La Purisima Church, Orange 

 

Rev. Mark A Riomalos, A.M. 

From Chaplain, CSUF, Fullerton 

To PV, Holy Family Cathedral, Orange 

 

Rev. Charles Tran 

From Parochial Vicar, Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, Newport Beach 

To PV, St. Norbert Church, Orange 

 

Rev. Armando Virrey 

From Parochial Vicar, St. Edward the Confessor Church, Dana Point 

To PV, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Santa Ana 

 

Rev. Anthony Hien Vu 

From Parochial Vicar, St. Barbara Church, Santa Ana 

To PV, Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, Newport Beach 

 

Chaplaincy:  

 

Rev. Mark Jon Cruz, A.M. 

From Chaplain, Santa Margarita Catholic High School, RSM 

To Chaplain Renewed, Santa Margarita High School, RSM 

 

Rev. Aaron Galvizo, A.M. 

From Philippines 

To Chaplain, CSUF Newman Center, Fullerton 

 

Special Assignments:  

 

Rev. Christian “Ian” Bustonera, A.M. 

From Parochial Vicar, St. Irenaeus Church, Cypress 

To Local Superior of Alagad ni Maria (A.M.), Anaheim 

 

Rev. John Moneypenny 

From Director of Vocations, Garden Grove 

To Director of Vocations-Extended, Garden Grove 

 

Rev. Juan Bernardo Navarro Sanchez 

From Further Studies, Madrid, Spain 

To Consultant to the Office of the Bishop on Evangelization/Department of Parish Faith Formation, Garden Grove; In-residence at St. Boniface Church, Anaheim.  

A MINI-VACATION EVERY SUNDAY

My family always attended Sunday Mass during summer vacations in whatever city we happened to be visiting. It added to our experience of each new place. 

Even if you’re on a staycation this summer you can travel throughout the Diocese of Orange and visit 60 different chapels, churches and centers, all of which have different sizes, parishioners, and personalities. You will find a complete list of parishes at rcbo.org/directories/parishes. 

Consider letting your children plan your diocesan tour. They can research the parishes on the diocesan website, see photos of the churches and even map out your summer tour. In doing so, they’ll better understand the size of the Catholic Church in Orange County and how each parish is part of a bigger faith community. 

 

Christ Cathedral, 13280 Chapman Avenue, Garden Grove christcathedralcalifornia.org 

A world-famous landmark for people of many faiths, the former Crystal Cathedral was synonymous with Rev. Robert Schuller and his “Hour of Power” television evangelization. When the Diocese of Orange purchased the church and its 34-acre complex in 2012, Catholic leaders committed to respect the famous site’s legacy while transforming the unique building and grounds into the vibrant new heart of worship for the 1.2-million Catholics living in Orange County. 

The newly transformed Christ Cathedral will be dedicated in July 2019. 

 

Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, 31520 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano • missionparish.org 

Construction of the new parish church of Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, was completed in 1986. The church is designed after the Great Stone Church that was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1812. The ruins of the Great Stone Church are located on the Historic Mission grounds, which is open to tourists daily. Visit missionsjc.com. 

The motifs on the interior walls were designed and painted by the artist, Dr. Norman Neuerberg. Dr. Neuerberg studied the Great Stone Church and visited the island of Mallorca, Spain, the homeland of Fr. Junipero Serra, founder of the mission. It took Dr. Neuerberg 18 months to complete all the interior wall paintings. 

 

St. Edward the Confessor, 33926 Calle La Primavera, Dana Point • stedward.com 

St. Edward offers Mass online and on-demand through their media ministry, Stedcast. They also offer a wide assortment of music concerts throughout the year featuring their own Cherub Choir (grades 2-4), Chorister Choir (grades 5-8) and their Evensong Choir (adults). They feature their music on their YouTube channel.  

 

Holy Family Cathedral, 566 South Glassell Street, Orange • hfcathedral.org 

Holy Family Parish was established in October 1921, when Orange was part of what was then known as the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles. Its current site was purchased in 1949 and the current church building was completed in April 1958 and dedicated in January 1961. The church was selected to be the diocesan cathedral when Orange County was split from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to form the Diocese of Orange in June 1976. 

 

St. Anne Church, 1344 South Main Street, Santa Ana • saparish.org 

Shades of yellow, blue and orange burst across what was once a red brick wall. The colors come together to depict one of Catholicism’s most revered images. The mural is painted on the side of a building lining the K-8 school’s parking lot entrance off Sycamore Street.  

The mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Anne Catholic School in Santa Ana is the work of Fabian Debora, a former gang member who began his spiritual journey after his second suicide attempt.  

“Our Lady will greet us every morning when we arrive to school, and bless us as we leave,” said St. Anne School Principal Sr. Teresa Lynch.  

A BODY, THOUGH ONE, HAS MANY PARTS

The word “diocese” comes from a late Roman Empire term for a relatively small geographic area governed by a civil authority under the allegiance and direction of the Roman prefect, and ultimately the emperor. It was equivalent to today’s county structure – a civil means of delegating certain aspects of day-to-day governance to a regional authority.

When St. Peter preached in Rome, the diocesan structure was in place and familiar to the earliest Christians. The various Pauline Epistles and Acts of the Apostles make this clear; the early Church embraced a similar organization among the various regions that took up the faith. The Church adopted the diocese structure, which was well established by the year 110 AD when St. Ignatius wrote to the Church in Smyrna, “Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even where Jesus may be, there is the Catholic Church.”

As the Church emerged from the Roman persecutions this structure of local governance under the direction of papal authority solidified. A Catholic diocese, often with the same general boundaries as the Roman civil diocese, became the stabilizing authority to fill the void left when the Roman Empire crumbled.

Most Protestant and Evangelical churches insist on the autonomy of their local church and its own interpretation of biblical teachings, usually by a charismatic pastor who leads the congregation. Depending on its size and resources, a protestant church is a stand-alone operation with all ministries and services contained within one congregation. By contrast, the Roman Catholic Church is clearly directed and governed by the Holy Father and the Magisterium, which is the teaching authority of the church. This ensures the consistency of Catholic theology and interpretation of the Bible and sacred tradition.

According to Father Steven Sallot, vicar general and moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Orange, “Most Catholics embrace their faith through their local parish, led by a pastor who has been entrusted to his role by the Bishop. In a community like Orange County, with 1.3 million Catholics, a single parish could not possibly provide for all the spiritual and temporal needs of every parishioner.”

For example, the deaf ministry and jail ministry are managed at the Diocesan level. The Diocese of Orange includes 62 parishes and centers, 41 schools and a wide variety of ministries and services. “Bishop Vann gives wide latitude to a pastor to determine the ministries and programs for his parish, with the Diocese acting as a resource and providing some oversight,” Fr. Sallot says.

The ministries are where our Catholic faith goes from being a noun to a verb – faith as an action word. The first stop on the quest to discover the many active ministries in the Diocese is the website: rcbo.org. There are 41 ministry and service categories from cemeteries to vocations, but many include a variety of related services.

Education is the largest ministry of the Diocese. Our excellent elementary and secondary school system is managed by the Diocese under the direction of Gregory Dhuyvetter, superintendent. The schools are fully accredited, as are the teachers. According to the Department of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Orange, “(Our schools) serves the mission of building the church of tomorrow by supporting schools that provide students with the best Catholic faith formation and the skills and knowledge to live lives of goodness, service, and success.”

In addition to elementary and secondary education, the Diocese operates a large Faith Formation program under the direction of Reverend Gerald Horan, OSM. Faith formation provides in-services, education, training and support for parish and school personnel in Catholic Schools, Faith Formation Programs, Youth & Young Adult Ministry and the Institute for Pastoral Ministry Diocese-wide programs and spiritual enrichment for students, youth, adults and other groups.

Complementing the Faith Formation program is the Institute for Pastoral Ministry, which is college-level certification training for catechists, Catholic school educators, youth ministers, confirmation coordinators, faith formation ministers, volunteers and diaconate aspirants and candidates. The institute is offered in conjunction with several universities including Loyola Marymount and the University of Dayton.

According to Fr. Sallot, “Since we moved to the Pastoral Center at Christ Cathedral, our ability to expand ministries has grown exponentially. It brings people together for workshops, events and training in ways that we could never have done before.” In a sense, the Pastoral Center is where the parish family goes to meet its relatives from throughout the Diocese. “Every Sunday we have more than 10,000 people at the Pastoral Center. The dynamic is much bigger so people can access more than is possible in a neighborhood parish.”

It is important to remember that Jesus founded a single Church with St. Peter as its first leader. Even the Bible, which we believe is the inspired word of God, was not given to us by Jesus directly, but compiled into a canon by His Church several centuries after the Resurrection. Jesus clearly wished His church to have leadership, direction and authority. The resulting structure from the Parish to the Diocese to the Vatican itself has withstood the politics, wars, disasters, plagues and persecutions of two millennia. So, live in and love your parish family because it is from there that we are each called to the mission on behalf of Christ’s Church. But if you are so inclined to stretch your wings to new heights, the Diocese can guide you.