St. Robert's Catholic Church Bulletin, October 24, 2004

St. Robert's Catholic Church

1380 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno, CA 94066

Tel: (650) 589-2800

October 24, 2004
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time


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Dear Parishioners,

Do you sit in the same pew each week? A few weeks ago a woman told me that she and her husband and children sit in the same row she sat in with her parents when she was growing up. Have you ever unknowingly sat in someone else’s customary pew? How about the back pew? Some people stake out their places there too! Back pews in Churches often are a refuge for late comers, early leavers, parents with small children or those who might not want to be immersed in all that “church community stuff.”

What about the tax collector we meet in today’s gospel? He too sat in the back pew - - because he had an attitude. Of course, the Pharisee relished the front pew and sat there because he, too, had an attitude. Interestingly enough, for one the attitude helped him to pray and undergo conversion. The other had an attitude that kept him in a shallow world of self absorption and conceit. Such a disposition forms a hardened shell that cannot easily be broken. Is it any surprise that the Pharisee went away empty in the eyes of God. He received nothing because he needed nothing –at least in his own eyes. What an attitude!!

“The Lord hears the cry of the poor,” says the psalmist. This disposition is echoed in Sirach: “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds and will not rest till it reaches its goal.” The tax collector found his God and justification because he prayed with a poverty of spirit. He prayed with open hands that held nothing except his own neediness and humility. What an attitude!!

In his classic book, With Open Hands, Henri Nouwen describes prayer that bears fruit as praying with open hands. Open hands do not hold on to anything. They are able to touch, to feel and above all to receive. In prayer, the tax collector acknowledged his sins and neediness. With open heart and hands, he received what he needed. However, the Pharisee, with clenched fist, arrived at a dead end because he lacked humility and the awareness of his need to change. He was not open to the possibility that with God’s help he could become a better person. As long as he persisted in that attitude, God could only leave him to wallow in his own virtue, his self-appointed sainthood. Perhaps he was afraid to be poor, afraid to let go of his preconceived ideas, afraid to allow God to lead him to new ways, afraid to trust and afraid to lose control of his life. But such a life is as fragile as a house of cards. Little did he realize how rich in prayer was that tax collector who prayed with an enviable poverty of spirit, a poverty that created space where God could enter.

What does this mean for us? In short, we must each make that space for God and learn to let go of whatever fears, attachments and attitudes that hamper our life of prayer.

Remember: it is not the pew that’s important. It’s the attitude that sits in it that counts.

Father Bruce


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Monday - October 25
Readings: Eph 4:32--5:8     Lk 13:10-17

Mass Intention
Bill Davenport †
Anthony Attard †
Grownups 7:30p Mahoney Room
Tuesday - October 26
Readings: Eph 5:21-33     Lk 13:18-21
Mass Intention 6:30
Raoul Kahn †
Rose Marie Russo †
Religious Education
Legion of Mary
Parish Planning Committee
Mahoney Room
Wednesday - October 27
Readings: Eph 6:1-9     Lk 13:22-30
Mass Intention 6:30
Clarence Wise †
Reno Tonegato †
7th Gr. Cheerleading
Choir Practice
Bible Study
Parking Lot
Convent Chapel

Thursday - October 28
Readings: Eph 2:19-22     Lk 6:12-16

Mass Intention 6:30
James J. Murphy †
Angelina Perry †
Religious Education
Youth Ministry
Convent Chapel

Friday - October 29
Readings: Phil 1:1-11     Lk 14:1-6

Mass Intention 6:30
James J. Murphy †
John Schaukowitch †
Youth Faith Formation
8th Gr. Cheerleading
Parish Directory
Halloween Party
8th Grade
Mahoney Room

Saturday - October 30
Readings: Phil 1:18b-26     Lk 14:7-11

Mass Intention 8:30
Joseph Paro †
People of St. Robert's
Youth Faith Formation
Parish Directory
Computer Class
Mahoney Room
Computer Classroom

Sunday - October 31
Readings: Wis 11:22--12:2     2 Thes 1:11-22      Lk 19:1-10

Mass Intention 7:30
James Whooley †
Frank O'Keefe †
Marguerite Tarantino †
Noreen Cronin-Conte †
Youth Ministry
Fil/Am Choir

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As a Parish Community...We pray for Catholics throughout our nation. May the values of our faith guide us as we exercise our responsibility as voters.



Jamie Menequzzi & Mark Ryan



We pray for the ill: Olga Aiello, Sharon Aiello, Marilyn Arancibia, Robert Bacci, Genaro Badiable, Lito Badiable, Patrick Burke, Maricris Candelaria, Arthur Candia, Carmen Capella, Josie Clarke, Nan Connolly, Cindy Corona, Ana Cosgaya, Walton Dickhoff, William & Sandra Dill, Dan Drew, Carl Edwards, Adela Florez, Jesse Grube, Claire Hamilton, Denise Hawald, Dominique Hauscarriague,Jr, Viko Ivancich, Joanne Johnson, Koret Koelman, Muriel Krause, Sisilia Langi, Shirley Latham, Josephine Lavoie, Austin Lehman, Lena Lucarotti, Michael Martinez, Daniel McHale, Rosemary McHale, Terry McLeod, Josie Mercado, Mary Novickas, Thomas O'Brien, David Papageorgiou, Lara Pinten, Jason Pimentel, James Piazza, Helen Restani, Mamo Scanlan, Pauline Speranza, Bill Stockinger, Justo Tan, Mafi Tukumoatu, Kristi Varni, Diana Walter & Jennifer Westbrook.

We would like to update this list. Please review and call the rectory at 589-2800 if someone you know can be removed.


Our sincere sympathy to the families of
Alejandro Ayllon,
Salvador Canjura
Maria Calvo and
Fr. Jim Monaghan, S.J.

who died recently.



God sent each child into the world as a particular, unique and unrepeatable human being with a specific role to play. Our goal must be to value each child, acknowledge the importance of each, and above all cherish each child, especially if the child is physically or mentally challenged.



If one of the blue-covered missalette and Music Issue sets has accidentally found its way home with you, could you please bring it back, no questions asked? We’ve lost more than a dozen and would rather not have to buy more blue covers. Thank you.


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by Sister Sheral

In the first reading today we hear, “The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed.” This passage led me to share with the Tuesday scripture group about a decision by the Central and Latin American bishops during 1968. The great majority of priests and bishops were from the wealthy families, since the poor were largely illiterate, and there was no middle class in most countries. [How could you go to the seminary to study if you couldn’t read and write?] The bishops decided during their meeting at Medellin, Mexico after much soul-searching, prayer and dialogue that the Church in their countries needed to begin to speak of and base their actions on an “option for the poor.” From their reading of the scriptures, especially the prophets whom we hear from during the Lenten season, and from their serious reflection on Jesus’ life and ministry, it seemed to them that God is on the side of the poor. Jesus constantly is criticized for “hanging out” with sinners: prostitutes, tax collectors, a ritually unclean woman, and others whom society considers on the margins. The bishops decided that since societal structures were against the poor, the Church at least needed to be for the poor. [This doesn’t mean against the rich, though some well-to-do Catholics took it that way.] You may have seen the movie “Romero” which captured accurately the story of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. He was from the upper class and his appointment was greeted with elation by the wealthy landowners who were cheating their workers. Catechists and priests had been working with the people telling them that their misery was not God’s will and that they could organize to peacefully ask for the share of the crops that were theirs in exchange for their work. As catechists began to be killed by the army, those working with small groups continued their teaching of the gospel. So the government troops began to kill the “activist priests.” When various people reported this to Archbishop Romero, he didn’t want to get involved. But then his friend, Fr. Rutilio Grande, whose commitment to God and to the poor he knew well, was killed. He knew he must act. He became an outspoken preacher of the truth, calling on the army to lay down their arms since it was their brothers and sisters they were killing. As we know, this tireless defender of the poor was murdered while celebrating Mass in the cathedral in San Salvador.

As we face the approaching election, we also need to hear “the cry of the poor.” We might ask ourselves: Which candidate/party seems aware of our country’s responsibilities to the poor? Which candidate/party sees the United States as a participant with other nations in responding to the global challenges facing us: AIDS, abject poverty, trafficking in women and children, terrorism? In terms of local propositions, which ones will provide funds needed for health, education and social services? Which ones will take away those funds?

If you haven’t already done so, please read prayerfully “The Challenge to Faithful Citizenship” included in last week’s bulletin. If you need help to get to your polling place, be sure to ask a friend. If you can’t find anyone, please call me and I’ll gladly take you.


Option for the Poor

As followers of Christ, we are challenged to make a fundamental “option for the poor” – to speak for the voiceless, to defend the defenseless, to assess life styles, policies and social institutions in terms of their impact on the poor. This “option for the poor” does not mean pitting one group against another, but rather, strengthening the whole community by assisting those who are the most vulnerable. As Christians, we are called to respond to the needs of all our brothers and sisters, but those with the greatest needs require the greatest response.

USCCB, Economic Justice for All, #16, 1986

Catholic Teaching On Solidarity

What does it mean to be a Catholic living in the United States in the year 2004 and beyond? As Catholics, the election and the policy choices that follow it call us to recommit ourselves to carry the values of the Gospel and church teaching into the public square. As citizens and residents of the United States, we have the duty to participate now and in the future in the debates and choices over the values, vision, and leaders that will guide our nation.

-US Catholic Conference of Bishops Administrative Committee,
Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility, p. 29-30


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Catholic peer ministry for couples in hurting or troubled marriages, will begin a new program November 5-7. For further information, call Dave and Maria Elena Byron (510) 489-5799 or Tony and Pat Fernandez (415) 893-1005 or email:



Need work done in your home or office? Our Daily Bread Worker Center had many responsible and hard working women and men, who are looking for work for one day, part time or full time. Our workers have an assortment of job skills, such as: housekeeping, office work, moving assistance, painting, yard work, plumbing, heavy labor, and all kinds of odd jobs. The Worker Center also has a small pickup truck, which can be used for moving furniture or hauling away yard waste. We can provide a work crew for these types of large jobs. The suggested rate per worker is $10 to $15 per hour. There is an additional fee if the job necessitates the use of the truck. If you are interested in hiring a worker or a work crew, please call Melissa Hansel at (650) 291-2400.



The Sisters of the Presentation will be celebrating 150 years of service in the Archdiocese of San Francisco starting on November 13th. For more information call Sister Stephanie Still at (415) 422-5020 or e-mail at



Bishop Oscar Azarcon Solils, the 1st Filipino American and the 3rd Asian American Bishop for the United States, is making a pastoral visit to the Asian and Pacific communities in our archdiocese. On October 31st, Sunday, at 11:00 a.m. he is celebrating Mass especially for our Asian and Pacific Islanders, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. Everyone is invited to this Mass and celebrate with our Asian and Pacific communities the visit of Bishop Solis.


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Toddlers, Infants, Preschoolers, and Parents Social

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Join TIPPS for our Halloween get-together!!

Friday, October 29th, 6:30 p.m. in Hennessy Hall

Kids costumes are optional. There will be a potluck-please bring an item to share with six people, and a toy for your child to play with (no balls or weapons please). Feel free to invite new TIPPSters! As was discussed at our last meeting, we would love to see all the kids in costume-BRING YOUR CAMERA.

See you then!!

**Adults willing to help babysit this event, please call Deacon Duffey 589-2800



Set your clocks back 1 hour next Saturday evening



The Annual Women’s Guild Craft night will be held on Monday, November 8th. The cost of a table is $10.00 and for one-half of a table is $5.00. Please contact Teresa Nussbaum to reserve your table or email



Our November 13 retreat day at Mercy Center is filling up quickly. If you’d like to come, please pick up a pink form at one of the church entrances and get your reservation in soon.



Five weeks from now, on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 9 am, we’ll be making our Advent Wreaths in the Mahoney Room and Kindergarten classroom as we did last year. Did you save your metal ring and plastic tray? I’ll be taking sign-ups soon, so you might want to see if you can find yours. (Otherwise, you can order another one.)



November is traditionally the month set aside by our church to commemorate and celebrate the memories of our departed loved ones. This year we will have a special Mass on the feast of All Souls, Tuesday, November 2nd at 7:30 p.m. All are invited to this liturgy. The names of those buried from St. Robert’s will be read aloud by members of the consolation Ministry. We will have a special shrine erected in Our Lady’s alcove (in the church with their names inscribed in a Memorial Book. Please, bring pictures, memorial cards or flowers to place in this shrine all during November. We will also, post their names around the walls of the church, so that the faithful will be reminded of our departed loved ones each time they enter the church. We are asking a special favor from you, the parishioners. We have recorded all those buried from Saint Robert’s but would like to remember all of your departed loved ones that are buried/cremated from any other church or Funeral Home during the past year. Call, e-mail or fax their names to the Rectory or to sister Patricia before November 1st.

“It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead.”



Parish Directory is about to happen!!!!

after all the Masses
or call the Rectory at 589-2800
(8:30 am to 4:30 pm)

Photos will be taken in the Mahoney Room

November 5th 1-9:30 p.m.
November 6th 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
November 17th and 18th 3-9:30 p.m.
November 19th 1-9:30 p.m.
November 20th  8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Pick your date and sign up this weekend

November 3rd 6 to 9 p.m.
to schedule directory photo appointments.
Call Annetta Giambruno to help


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Today, with Catholics of the world, we are called to offer, at this Eucharistic celebration, our prayers and our generous financial support, through the Propagation of the Faith, to continue the mission of our Lord. Your prayers and financial help offered today, WORLD MISSION SUNDAY, support priests, Religious and lay people in the Missions who are Christ’s witnesses to a world so in need of His healing love and peace.

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