St. Robert's Catholic Church Bulletin, November 7, 2004

St. Robert's Catholic Church

1380 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno, CA 94066

Tel: (650) 589-2800

November 7, 2004
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time


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Dear Friends,

I'm writing this for the bulletin the morning of election day. I pray that when you read this that we know who the president is and that the election went fairly smoothly. Even though we hear again and again that our country is deeply divided we are blessed to live in a democracy that empowers us to speak our personal truth in many varied and diverse public forums.

Many today also feel that democracy is a vital dimension of Christian spirituality, and that the commonly heard cry—"the church is not a democracy!" - is really alien to both scripture and tradition. They feel that the church of Jesus should be one committed, as he was, to radical equality. Others, of course, feel that the hierarchical pyramid is divinely ordained.

Eugene Bianchi is emeritus professor of theology at Emory University in Atlanta. Professor Bianchi suggests what is needed as a first step toward a more democratic Catholicism is a spirituality of democracy in the church "out of which democratizing structures would necessarily flow." He identifies eight touchstones for a spirituality of democracy. My priest support group which meets once a month reviewed these principles at our last meeting and agreed to pray and think about them in preparations for a conversation this month. I want to share them with you.

  • The principle of dialogue. Dialogue involves facing the other in his or her differences with a spirit of empathy. It helps all of us to be transformed inwardly, bringing about new ways of seeing problems and challenges.

  • The principle of subsidiarity. All decision-making rights and responsibilities remain with the smaller community unless the good of the broader community specifically requires that it makes those decisions. When subsidiarity tells us to look within the local community for decision making, it is analogous to the central preaching of Jesus that the kingdom of God is within us. Our worth comes not from outside authority but from our intrinsic value. This principle values the contribution of every member of the church.

  • The principle of decentralization. Each community shall form its own body of governing regulations. This principle respects the diversity present in the universal church which embraces many peoples, races, languages and cultures.

  • The principle of participation through election. Church history shows that the election process for choosing lead ers was much more common in the early days than now. Jesus broke barriers of exclusiveness. He fosters an open table where sinners sit with the seemingly righteous. All are invited to participate in positions of governance, even those outside of power circles.

  • The principle of term limits. All world religious traditions encourage individuals to be ready to let go of ego gratification. The curbing of self-centered ego desires attempts to turn us toward humble service of the community. Limits on office holding better serve the common good. The constitutions of many of our religious communities support this reality.

  • The principle of separate powers. Checks and balances in our religious institutions submit us to a spiritual discipline that can lead us to the empowerment of many over and against control by just a few.

  • The principle of accountability. Scriptures speak of Christians as members of one body, an organic whole with many functions. One part of the body must respond honestly and openly to other parts of the body for the health of the whole. Such communal understandings have been intrinsic to the Christian movement from its earliest days.

  • The principle of representation. All groupings of the faithful, including women and minorities, shall be equally represented in all positions of leadership and decision making. The spiritual dimensions of this principle stem from basic Gospel values. As Saint Paul teaches, "In Christ there is neither slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile, male nor female." The fallacy of certainty, of absolute possession of the truth, is an obstacle to spiritual development.

Bianchi wants to emphasize that the ways and means of democratic governance seems to be "very compatible with spiritual development" and its important to recognize that as we move forward into the 21st century. My first reflection on these principles concerned the sexual abuse scandal which has rocked our church and shaken the faith and confidence of so many of us. I wondered how these principles would have altered our leadership response if these principles had been in place.

God love you; I do.
Father Joe


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Monday - November 8
Readings: Ti 1:1-9     Lk 17:1-6

Mass Intention
All Souls †
Anthony Attard †
Women's Guild
St. Vincent de Paul
Mahoney Room
Tuesday - November 9
Readings: Ez 47:1-2,8-9,12     1 Cor 3:9c-11,16-17      Jn 2:13-22
Mass Intention 6:30
Robert Lewis †
All Souls †
Scripture Study
Religious Education
Legion of Mary
Liturgy Committee Meeting
Mary's Chapel
Convent Chapel
Wednesday - November 10
Readings: Ti 3:1-7     Lk 17:11-19
Mass Intention 6:30
All Souls †
Tash McMahon †
7th Gr. Cheerleading
Choir Practice
Bible Study
Convent Chapel

Thursday - November 11

Readings: Phmn 7-20     Lk 17:20-25

Mass Intention 6:30
All Souls †
Sam Boncic †
Fil/Am Group
Convent Chapel

Friday - November 12
Readings: 2 Jn 4-9     Lk 17:26-37

Mass Intention 6:30
All Souls †
Charles & Rita Agius †
8th Gr. Cheerleading
Festival Dinner
Parking Lot

Saturday - November 13
Readings: 3 Jn 5-8     Lk 18:1-18

Mass Intention 8:30
All Souls †
Bill Wilson †
Women's Retreat
Computer Class
Youth Ministry
8th Gr. Varsity Volleyball
Consolation Ministry
Computer Room
Parking Lot
Convent Chapel

Sunday - November 14
Readings: Mal 3:19-20a     2 Thes 3:7-12     Lk 21:5-19

Mass Intention 7:30
Tom & MaryAnn Begley †
People of St. Robert's
Giuseppe Pignati †
All Souls †
Outdoor Ed/Pancake Breakfast
Youth Ministry

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As a Parish Community...We pray for people throughout the world who suffer persecution and oppression because of their faith. May there be an end to all hatred, violence, terrorism and war.



Juliet Michele Courtney & Isabel Rose Birkmyer


Dear Parishioners

Please notify the priesthouse (589-2800) if a loved one is either sick or in the hospital and would like to be visited.

The Parish Priests and Staff



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
Louis Guffanti,
Dominic Galletta.
Olive Tolbert &
Fr. Patrick Coyne

who died recently.



St. Robert’s Grief Support Group will hold a special meeting on Saturday, November 13th, in the Convent Chapel from 3:00—4:15 pm to help those who are facing the upcoming Holidays without their loved one—spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, friend, relative. The gap left by a loss is felt most poignantly during these traditional times of celebration—Thanksgiving & Christmas. We invite you to come and pray, share memories, comfort and be comforted. May Our Lady of Sorrows comfort you.

Sister Patricia



The Emergency Prayer Network continues to pray for specific intentions that require a concerted effort due to their critical nature. To facilitate the network, please call Michele Pipinich. The network then prays frequently for the next 72 hours. We would appreciate a return call with the outcome so we can praise God for His faithfulness.



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.



There are green fliers at the church entrances with suggestions for Christmas gifts which encourage creative, active, constructive and cooperative play instead of toys which promote violence. Please take one.



During this season of thanksgiving to God, our creator, who has given us so much. Let our hearts go out to our sisters and brothers who are not as fortunate. Baskets for your gifts of non-perishable food have been placed on the altar steps. Our St. Vincent de Paul Society will see to it that those members of our Parish Family in need will be touched by our compassion and love.

Turkey gift certificates are also needed.


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There is an educational trust fund set up for Anthony and Alexis Ayllon. Please send donations to:

1st National Bank of Northern California
1551 El Camino
Millbrae, Ca 94030
Reference acct. number 060059336

For more information contact Josette Reid.


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Honorable Ray Flynn-Former Mayor of Boston and Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Wednesday, November 10th from 7-8:30 a.m. at the City club of San Francisco. Flynn is a leading lay Catholic voice in the United States and passionately committed to the interests of working families in urban America. Ray Flynn will speak on issues of social and economic justice for urban Americans, the sanctity of human life, and the importance of preserving traditional marriage for the future of the American family.Our meetings are held at the San Francisco City Club at 1255 Sansonme St. (between Bush and Pine), in the Bechtel Room on the 9th floor. Doors open at 6:45 a.m. and our meeting begins with Morning Prayer promptly at 7:00 a.m.



Project Rachel Archdiocesan Post Abortion Ministry-announces an informative program and training workshop for persons interested in providing volunteer mentoring and support to persons suffering from post-abortion pain and hurting, Sat., Nov. 20th, 9:30-4:00 p.m., Archdiocesan Pastoral Center, 1 Peter Yorke Way, S.F. Persons who would like information about the growing incidence of post-abortion hurting, how it is manifested, and how family and friends can help are also welcome to attend. The workshop and program is presented by Vicki Thorn, dynamic Director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Healing and Reconciliation for further information, please call (415) 717-6428.


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by Sister Sheral

These Sundays are the culmination of the liturgical year which ends with the Feast of Christ the King. The readings for next week remind us of the hell fire and brimstone which many of us were accustomed to hearing about in our youth. The scariness may remind us of some bumper stickers which talk about “the Rapture” at the end of the world and how the occupants of the car will be taken up into heaven. These apocalyptic (end time) readings seem to give our Fundamentalist brothers and sisters ammunition for pessimism and for dividing the world into the good and the evil, the saved and the unsaved. The readings are really an invitation to ponder more deeply what we believe. Our faith teaches that Jesus has saved us by his life, death and resurrection. The fate of the world is not up in the air between the forces of evil and the forces of good. God has already prevailed!

What difference would it make if we believed we were already saved? Those of us who tend to be scrupulous, to take some practices of our faith too seriously, thinking that we are greater sinners than we are, could quit wasting all that energy. Those of us who don’t take our faith seriously enough might reflect on how very much God loves us and let that awareness overflow into greater love for God and others. Perhaps, those who taught us thought that believing we were saved would lead us to be presumptuous and take God’s gracious love for granted. But think about your own experience. If you had at least one parent or grandparent who really loved you, didn’t you try wholeheartedly to love that person in return, to live up to that person’s love for you? I remember so clearly not wanting to do anything wrong because I didn’t want to disappoint my parents. There wasn’t a lot of fear in my life, for which I am eternally grateful. My parents’ love for me helped me to believe in God’s love for me. So if we believe we are saved it shouldn’t make us arrogant, but set us free from worry about our salvation so that we can “love God with our whole heart and our neighbor as ourselves.” We just need to live into what God has done for us in Jesus. We need to think of ourselves as children of God, regardless of our age! When faced with a decision, we could ask ourselves, “What would a member of God’s family do?” Or as the young people have taught us, “What would Jesus do?” There is no better gauge.

Lector Workshop
On Tuesday, November 16 at 7 pm, all lectors, new and veteran, are invited gather in the church. The session will include the spirituality of lectoring and an opportunity to hear each other and offer suggestions. Please come prepared to proclaim the Advent reading of your assigned Sunday. If you’re not scheduled to read during Advent, please choose and prepare an Advent or Christmas reading.

Advent Small Groups
If you’d like to join fellow parishioners in reflecting on the Sunday scriptures of this wonderful season, please call the rectory and leave your name and daytime phone number. Sr. Sheral will have a Tuesday morning group from 9:15 to 10:30 am. Deacon Rusty Duffey will offer a Tuesday evening group at 7p.m.


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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



Let's try again. How about a pre-holiday get-together on Nov. 14th at Dominic's which is located at the Poplar Golf Course in San Mateo. The time is 12 Noon. Please contact Bunny Moniz by 11/11/04. See you there.



Women's Retreat-Several of those participating in the Women’s Retreat Nov. 13 have offered rides to anyone needing one. If your plans have changed and you will need a ride, please call Sr. Sheral at 589-2800.



6th grade Outdoor Ed Pancake Breakfast, Nov. 14th
7:30am to 9:30am $5.00 for Adults and $4.00 Kids



We’ll begin making the Advent wreaths at 9 am on Saturday, November 20 in the kindergarten room. Be sure to bring small clippers with you to cut the evergreens; everything else will be supplied. Please bring with you a donation of $7 to cover the cost of materials.


November 10th

We are scheduled for the 2nd Wednesday of each month. If you can prepare a favorite cookie, snack or lunch item for 10 to 12 people, please drop it off at the Children's Chapel, in the back of Church, by 9 a.m. on November 10th. Please pack the items in a non-returnable container. Frozen items can be donated.

We appreicate your help!


The Church Is Open

During the next few months if you begin to feel the crazyness of the season remember you can always come to Church and visit with God to find some peace. You will find St. Robert's Church open from 6:30am Mass until 5pm. As you're going to or from work or school or on your way home from shopping why not come in and thank the Lord for the gift of life and the beauty of the Season.

God's peace will refresh you.


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We welcome into our parish

Don & Michele Orque & Family
Phil & Joni Birkmyer & Family
Angelo & Carrie Cosentino

If you're new to St. Robert's, we ask that you complete a registration form found in the vestibule of the church. Drop it either in the collection basket, the mail, or at the parish office. We will send you a New Parishioner Packet with information about the parish, its organizations and groups.



November is traditionally the month set aside by our church to commemorate and celebrate the memories of our departed loved ones. We will have a special shrine erected in Our Lady’s alcove (in the church). Please, bring flowers, pictures, or memorial cards of your departed loved ones 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.

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



In case you’re new to the parish, it would be good for you to be aware that here at St. Robert’s we try to accommodate different groups in the parish by different “styles” of liturgy. The 9:30 am Mass Sunday is geared towards families with children: the music is upbeat; kindergarteners through fifth graders are sent forth from this Mass to hear the scripture readings at their own level and participate in sharing led by well-prepared adults. The 5 pm Mass Sunday is geared towards youth and young adults with music and homilies addressing their needs. The 4:30 pm Saturday and the 7:30 am and 11:30 am Sunday Masses are a bit more traditional, hopefully meeting the needs of the parish at large. Of course, anyone is most welcome to participate in whichever Mass you wish.


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Thank you for your generous donation of $3,006.79 to the World Missions.

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