Changes in our lives


  Lent is the old English word for spring. This is time for change. Watching the world for signs of springtime can bring hope after the long cold winter months. If you are concerned for the arrival of the spirit of spring, be on the lookout for signs of the approaching season. There are signs everywhere – in the sky, the garden, the woods, fields, and near water. In the city and the country, watch for the signs of spring’s approach.

           In our lives change and difficulties seem to give us the opportunity to step back, become aware of ourselves in new ways, and return to what is really important to us, what is important to us in order to have everlasting life. There are different difficulties in our lives: the death of someone you love, economic difficulties which contribute to social problems.  Our hearts go out to all the people who are persecuted because of their faith. Recently, Pope Francis mourned the 21 Egyptian Christians beheaded by the Islamic State, calling them martyrs that “belong to all Christians.” The words of Psalm 116 comfort us: I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living. I believed, even when I said,  “I am greatly afflicted.”  Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones.

           We remember Lazarus who was a sign of the Resurrection and the Life of Jesus Christ. This sign is for all humanity. And Life came to the tomb of Lazarus, as Jesus raised him from the dead. Jesus, who brings life, is put to death and placed in a tomb. His death and resurrection are life-giving.  Dying and rising from the dead brings hope of eternal life to all who, like Lazarus, must die. Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. He helped them during difficult time. He was with Lazarus' grieving family and friends. Jesus Christ raised Lazarus to life so that more people can believe in him.
           Like spring brings hope after long cold winter months Jesus Christ brings us hope during our difficulties. We need change in our lives. May we follow God like Abraham, so that we will be a blessing for the world and we can have eternal life.

           We have heard from the Gospel about the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. The purpose was that His disciples could gain a greater understanding of who Jesus was.  Jesus took Peter, James and John up a mountain to pray. While praying, His personal appearance was changed. The appearance of Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the Prophets. The Law and the Prophets must give way to Jesus. “Listen to Him!”  He is the fulfillment of the Law and the prophecies in the Old Testament.  He is the only way we should follow. “Rise, and do not be afraid.”

God tested Abraham, asking him to slay his son as an offering of worship. Abraham was prepared to do as God commanded, but was stopped by an angel. God was pleased at Abraham's obedience.

God will provide, but do we trust him to do so?

Our faith in God may be tested when times are difficult, but that is exactly when faith is most important. Perhaps money problems, illness and other struggles feel challenging, but if we trust him, God will give us the strength to see us through. Our perseverance can help us grow in faith and draw closer to God.

           Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to change your life that you can receive the grace from God, it means be with God. Being with God is the only destination of human being. Satan wants people not to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, who suffered, died and resurrected and because of this we have eternal life. We participate in the Eucharist which is sacrifice of cross. It is a source of Christian life. Christ offers his life for us. 

Padre Pio said:

"It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass."

"A thousand years of enjoying human glory is not worth even an hour spent sweetly communing with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament."

           The sun will begin to show up at an earlier hour and go down later as the spring nears. Notice the sky. Are you seeing more sunlight? This is spring, expression of life. The Spirit of the God dwells in us like the spirit of spring. Jesus Christ is our hope and now this is the time, even when we are experiencing difficulties to change our lives.

           Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ, the sunsets are there in order to bring beautiful sunrises and a new morning of Resurrection. We have hope in our Resurrection.


Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Rafal Duda

Parochial Administrator


Please remember to RSVP!

Every parishioner received an invitation to a Capital Campaign Reception. Please RSVP to attend one of our informational to learn about our campaign.


Friday, March 6 at 7:30 in the parish hall. Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J. will be in attendance. I strongly encourage you to reserve this date, especially to come to this reception to meet the Bishop.

Saturday-Sunday, March 14-15 following all Masses in the Parish Hall.

Thank you for your consideration and support of this historic endeavor! You will hear more about the campaign in the coming weeks.



Saturdays at 4:00 PM

The Lamentations are a body of hymns, poetry, chants, and meditations that invite participants to ponder the sufferings of the Lord Jesus and his Mother Mary during the Passion.

The Bitter Lamentations were moved from Sundays to Saturdays.  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Wake-up hymn follows.

Next, one part (three melodies like psalms in the Lauds) is performed (the same part in every third Sunday of Lent): Hymn, The Soul’s Lament, and Mary’s Dialog with the Soul.

Passion sermon is preached next.

The celebration is concluded with Benediction.



Our Master for the Retreat is Fr. Neal Clemens, Vocation Director  for the Diocese of Oakland

March 7 - Saturday                                                    

5:00 p.m. - Vigil Mass with 1st Conference 


March 8 – Sunday                                                      

8:30 a.m. - Holy Mass with conference                  

9:30 a.m. - Conference for children & Confession 

10:30 a.m. - Holy Mass with Conference


March 9 -  Monday                                                           

8:00 a.m. - Holy Mass with short Homily & Conference after the Mass                                                  

7:00 p.m. - Conference


March 10 – Tuesday                                                     

8:00 a.m. - Holy Mass with short Homily & Conference after the Mass                                                 

7:00 p.m. - Conference 


March 11 – Wednesday                                                

8:00 a.m. - Holy Mass with short Homily & Final Conference after the Mass                                      

7:00 p.m. - the Final Conference after the Mass




Some of our parishioners are covering some expenses. If you like to help, please write check to St. Margaret Mary and in memo write Carmelite Sisters. There are the collection boxes under the names: For the Carmelites Sisters and For the Poor which are attached to the wall by  the St. Anthony statue in the church. Thank you for your generosity.



We received this note from a non-parishioner who lives in the neighborhood: "Thank you, St Margaret Mary's Catholic Church.  You have been such a blessing to my family.  We want you to know how much we appreciate your help with the food cards each month.  It is much needed and we are so grateful.  God bless you!"  The next SVdP collection is Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18. Thank you for your generosity and support. 



If you would like to have  Holy Masses celebrated on certain days and times, please book earlier (we have Holy Masses booked for January, already). Donation for the Mass, please give to the Secretary at the time of booking. When another priest is celebrating Holy Mass, we don’t know how much we are supposed to give him.  In our diocese the minimum donation for a Holy Mass is $10.00. Write your check to St. Margaret Mary. We have available Holy Masses on March: 15-19,21,23,25,26,28, and 31. If you would like to have a Holy Mass celebrated for your intentions or those of your loved ones ( l. or d.), please contact the parish office at: or call  at 510-482-0596.




MARCH: 1,8,15:CCD classes


MARCH 29 and APRIL 5: NO CCD classes

APRIL: 12, 19, and 26: CCD classes



PRAY FOR ALL THE  SICK: Fr. Stan Zak, Fr Vince Brylka;  Fr Bill Marshall; Fr Seamus Genovese; Lianne Claver; Alex Porcuna;  Lewis Mullen;  Carmel Mahoney; Nancy Duenas;  Brad O’Leary;  Titus Ekanem; Elisa & Giovanni  Mancarti; Vic and Nancy Miloslavich; Kathryn Rieger;  Judy & Louis Delligatti; Eugenia Hunter; Rose Bloom; Stella Lurton;  Sue Weber; Cornelius McCauley; Laura Montgomery; Sara Zendejas; Mary Walker, Rosaline White; Ann McHugh; Josephine Palacios; Annie Bozzardi; Dan Bruflodt; Francis Martinez, Mike Rodriguez;. Patrick Ventanilla; Joe Martinez, Paul Ehrfurth; John Ehrfurth; Lily McWilliams;………..and those whose names are written in the Book of the Sick, and all sick people in the entire world.


PRAY FOR THE DEAD: For the deceased members of our families, friends, parishioners & benefactors of our parish: Bill Leitao; Inetta Calori; Michael Smith; also for those who died recently: Mabel de Sousa, Kathleen York, Manuel Leitão, Lyle Arnold, Elaine Haselton; .... and for all the faithful departed, especially, for all the Poor Souls in Purgatory.  MAY THEY REST IN PEACE .


PARISH PAY and 2014 YEAR-END DONATIONS: For those interested in making a catch-up donation for missed plate collections or a one-time, year-end tax deductible donation, you can make a donation to St. Margaret Mary Church through Parish Pay, a third party service which allows parishioners to charge their contribution directly to their own bank account or to any major credit card. There is no cost to you for this service.  See the paragraph titled One-time donations below for more information on how to make a special one-time donation. You can sign up for this service online by going to the website listed below and clicking on “Start giving now”. If you will be donating via direct debit to your bank account, you will need your bank’s routing number and your account number. Your monthly donation will be debited to your bank account on the fifth (5th) of every month.


IMPORTANT: If you plan to make a tax-deductible donation in December, please use your credit card for all donations made after December 1 in order to ensure that it will be received by St. Margaret Mary Church before December 31.  Any donations made after December 1 which are charged to your bank account may not be debited to your account until January 2015 and, therefore, may not be deductible for 2014 income tax purposes. https :// If you don’t have a computer you can call Parish Pay’s customer service center and they will sign you up. Their customer service center can be reached seven days a week, 24 hours a day at: 1 - 866 PARISH 1 (1-866-727-4741)

Please remember our St. Margaret Mary Parish, when you are making your end of the year donations for 2014. We  need to cover our expenses. If you are able to increase your donations, we will be MOST GRATEFUL. Also, please remember our Parish in your Last Will. MAY GOD REWARD YOUR GENEROSITY.


PRIESTS’ LUNCH UPDATE AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: you to Judy Wendel, Patricia Parker and Rita Faulkner for serving the priests in November and December.  There are still some open dates in January-May, 2015.  This is a 2 person task, some of the months already have one volunteer, but we need a second.  If you are available to help, please contact Lily Mullen to sign up, (925)827-1946. Thanks! Our parish priests and those who join them for this monthly morning of prayer and recollection appreciate our efforts to provide a homemade meal and serve them.  In this little way we say THANK YOU for their ministry to US.  Won’t you consider serving?


VOLUNTEERS needed for our altar linen team:

Can you help our parish for 1-2 hours a month while at home? Our altar linen team needs some new members to help with laundering and ironing our beautiful altar linens. Typically, you pick up linens once a month after Mass, launder them, iron them and return them the next Sunday. This is a lovely ministry that you can perform for our parish and do it from home. Anyone interested please contact Mary Muth via email


RICE BOWL  Lenten Charitable Program

We will collect Rice Bowl money on  Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015. We are also collecting imperishable food items. In the vestibule of our church, barrels for food are placed.  “I was hungry and you gave me no food.” PLEASE SHARE YOUR FOOD WITH HUNGRY PEOPLE.



A ROOM FOR RENT in Oakland:

Our parishioner has a room for rent for $500.00 plus utilities. The room includes a small refrigerator and microwave oven and kitchen privileges on the main house. If you are interested in it, please contact our parishioner at





St. Margaret Mary Campaign Newsletter


 February 28  &  March 01, 2015 Volume 4         




           Bishop         Michael C. Barber, S.J. will be here at St. Margaret Mary on Friday, March 6 at 7:30p.m. in the Parish Hall for a campaign reception! Please help give our Bishop a warm welcome and give him an opportunity to speak about the Reclaiming Christ’s Mission Together campaign.

           Fr. Duda and Fr. Meney are asking EVERY parish household to attend a campaign reception. The reception will last approximately one hour. PLEASE RSVP to the parish office so the campaign committee can prepare an appropriate amount of refreshments.        


                      Not too late to RSVP!


If you haven’t gotten a chance to RSVP for a reception, it’s not too late! You can RSVP:

 - by mailing in your RSVP card,

 - calling the parish office at: 510.482.0596,

 - or by emailing:



Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland      •Campaign Office • 2121 Harrison St # 100 • Oakland, Ca 94612

510-893-4711 •      


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