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St. Dominic's Catholic Church
2390 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-567-7824,
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This Week

Our Pastor's Corner, September 14, 2014, The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today we celebrate the Exaltation of the Cross. Historically, this feast commemorates the moment when St. Helena discovered the True Cross on which Christ died. After the death and resurrection of Christ, authorities in Jerusalem made efforts to obscure the Holy Sepulcher, i.e., the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Earth was mounded upon the place, and a pagan temple erected on top of it. When Christianity gained cultural acceptance under Emperor Constantine in 325, his mother, St. Helena traveled to Jerusalem on a quest to find the True Cross. According to tradition, excavation unearthed three crosses grouped together. Assuming that one was the True Cross and the other two belonged to the thieves crucified alongside Christ, an experiment was devised to determine authenticity. In one version of the story, the three crosses were taken to a woman who was near death; when she touched the True Cross, she was healed. In celebration of this discovery of the Holy Cross, Constantine build the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, a place in which I had the great privilege to celebrate Mass two weeks after my ordination in 2007!

The legacy of the True Cross continues today. Through generous benefaction, we have a sliver of a fragment in our own St. Dominic’s. Displayed under glass at the foot of the Pieta statue in the south transept, this relic is a treasured place of prayer that has brought consolation to those who are weighed down by the crosses of their lives. The well-worn kneeler, which was recently refurbished, stands as a testament to the intercessory power of the True Cross.  

Though the cross is a familiar symbol of our faith, to the earliest Christians it was a sign of shame and death. The Romans used crucifixion as the most cruel and humiliating way of exacting the death penalty. For the contemporaries of Christ, the cross would be akin to the electric chair or the noose of our present age. To exult in the Cross would be unthinkable for those who witnessed it firsthand. And yet, in the light of the Resurrection, the power and significance of the Cross is illumined. Our second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians reveals that the power of the cross flows from Christ’s loving gift of self, Christ emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. The True Cross reminds us of Christ’s love and the sacrifice he made for us. The Gospel famously echoes the nature of His sacrifice on the cross, For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. This is the paradox of the cross. Jesus chose to enter into the darkest, most shameful place of humanit,y in order to redeem it. Through the cross, love conquers death.

We all carry crosses of burden. In fact, we can spend an inordinate amount of energy avoiding and complaining about the trials of daily sufferings. The Exaltation of the Cross invites us to consider that it is precisely through the bearing of our crosses faithfully that God’s love comes to life in us. The traditional practice of “offering up” our suffering as a token of our love for God connects us with the paradoxical but powerful sign of the cross. Just as the cross was transformed from a sign of shame and death into the symbol of God’s love, so too, our burdens and suffering can be the very means by which we experience God’s grace in our lives. This week, I invite you to bring your own burdens and crosses to the foot of the True Cross, that you might discover the comfort and consolation of God’s love.

~ Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P.

Our Pastor's Corner, September 21, 2014, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend, Pastor Emeritus Fr. Martin Walsh, O.P., will preach about the current situation for Christians in Iraq. As the director of the Western Dominican Mission Foundation, he is uniquely connected with the work of our Dominican Sisters in the area. In anticipation of Fr. Martin’s preaching, I have included a recent letter from our Dominican Sisters, which brings color to their struggles and hopes under such dire circumstances. ~ Fr Michael

We often hear the powerful words of Ecclesiastes that remind us of the inevitability of birth and death, that these realities come upon us regardless of whether we are prepared for them or not. No doubt we must accept and embrace them, but rarely, however, do we experience them both on the same day. Yesterday at Mass, though, we did just that.

We celebrated the birth of Our Lady and committed one of our elderly sisters into the hands of God. The sister, whom we buried yesterday, is among the elderly sisters whom we had promised to take to Karakosh after the construction of our general house. Unfortunately, our unforeseen displacement and journey to Ankawa/Erbil was a shock for them, for they were eager to return back to Karakosh. Although they were not able to help out in the camps and centres with the young sisters at Erbil, they were diligently following the news on TV. This doubled their heartache and worry over people’s suffering. So heavy was their burden that three of them passed away within ten days.

Despite the loss and pain our community is experiencing, we rejoice in the reality that our sisters have decisively chosen to live life, never letting despair extinguish the light within them, and in the midst of overwhelming hardship, two sisters renewed their vows yesterday evening and two postulants received the habit, becoming novices.

It was a day where the contradictions of life and death converged; we witnessed simultaneously death and resurrection. This was a sign of hope and God’s presence among us, and it gave us courage to continue our journey with our people who are still displaced, weakened, and impoverished.

We have entered the fifth week of displacement, and people are still living the same misery, which is only worsening, it seems, as our cries are ignored, and the world turns a blind eye to our sufferings. The challenges that threaten our people are now even greater as we face homelessness. The refugees taking shelter in schools are told to leave, as the school year starts soon. They do not know where to go, and there is a shortage of medicine, food, mattresses, blankets, and clothing. The dignity of the people has been utterly stripped away. Most painful of all is that we do not know when this ordeal will end. So far, neither the central government nor the Kurdish forces have made serious actions to reclaim all the Christian towns from the IS.

Also, we would like to inform you that we have started setting up temporary housing for our sisters in the back yard of our convent, but the needs are great. We hope that the work will be completed within two weeks. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Your help can make huge difference.

~ Dominican Sisters of Catherine of Siena–Iraq

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, September 24
7:30-9:00 PM
Lecture by Fr. Gregory Tatum, OP
Rival Communions: Purity and Impurity in New Testament Ethics, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall.

In the Old Testament, the purity system has two centers of gravity: moral purity and ritual purity. In the New Testament, moral purity takes center stage and is intimately conjoined to the ex...(more)

Thursday, October 02
7:30-9:00 PM
Natural Family Planning - Intro Class
Attend an Introductory Natural Family Planning class. Thursday, Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m., Aquinas Room. Deacon Bill Turrentine and Pat Turrentine, volunteers with the Couple to Couple League, offer an overview of NFP - what it is and why it is important. Engaged or married couples are welcome. To register ...(more)
Tuesday, October 07
7:30-9:00 PM
Marriage Class I: Intro to Marriage Preparation Process
St. Dominic's offers classes for engaged couples preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage.


Marriage Preparation Class I: A School for Intimacy, second Tuesday of the month, 7:30 p.m., Aquinas Room.


No sign-up is required for the class.

Wednesday, October 08
7:30-9:00 PM
Marriage Prep Class II: Must-Have Conversations
St. Dominic's offers classes to engaged couples as part of the preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage.

Class II: Life-Giving Marriages, second Wednesday of the month, 7:30 p.m. in the Siena room

No sign-up is required for the class.
Monday, October 20
Until 10/28
St. Jude Novena

St. Jude Novena, Wednesday, Oct. 20 – Thursday, Oct. 28

Masses Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Sunday: 11:30 a.m. 
Rosary preceding all Masses; Blessing with relic after weekday Masses.

Fr. Kieran Healy, O.P., Pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Church in Berkeley, will preach. Fr. Heal...

Wednesday, October 29
5:30-9:30 PM
St Anthony Relics
St Anthony Relic, Wednesday, October 29, Masses with Veneration at 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. St. Anthony will visit us in the form of a precious relic from his Basilica in Padua, Italy. This relic will be accompanied by Fr Mario Conte, a Franciscan Friar from Padua where the Saint is buried. Accordi...(more)

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Sunday's Homily
Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P.
September 14, 2014

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Mass Schedule
5:30 p.m. - Saturday Vigil
7:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m. - Family
11:30 a.m. - Choir
1:30 p.m. - En EspaƱol
5:30 p.m. - Contemporary
9:00 p.m. - Candlelight

6:30 a.m.
8:00 a.m.
5:30 p.m. - St. Jude Mass

7:40 a.m. - Rosary
8:00 a.m. - Mass with Morning Prayer

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Phone: 415-567-7824
Fax: 415-567-1608

Office Hours
Sunday: 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Closed Monday.
Tuesday through Friday:
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Recent Documents
Pastor's Corner: Previous versions
Parish bulletin: September 14, 2014 Leadership report: May 12, 2013 Newsletter: April 12, 2014

Useful Resources
Pray as You Go provides daily prayer for your MP3 player
Daily readings and Psalms from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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