Sunday, June 24, 2012

Social Concerns Column, Sunday, 1 July 2012

Be an English Language Tutor!
The next tutor training session is coming soon.  St. Michael Parish partners with the well-established and successful Livermore Public Library’s READ program to bring English skills to our very own parishioners.  The initial training is one day, and then we ask for a 6 month commitment of 2 hours per week.  You and your student can meet in a room at the library at a time that you choose together.  The library provides all the training materials you need, free of charge, and has staff available to answer your questions.  Bilingual parishioners have volunteered to meet with you and your student for the first couple of sessions to help you get started.  You do not need to be bilingual.  If you can read this paragraph out loud, then you are qualified.  Interested?  Want to give a fellow parishioner the gift of English?  Help them obtain job opportunities?  Even help them pass their US Citizenship test?  Please call Joanne, 443-1422.

Livermore Homeless Refuge Collection Coming Soon to St. Michael.
We will soon be collecting for the homeless in our community.  Now is good time to go through your closets for gently used shoes, summer clothing, and underwear.  We will also need simple beverage and food items such as coffee, tea, cup-a-soups.  Thank you for your outstanding generosity!

Dress-a-Girl Sew Fests Send Hundreds of Dresses Overseas. 
For over a year, the creative ladies of the Tri-Valley have been meeting monthly to sew dresses for little girls in developing countries.  These inventive seamstresses transform pillowcases or T-shirts into unique and adorable dresses.  Last month, we sent over 250 T-shirt dresses to the Anazima organization in Uganda (, 200 to Cambodia with Pastor Phal of the First Covenant Church of Oakland, 62 to Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations in Arizona, 100 to Achungo Children’s Center in Kenya, 30 to an orphanage outside of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 30 to King Children’s Home in Belize, and 100 to Honduras with  If you would like to donate pillowcases, good quality cotton fabrics, or your time, please contact our fearless leader, Suzanne Beck,, 925-352-8447: man's way leads to a hopeless end -- God's way leads to an endless hope!

Everyday Christianity
All human beings have unique talents, gifts from God that we are called to develop and share. ... People who use their skills and expertise for the common good, the service of others, and the protection of creation, are good stewards of the gifts they have been given. 
(From USCCB, Everyday Christianity: To Hunger and Thirst for Justice,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Social Concerns Column for 24 June 2012

Focus: Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley, 925-931-5379
SSPTV has many volunteer opportunities, including the Friendly Visitor Program, the Nutrition and Exercise Program, and the Transportation Program.

Volunteering in the Friendly Visiting Program:
  • Friendly Visitor - matched with a senior to be a friend, help with reading, shopping, going for a drive, playing games, etc.
  • Group projects to do work on seniors' homes - heavy cleaning, yard work, painting and repairs.
  • Events - help with luncheons, Holiday gifts and baskets, fundraisers, outreaches.
  • Office help - filing, shredding, mailings, computer data entry, etc.
  • Telephone reassurance - Make phone calls to seniors to monitor their status and update their records.

Volunteering in the Nutrition and Exercise Program:
  • In-home exercise coach - Trains with the ProActive Balance Coordinator to coach frail seniors weekly on their exercise programs.
  • Volunteer exercise class leader - Is trained to lead senior gentle exercise classes at senior apartments in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin. The group of volunteers can substitute for each other to provide flexibility.
  • Volunteer nutrition education class leader - Is trained to present nutrition education modules to senior groups.

Volunteering in the Transportation Program:
  • Volunteer drivers - Drive seniors to both Tri-Valley and out of area appointments.
  • Volunteer escorts - Ride paratransit with frail seniors and escort them to appointments.

Want to Volunteer? 
Need Help for Yourself or a Loved One?
Please contact the Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley:, 925-931-5379

“Christian faith requires conversion; it changes who we are, what we do and how we think. The Gospel offers good news and guidance not just for our spiritual lives, but for all the commitments and duties which make up our lives. Living our faith in the ordinary tasks of everyday life is an essential part of what it means to be holy today.” -- USCCB, Everyday Christianity: To Hunger and Thirst for Justice,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Social Concerns Column for 17 June 2012

He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. --Ps 9:8

US Bishops Issue Call to Action to Defend Religious Liberty: “Fortnight for Freedom”. 
The U.S. bishops have issued a strong call to action for all Catholics to defend religious liberty in the 13-page proclamation “Our First, Most Cherished Freedom”. The bishops call for “A Fortnight for Freedom,” the two-week period from June 21 to July 4—where “all the energies the Catholic community can muster” are focused on prayer, study, catechesis, public action and special events revolving around Religious Liberty. Contact Trish Spindler,, for more information.  Read the proclamation at:

US Bishops Statement on Faithful Citizenship.
“Responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.  By our baptism, Catholics are committed to following Jesus Christ and to be salt for the earth, light for the nations . . . As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life.”  Learn more at:

Care for God’s Creation and poor people by reducing your carbon footprint
Plant a garden and start a compost pile.  Eat less meat: the UN concludes that “the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems,” including climate change. Dry your clothes outdoors when possible and use the dryer less.

Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley
Call to volunteer.  Call to ask for help for yourself or a loved one.  SSPTV provides case management, family caregiver support, alcohol/drug program, friendly visits, transportation, exercise and nutrition program, health screening and more!

Would you like to pursue a social justice project?
The St. Michael Parish Social Concerns Ministry would like to help you to help others!  Call Joanne, 443-1422.

The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.  With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.  There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.  -- Acts 4:32-35

Social Concerns Column for June 10, 2012

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. --Micah 6:8

Pope Benedict Calls for End to Death Penalty:
“I draw the attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty and to reform the penal system in a way that ensures respect for the prisoners’ human dignity.” (Benin, Nov. 19, 2011)

Why Eliminate the Death Penalty?
And replace it with life imprisonment with no possibility of parole?  Over 90% on death row could not afford their own attorney.  Since 1973, over 140 persons have been released from death row with evidence of innocence.  It is not a deterrent to murder.  It is extremely expensive.  Five states in the past five years have abolished the death penalty.  For more than 30 years, the U.S. Catholic bishops have called for an end to the death penalty.  Want the details behind these facts?  Visit:

The Catholic Layperson: Discipleship and the Pursuit of Justice. 
Being a believer means that one lives a certain way -- walking with the Lord, doing justice, loving kindness, living peaceably among all people. Christian discipleship means practicing what Jesus preached. Discipleship is found in a relationship with Christ and a commitment to His mission of "bringing good news to the poor, liberty to captives, new sight to the blind and setting the downtrodden free." -- USCCB, Everyday Christianity: To Hunger and Thirst for Justice,

Election 2012: Catholics Vote for the Common Good. 
As Catholics who defend the sanctity of human life, we stand up for the unborn, the homeless, the inmate on death row, the environment and our neighbors suffering from hunger because all life is created in the image of God.  Learn more about Catholic faithful citizenship at:

Would you like to pursue a social justice project?  The St. Michael Parish Social Concerns Ministry would like to help you to help others!  Call Joanne, 443-1422.

Justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. --Isaiah 32:16

Social Concerns Column for June 3, 2012

But let justice roll on like rivers, and righteousness like a mighty stream. -- Amos 5:24

Bishop Cordileone Endorses SAFE California Act as Pro-Life. 
The SAFE California Act ( will replace California’s death penalty with a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole as the maximum punishment for murder.  This means convicted killers will remain behind bars forever – with no risk of the State of California executing an innocent person.  The sentence of life imprisonment will save millions of tax payer dollars.  Please visit the website, sign the petition, and spread the word.  For information on the national level, visit the USCCB’s Campaign to End the Death Penalty at:

Volunteers Needed to Promote SAFE California Act in Livermore
The California Bishops need volunteers in every diocese and parish to help promote the SAFE California Act that will be on the November ballot.  We need volunteers.  You can choose how much time to spend, including, learning about SAFE, promoting SAFE within our parish, holding informational meetings on SAFE, sharing SAFE on Facebook and across the Internet to your California friends and family.  Interested?  Please call Joanne, 443-1422.

A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death: 
"Ending the death penalty would be one important step away from a culture of death and toward building a culture of life.” -- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005

US Bishops on Everyday Christianity for the Laity:
The Catholic social mission is  also carried forward by believers who join unions, neighborhood organizations, business groups, civic associations, the pro-life movement, groups working for justice, or environmental, civil rights or peace groups. It is advanced by Christians who stand up for the values of the Gospel. This mission is the task of countless Christians living their faith without much fanfare or recognition, who are quietly building a better society by their choices and actions day by day. They protect human life, defend those who are poor, seek the common good, work for peace, and promote human dignity.  -- USCCB, Everyday Christianity: To Hunger and Thirst for Justice,

Thus has the LORD of hosts said, 'Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'--Zechariah 7:9