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My dear brothers and sisters,

The Holy Year of Mercy comes to us as a gift from God through the ministry of our beloved Pope Francis, and as Saint Paul once said: “Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2).

We have been called by Pope Francis to celebrate this Jubilee Year, first of all, contemplating the face of Christ, in whom the mystery of God’s mercy has reached its summit. But we also need to bring the experience of God’s mercy to the whole world.

Our Diocese is fully embracing this joyful celebration with many different programs and events, but, above all, by promoting the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. It is my deepest desire, as father and pastor of the Church of Oakland, that each Catholic might be willing and able to practice them and truly become “merciful like the Father,” not only during this Holy Year, but always.

With the assurance of my prayers and blessings,

Michael C. Barber, SJ

Bishop of Oakland