James V. Matthews is the Rector and Dean of the Cathedral of the Light in Oakland, CA. Ordained to the priesthood in 1974, Father Jay had the distinction of being the first African-American ordained in Northern California.
My first encounter with Jay was hearing his heartfelt homily at the funeral Mass of a deceased faculty-colleague of mine at Saint Mary’s College. Jay’s consoling words at that time stuck with me – the resonance of a great preacher.
With his broad smile, Jay welcomes us into this magnificent Cathedral of light and worship. For years, he has brought understanding and healing to an Oakland community sometimes faced with troubling social problems.
Now he has responsibility for a parish family that is also a setting for diocesan-wide liturgical events and an important showcase for the arts in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area.
Born in South Africa, Father Michael Fish came to the United States in 1997 to join the Camaldolese Hermitage in Big Sur, CA. He is among our country’s most sought-after retreat-masters.
His stories — often coming from his travels on the famed Camino de Santiago, speak of his deep devotion to gospel spirituality and the journey toward the “inner monk.”
No video can fully capture Michael’s humor and vitality. Believe me — we’ve tried our best to give you just a hint of his inspired work.
We meet Michael Fish at the Mercy Retreat Center in Burlingame, CA where he is conducting a three-day, silent retreat for one hundred participants.
Father Bill Nadeau is the pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi Church, located on the shores of Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, Nevada.
In this exceptional setting, we meet a priest whose ministry and life experience as a prison chaplain has prepared him well — to understand the most profound spiritual challenges.
Looking out over the lake, we gain a sense of serenity, a perspective on life, and Father Bill’s “spirituality with a view.”
Under his leadership, this parish community has grown spiritually, and as “intentional disciples” these parishioners are better prepared to witness to the gospel in everyday life.
We traveled to San Luis Obispo, CA and the Church of the Nativity of Mary to meet its pastor, Father Matt Pennington, and Deacon Tom O’Brien. They have collaborated in ministry for well over a decade, and their work remains vibrant, creative and the best example of preaching in the media age.
Here Matt tells us about his approach to preaching and homiletics, while Tom provides an insight into how Church music and the social media can help forward evangelization in the local community.
Father Jude Siciliano, O.P. and Sister Patricia Bruno, O.P. have been friends of mine for over twenty-five years.
From our ministry at Saint Monica’s parish (Moraga, CA) where Jude preached for many years – while both he and Sister Patricia taught homiletics at the Graduate Theological Union. They call themselves the Dominican Preaching Team and have worked around the country in preaching parish retreats and giving scripture workshops.
I’m naturally delighted that we can provide an example of a collaborative team that goes back to the historical roots of the Order of Preachers and the holy memory of Saint Dominic.
In San Francisco, we meet Sister Patricia at Saint Dominic’s Church, later travel to Saint James in Petaluma, CA where both she and Jude are holding a parish retreat.
We listen to these gifted witnesses to the gospel and hear how they pass on the preaching circle of Dominican spirituality and social justice.
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