Farewell and Thanks - Mary Ann Fake

 Farewell, and Thank You

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I first set foot in Newman in late 1978.  I had just moved to the East Bay from Colorado, having started a job with a “Big Eight” accounting firm in San Francisco.  I had been active in the Newman Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I’d recently received my degree.  I was looking for a spiritual home and community.  

What I found in Newman was that and more.  In my 40+ years I’ve been most consistently a member of the choir – I think I’ve outlasted at least five choir directors!  I’ve also at various times served on the Parish Council and Finance Committee, and have helped with the refugee ministry, Rebuilding Together, church clean ups, and more social events than I can count. My two wonderful daughters have been Newmanites from birth, having gone to Little Church and CCD, been baptized and received first communion, and been members of the choir at various times themselves.   

And now it is time for me to move on.  The company I work for opened an office in Denver a year ago, and they have asked me to move there.  It is a homecoming of sorts for me – my brother lives in Boulder, my sister in the town in Southwest Colorado where I grew up.  My younger daughter has already moved to Colorado with her fiancée.  I know that when I get there I will find a new spiritual community, and music groups to sing with, and friends.  And I will come back to visit!  

But I will also miss all of you terribly.  I will miss the energy and spirit of the students.  I will miss the wisdom and ideals of the “old timers”.  I will miss the inspired and inspiring preaching of the Paulists. I will miss the blessings in the smiles of the ministers when I receive Communion. I will miss hearing Jim Roth and Colleen playing heavenly duets before and during mass.  And I will miss the choir – who have been friend and family and inspiration to me and my daughters for so long.  

You all have seen us through joy and tears, through exhaustion and tragedy and “mountaintop” experiences.  And there have been times when I have been on the risers singing, and I look at the congregation and my fellow choir members, and I am overwhelmed by beauty and fellowship – and I’ve thought “This is what Heaven must be like”.  

“Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place – I can feel His mighty power and grace.  

I can hear the brush of angel wings – I see glory on each face.  

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place”.  


Thank you all.  

  – Mary Ann Fake

Who are "Women in Conversation"?

What is it that you like about Newman Hall-Holy Spirit parish? What keeps you coming?  Is it attending a good liturgy with prayerful music, a thoughtful homily, and a chance to mix during donuts and coffee afterward? More than this, are you hoping to make friends, to grow spiritually and intellectually, to find a real community where you can share your joys as well as your sorrows, your beliefs as well as your doubts in a setting of mutual acceptance? 

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In our parish, we have a wonderful venue for women of all ages to share experiences of faith and to build a vibrant spiritual community. Women in Conversation (WiC), co-founded in 2011 by Kaya Oakes and Jean Molesky-Poz, offers opportunities to consider theology, scripture and spirituality from women’s perspectives, deepen prayer and discernment practices, and to support one another.  

We meet bi-monthly on the second Saturday, September to June. Not only are we treated to lectures, small group discussions and prayer, but we value getting to know each other over coffee and snacks, making friends with women of diverse ages and backgrounds. At a meeting, participants can number from thirty to sixty women.

Over the course of nine years, Women in Conversationhas considered topics such as “Women Seeking the Sacred” and “Transitions: From Who We are to Who We Are Called to Become,” as well as inquiring into more public roles of Catholic women’s leadership, including women’s ordination.  Feminist biblical scholars have examined overlooked stories of women in the Bible with us and provided skills to reconstruct biblical history in which women were central and active agents. Muslim women dialogued with us on their faith, and undocumented mothers shared their stories, as have women ministering to girls who have been sex trafficked. We inform one another of needed social actions that reflect Catholic social teaching.

In an earlier session, women students led the group through a meditation on the visit of the young pregnant Mary who “set out with haste to a Judean town in the hill country” to stay with her aunt for three months (Luke 1:39). In small groups of students and regular parishioners, we asked, “What can we, as women of faith, learn from one another across the generations here at Newman?” Students said they were glad to “get out of their bubble;” a parishioner said to the students, “I am amazed at the depth of your spirituality, your freshness,” reflecting thoughts of many.  We also sponsored a treasured event, “Women Resting in the House of God” an all-night vigil, praying and resting together in the quiet of the candle-lit chapel until daybreak.  

As in the early church, we are women “of the Way,” searching, desiring to build a beloved, inclusive community. In Spring 2019, Sandra Schneiders, I.H.M., S.T.D. Professor Emerita from Jesuit School of Theology opened our eyes to the early church in the Gospel of John: “A Response for Renewal Thinking of the Church Jesus Brought to Us.” And in June, Elizabeth Johnson C.S.J. in her lecture, Your One Wild and Precious Life: Women on the Road of Ministry,advocated for “courage and hope,” that women’s voices and wisdom be recognized in the Church

Our next event is September 14th,and one of our favorite biblical scholars, Gina Hens-Piazza of the Jesuit School of Theology, presents: Silence Breakers: Woman Zion and the #Me Too Movement: Lamentations 2:20-22 as Path to Resilience. All women are welcome -- students to boomers -- that we might dialogue across generations and enrich one another in faith and our experience of the Living God. 

This was brought to you by the Women in Conversation planning team. For more information contact Peg Bogle at pegbogle@gmail.com.

Paulist Capital Campaign Study

Paulist Capital Campaign Study 

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Help us explore the support level among the Newman Hall-Holy Spirit Parishioners for a Paulist Capital Campaign to build a new seminary, repair various Paulist properties, care for our senior Paulists, and enhance our missionary programs.

If you have not already, please complete this online survey.

What's going on?

Did you feel the earthquake?  Not the usual ground shaking earthquakes of California, but the visceral one that has rocked our nation and our parish.  

On July 28that 5:40pm, a gunman attended our normally joyful Gilroy Garlic Festival and killed four and physically injured 13.  Then on August 3rdat 10:39am at an El Paso Wal-Mart, another gunman went on a rampage, killing 22 and injuring 24.  That very evening at 1:05am, yet another gunman went on a 30-second shooting spree killing 10 and injuring 27 others.  

And if that is not enough, the tremendous heat wave in Europe and North America has now struck Greenland and Alaska, leading to glaciers there melting at an incredible rate.  The Economists cover story for this week is about the Brazilian Amazon being near a tipping point, where soon there will not be enough trees and vegetation to maintain the normal moisture and rain in the area.

And if that was not enough, we sadly lost 40 year-old Steven Koneffklatt.  He was baptized at our parish on September 21, 1979. His contemporaries whose baptisms were near this date include Tyler Kreitz, Gretchen Werner, and David Battagin. Steven sadly leaves behind his wife and four young children.  His funeral Mass was beautifully celebrated at St. Therese Catholic Church last Tuesday. 

With these horrific tragedies, it is hard to make sense of this world we live in.  Is this really the world that God kept on saying was good over and over again in the Genesis creation story?  Is this really the world that St. John tells us God so much loved that God sent God’s only Son into the world?  Surely the Bible is talking about another earth, not ours.

These are confusing times with no simple answers.  There are only overwhelming Job-like mysteries that make no sense.  There are lots of tears, lots of confusion, lots of anger, lots of frustration, incredible sadness,...  There are deep wounds that may never heal on this side of Heaven.  But then even Jesus continued to have his scars after the resurrection.

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Jesus does a most curious thing when he first meets with his disciples after his personal horrific passion and death, followed by the resurrection.  He shows them his hands and feet and then asks for food. What a most curious set of things to do? But sometimes trying to use too many words to explain things just gets in the way.

By showing his hands and feet, he was sharing his wounds with his disciples.  On this side of heaven, we are all going to be wounded in some unique way.  Our woundedness ironically is a thread that links us together and awakens us to our fundamental unity, our shared reality, that we really are brothers and sisters. By Jesus having wounds like us, we can realize Jesus is just like us.  He truly is fully human besides being fully divine.  We are not alone and more than that, we are loved.  God so loved our crazy world that God sent us a son, a brother, a Savior.

By asking for food, he is inciting a shared a meal.  Maybe that’s what we need to do more.  We need greater unity.  In unity, we can support each other in our helplessness.  In unity, we can be a light against the darkness.  In unity, we can multiply our acts of kindness and goodness to tip the scales of the world back to how God intended.  In unity, we can go beyond passive, frustrated thinking or talk, to prophetically speak out and demand greater morality, greater goodness from our leaders and others.  It is time to demand our political leaders change our laws to keep us and our world safer and healthier.      Life is a mystery, but united in our woundedness, let us make life, not a tragic mystery, but a grand mystery.  

– Fr. Ivan

(8/11/19 Bulletin Flap)

Please Welcome Fr. Steven Bell, CSP

Please welcome 
our newest associate


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In the Paulist search to fill our associate pastor position, we experienced the decline in numbers limiting the number of men to ask to come.  However, one Paulist wanted to be close to ailing parent. Another was not ready to move so quickly, wanting to establish himself first in in first assignment.  Fr. Steven graciously told the Paulist president, if you have need of me, I am available.  Those are magic words our president loves to hear, instead of “no.” 

God is in control and so I believe God is always working on sending those needed for God’s mission at Berkeley.  The No’s led to right Yes.  We are blest to have Fr. Steven join our parish team.  He comes with an abundance of spirit, charisma, and talent. 

Based in New York City, he currently leads parish missions, retreats, revivals and workshops, all of which consider the importance of reconciliation and healing.  Visit - Paulist.org/healing- the Healing Pagefor articles and more related to Fr. Steven's ministry in this area.  Fr. Steven previously served as a Catholic campus minister at St. Thomas More Newman Center at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.  To hear some of his powerful homilies at the Newman Center, please visit buckeyecatholic.podomatic.com, their podcast archive   He also previously served as associate pastor of St. Austin Church in Austin, TX, and as associate director of our young adult media ministry, Busted Halo.  

A native of Washington, D.C., Fr. Steven was ordained a priest on June 22, 2008, by then-Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.  He will be arriving here at Newman on August 2nd. Please give him a warm Newman welcome when he arrives.