Briefs: Teen dating workshop rescheduled, Cristo Rey High School accepting applications, and more


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Teen dating workshop rescheduled
SAN DIEGO – “Dating in Today’s Digital World: Pitfalls for Teens & Parents,” a free workshop originally scheduled for Feb. 24 has been postponed to April 21.

Sponsored by Ascension Parish’s Safe Place Faith Community Outreach Team, a domestic violence outreach, it will address such topics as healthy relationships, digital dangers, teen dating violence, risk factors and how to access help and resources.

The event will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 21, at Ascension Parish, 11292 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego 92124.

Free palm cards and pins will be available for all attendees. The event will be held outside, weather permitting; masks and social distancing practices will be observed.

Attendance is limited to 200. RSVP by April 12 to Angela Elfman at or (858) 775-4828.

Online fundraiser to help crash victims’ family
SAN DIEGO – A GoFundMe online fundraiser has been started to help with the funeral expenses of a father and his teenage son, who died Feb. 12 in a tragic car crash.

Steve Pirolli, 54, and his 13-year-old son, Stephen Jr., both members of San Rafael Parish in Rancho Bernardo, died in an accident near Poway High School, where Stephen had just attended a baseball practice.

Donations can be made at Some $112,985 had been raised as of Feb. 19.

’40 Days for Life’ underway
SAN DIEGO – 40 Days for Life, a 40-day campaign of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion, is underway in communities across the United States and abroad, including San Diego.

A hallmark of the campaign, which runs from Feb. 17 to March 28, is a round-the-clock prayer vigil on the public sidewalk outside an abortion clinic. Locally, such vigils are taking place at several locations, including three in San Diego – downtown, the College Area and Mira Mesa – and in Vista, El Cajon and Chula Vista.

For more information about 40 Days for Life and about vigils near you, visit

Cristo Rey San Diego accepting applications
SAN DIEGO – Cristo Rey San Diego High School is now accepting applications for incoming ninth- and 10th-graders for the 2021-2022 school year. Applications must be received by Friday, March 19.

The high school, which opened in fall 2020, is part of the nationwide Cristo Rey Network of 37 high schools that provide Catholic, college-preparatory education exclusively to low-income students.

One of the hallmarks of the Cristo Rey educational model is its Corporate Work Study Program, through which students are required to work at a professional job one day each week, earning about half the cost of their education.

Students are accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full. Spaces are limited.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, visit or contact the admissions office at (619) 432-1899 or

Father Joe’s 80th birthday fundraiser
SAN DIEGO – The Ladies Guild, a service organization that raises funds to benefit children at Father Joe’s Villages, is hosting a fundraiser in honor of the 80th birthday of Msgr. Joseph “Father Joe” Carroll, president emeritus of San Diego’s largest homeless services provider.

Donations of $80 to the Village Ladies Guild are especially encouraged, but donations in any amount are welcome. Checks payable to “Village Ladies Guild” can be mailed to: Kathy McKinley, 15 Bridgetown Bend, Coronado, CA 92118.

For more information, call McKinley at (619) 207-9546 or Nona Del Bene at (760) 399-2640.

Diocese hosts first Marriage Anniversary Mass
SAN DIEGO – Around 300 couples attended the diocese’s inaugural Marriage Anniversary Mass on Feb. 13 at Good Shepherd Parish in Mira Mesa.

The Mass, celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan, honored couples who had been married from a few years to more than 60.

At one point, the couples renewed their marriage vows, once more saying “yes” to a lifetime of love and joy, as well as trial and tribulations.

The Mass is part of the diocese’s support of individuals, couples and families at all stages of their life.

California Catholic Conference marks 50th anniversary
The California Catholic Conference has begun a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary.

For a half-century,  the Conference has sought to apply the principles of Catholic social teaching – the common good, protection of the vulnerable, and respect for human life and dignity – to legislation.

The CCC represents California’s 11 million Catholics, nearly a third of the state’s population. It assists the state’s two archdioceses and 10 dioceses with local issues and with statewide pastoral projects on matters ranging from racism to end-of-life care.

The organization does not endorse, oppose or donate to politicians. Through the bishops, staff, and a network of grassroots Catholics, the organization argues for or against bills based on research, reasoning and Catholic social principles.

The Conference, currently led by San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, will publish a series of stories online this year highlighting its contributions through public policy and advocacy.

The 50th anniversary stories will be published on

Scholarships available for immigrant advocate training
SAN DIEGO – The St. Augustine Foundation is offering scholarships to  students to who are affiliated or sponsored by immigrant-serving organizations in Southern California to enroll in VIISTA (Villanova Interdisciplinary Immigration Studies Training for Advocates).

The innovative online certificate program trains advocates for immigrant justice. Graduates will be prepared to represent clients, both before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and in immigration court.

The VIISTA program consists of three consecutive modules, each of which consists of two seven-week sessions. Students can perform the work on their own time. To qualify for a scholarship, students must be supported by a not-for-profit organization in Southern California that is: 1) recognized by the Department of Justice to provide low or nocost legal services to migrants or refugees or willing to apply for DOJ recognition, and (2) willing to provide employment or a volunteer position to the scholarship winner post-graduation.

The scholarship application deadline for the summer 2021 semester is March 15. The VIISTA application deadline is April 19.

More information about VIISTA is available at To learn more about the scholarships, email Augustinian Father John Keller at

Course on ‘Laudato Si’ continues in March
SAN DIEGO – The Diocesan Institute’s virtual course on Catholic environmental teaching continues in March.

The course is taught on Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., through Lent, on March 3, 10, 17 and 24. Taught by an expert core team, the course will cover the spirituality of “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis’ encyclical on environmental stewardship, and how the Diocese of San Diego is responding to the environmental and climate crisis through its Creation Care Action Plan.

The course, which began on Feb. 24, is free to audit, $5 for professional enhancement, or $10 for credit. It will be team-taught by the Creation Care Core Team of the diocesan Office for Life, Peace and Justice, which includes Father Emmet Farrell, director of Creation Care Ministry.

For more information, email To register, email or call (858) 490-8212.

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