News around the diocese: Four to be ordained as transitional deacons, school opens math/science lab, and more


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Four to be ordained to transitional diaconate
CHULA VISTA — Cardinal Robert W. McElroy will ordain Christopher Bongato, Evan Bui, Marc Andrew Gandolfo and Matthew Vasquez to the transitional diaconate.

The ordination liturgy will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at Mater Dei Parish in Chula Vista.

Ordination to the transitional diaconate marks the last major step on the path to priesthood. During the Mass, the four men will promise to lead lives of prayer, celibacy, and obedience to their diocesan bishop.

Our Lady’s School opens math, science lab
SAN DIEGO — Our Lady’s School has inaugurated the Father Richard Brown Math and Science Lab on its San Diego campus on 24th Street. The school, which opened in 1912, is the oldest elementary school in the diocese.

The lab is a gift from the Our Lady’s School Alumni Association, which sponsors an annual golf tournament named after Father Brown. The legendary priest served Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and the greater Barrio Logan community for 37 years before retiring.

Proceeds from the tournament were used to renovate an old room that had been used for many purposes into one housing modern educational equipment and materials.

Inspired by Father Brown, the alumni association continues supporting Catholic education.

The school hosted a ribbon-cutting for the lab on Nov. 3. Jesuit Father Scott Santarosa, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, blessed the lab, accompanied by Father Mike Lee, who serves as principal of the school, and guests.

Father Brown was an alum of St. Augustine High School, a major supporter of Our Lady’s School.

Mental Health Ministers Invited to Day of Recollection
SAN DIEGO — The diocesan Office for Family Life and Spirituality will hold a Mental Health Ministers Day of Recollection.

It will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, at the diocesan Pastoral Center, beginning with a Mass. There will be time to reconnect with colleagues over a light brunch, and during breaks between the three lectures. The event will conclude with Eucharistic adoration.

The Day of Recollection is for anyone involved in mental health ministry, from those with formal roles in parish-based ministries, to Catholic therapists, to family members caring for loved ones with mental health challenges.

The event will be led by Divine Word Father Soney Sebastian, director of the diocesan Office for the Missions; Dr. Arthur Brooks, a Catholic writer and Harvard University professor who also teaches courses on mental health and spiritual wellness through the Hallow app; and Lia McGuinness, a certified spiritual director in the Diocese of San Diego and a member of St.  Elizabeth Seton Parish in Carlsbad.

RSVP requested. Email or call (858) 490-8299.

Day of Recollection Offered for Youth/Young Adult Ministers
SAN DIEGO — Father Greg McGivern will lead an Advent Day of Recollection, geared especially for youth and young adult ministers.

Father McGivern, a chaplain at the University of San Diego, will speak on the theme: “Making the Most of Advent Waiting.”

The free event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1, at USD. Lunch will be included.

Registration is required. RSVP to Erika Quevedo at or (858) 490-8260.

‘Music Man’ Marching into Poway
POWAY — Students at St. Michael’s School in Poway will stage a production of “The Music Man Jr.”

Performances will be at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, and at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, at St. Michael’s Holy Family Center (15542 Pomerado Rd., Poway 92064).

“The Music Man Jr.” is a version of Meredith Willson’s Tony Award-winning musical that has been adapted for young performers. It centers on con artist Harold Hill, who comes to River City, Iowa, posing as the leader of a boys’ band as part of a scheme to rip off the townsfolk.

The cast of St. Michael’s production will include students in kindergarten through eighth grade, along with a surprise guest appearance.

More information is available at (858) 485-1303 and Purchase tickets at

‘Lessons and Carols’ Way to Prepare for Christmas
SAN DIEGO — Lessons and Carols, a festival of readings and songs intended to serve as a preparation for Christmas, will be presented by the University of San Diego’s University Choral Scholars and Concert Choir.

The free event will be offered twice in USD’s Founders Chapel: at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4.

For more information, visit, email or call (619) 260-7936.

Shop ‘Fair Trade’ at La Mesa Parish
LA MESA — A “fair trade” gift faire will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4, in the hall at St. Martin of Tours Parish in La Mesa.

Attendees will be able to shop for home decor, jewelry, accessories, clothes, Christmas ornaments, crafts, cards, coffee, chocolate, tea, and baked goods, as well as enjoy a pancake breakfast hosted by Troop 51.

Purchasing fair trade certified items supports fair wages, healthy working conditions and environmental sustainability in developing countries.

More information is available at (619) 466-3241.

Parish Hosting Multicultural Taize Service
SAN DIEGO — Holy Family Parish in Linda Vista will hold a multicultural Taize prayer service.

The hour of meditative prayer will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10. It will include the chanting of simple musical phrases in multiple languages, listening to Scripture, and spending time in silence in a calming, candlelit environment.

Speaker to Reflect on Guadalupe Story
SAN DIEGO — Christopher Check, president of Catholic Answers, will give a talk titled “Vanquishing the Forces of Darkness: From Hernan Cortes to Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

The free lecture will begin at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16, at St. Therese of Carmel Parish in Carmel Valley.

For more information, visit, or contact the parish at (858) 481-3232 or

Carolers to Gather Outside Planned Parenthood
EL CAJON — The annual “Peace in the Womb Christmas Caroling” event will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, on the public sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood-El Cajon Health Center (1685 East Main St., El Cajon 92021).

“In the Christmas story, hope enters the world through the birth of a child, even in the midst of difficult circumstances,” said the event’s organizers. “Join us as we sing carols and share this Christmas hope where it is needed most, (at) one of the darkest places on earth.”

For more information, email

Mission San Diego to Hold Candlelight Presentation
SAN DIEGO — Mission San Diego de Alcalá’s 46th annual candlelight presentation, with a theme of Lessons and Carols, will feature traditional and contemporary music set around seasonal Scripture readings.

The concert, which is performed by candlelight, will be held at 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17 and 18, in the historic mission church. A free-will offering will be taken, and a reception will follow in La Sala.

More information available at (619) 283-7319.

Young Adults Invited to Online Evening Prayer
The North American Vocation Team of the School Sisters of Notre Dame invites young adults, ages 18 and older, to a monthly communal Evening Prayer service via Zoom.

Evening Prayer will begin at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Learn more and register at

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