News around the diocese: Gala to benefit trafficking survivors, weekend retreat for divorced, and more


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Gala to Benefit Trafficking Survivors
SAN DIEGO — Children of the Immaculate Heart, a San Diego-based nonprofit that serves survivors of sex trafficking in San Diego, will hold its 10th Annual Gala on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The event, which will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at St. Thérèse of Carmel Parish in Carmel Valley, will include appetizers, dinner, dessert, wine/beer, a live band and a silent auction.

Cy Kellett, host of the “Catholic Answers Live” radio program, will serve as master of ceremonies. Deacon Marvin Threatt, of Christ the King Parish, will deliver a talk on the theme “Awakening in the Holy Spirit.” Attendees will also hear updates on the work of Children of the Immaculate Heart from its president, Grace Williams-Lionello; staff; and clients.

Tickets are $75 per person and will benefit Children of the Immaculate Heart’s two programs: the St. Bakhita Adult Program for women and their children and The Refuge, a residential treatment center for teenage girls.

Reservations are required. RSVP at or (619) 431-5537.

Ladies Guild Hosts Fundraiser for Father Joe’s
SAN DIEGO — The Father Joe’s Villages Ladies Guild, which supports the work of Father Joe’s Villages, will present “Around the World in 80 Days.”

The fundraising event will be held on Monday, Feb. 20, at the San Diego Mission Valley Hilton. It will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a silent auction, preview, and social hour. It will continue at noon with entertainment, lunch, a drawing, and completion of the silent auction.

The cost to attend is $65 per person. All proceeds benefit the children at Father Joe’s Villages. Parking at the hotel is $3 per car.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Jane Hargrove at

Retreat to Offer Post-Abortion Healing
SAN DIEGO — “A Time for Mercy,” a post-abortion healing retreat offered by the Rachel’s Vineyard ministry, will be held from Friday, March 10, to Sunday, March 12.

Open to women and men, the retreat offers a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Rachel’s Vineyard retreats are confidential and non-judgmental, offered in the Catholic tradition.

Early registration is recommended as space is limited.

For more information, visit, call (951) 325-7702 or email

IVC Presenting ‘Evening of Gratitude’
SAN DIEGO — The Ignatian Volunteer Corps, a Jesuit organization that provides community nonprofits with talented and experienced volunteers, will hold its annual Evening of Gratitude on Sunday, March 26, at St. Catherine Labouré Parish.

The evening will start with Mass at 4 p.m., followed by a dinner and awards presentation.

This year’s honorees will include Jesuit Father Gregory Boyle, bestselling author and founder of Homeboy Industries, who will receive the 2023 Madonna Della Strada Award. The award is presented to a person or organization reflecting the Ignatian values of direct service to the poor and engaging in work that is dedicated to creating a more just society.

Lucy Howell, an IVC San Diego volunteer with multiple nonprofits, will receive the Sheila O’Malley Vision and Dedication Award. Named after the late Sheila O’Malley (1949-2016), it honors individuals who envision the growth of the IVC to serve people in need.

Registration details and payment options will be available at

All attendees will receive an autographed copy of Father Boyle’s latest book, “The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness.”

For more information, contact Curran Gaughan, IVC San Diego Director, at or (858) 822-9814.

Widowed, Divorced Invited to Healing Weekend
OCEANSIDE — Beginning Experience, an almost 50-year-old international ministry that helps the widowed, divorced and separated move beyond grief, will hold its next weekend retreat April 28 to 30.

It will be held at Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, where organizers promise a supportive and caring environment with others who are going through or have gone through the same experiences.

The cost is $300, which covers individual rooms, food and materials. Scholarships are available for those in need.

For more information, email or call (858) 748-2273 in English or (330) 607-8774 in Spanish.

Catholics Can ‘Encounter’ Jesus in Rancho Peñasquitos
SAN DIEGO — Encounter, a Spirit-filled evening of inspiring music, prayer and Eucharistic adoration, is held on the second Friday of each month at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Rancho Peñasquitos.

Sponsored by the parish’s Hearts of Fire Ministry, the event runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish at (858) 324-0490.

Street Evangelization Brings Gospel to Public Square
SAN DIEGO — St. Paul Street Evangelization is a grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to taking the Gospel message to the streets.

Participants in the ministry do this in a non-confrontational way, allowing the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of those who witness their public Catholic presence.

For more information or to get involved, visit, call (619) 515-3267 or email

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