News around the diocese: Homeless day center to open, Laudato Si Action Platform explained, ‘Fair trade’ shopping comes to parish, and more


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El Centro Homeless Day Center Hopes to Open in December
EL CENTRO — The Catholic Charities El Centro Homeless Day Center, currently under construction behind the Catholic Charities building on the east side of El Centro, has a target opening date of Dec. 18.

Appaswamy “Vino” Pajanor, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Diego, said “most of the major work has been done” on the new modular building.

He said Catholic Charities hopes to have a certificate of occupancy for the building by Dec. 15 to have it open in time for El Centro Catholic’s “The Embrace,” which will be held on Dec. 18. The Embrace is an annual event to care for the homeless and help needy families.

Pajanor said the work that still needs to be completed includes connecting sewer lines, some plumbing, and stabilizing rebar to be laid to reinforce the foundation of the almost 5,000-square-foot building.

“We’re hoping, by Thanksgiving, most of the work will be done,” he said, “and, sometime by mid-December, we would have the certificate of occupancy. That’s our target right now.”

Parish Hosting ‘Fair Trade’ Shopping Event
LA MESA – Shoppers at an upcoming event at St. Martin of Tours Parish will be making a positive difference in the world with each purchase.

Fair trade gifts, home décor, clothing and jewelry from a variety of vendors will be available for sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5, in the parish’s upper parking lot. Attendees also can enjoy fair trade coffee, tea, ice cream and chocolate.

Fair trade supports fair wages, healthy working conditions, education, environmental sustainability and community projects in developing countries.

For more information, call (619) 368-8210.

Women to Welcome Advent with Mini-Retreat
SAN DIEGO — The Whispering Winds Women’s Auxiliary is hosting an Advent Mini-Retreat.

The free event will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 1, in Mission San Diego de Alcalá Parish’s St. Francis Chapel. It will begin with a social at 6 p.m. The program itself will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Laurie Mikolaycik will lead the retreat. Letty Peck will lead the music.

For more information, call (619) 929-4660 or email

Learn About the ‘Laudato Si Action Plan’
SAN DIEGO — The Creation Care Ministry of the diocesan Office for Life, Peace and Justice will hold a one-hour information night about “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on caring for creation, and the Vatican’s new Laudato Si Action Platform, a global grassroots movement to reduce environmental damage and to create a more just world.

The free session will be held from 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 9, at the diocesan Pastoral Center. Light refreshments will be provided.

Registration is required by Monday, Dec. 6, at The event will also be livestreamed.

The ministry invites parishes and schools to develop Creation Care Teams, and supports them with bilingual presentations and resources.

The ministry developed a diocesan Creation Care Action Plan, which invites individuals, parishes and schools to launch their own environmentally friendly projects. More information is available at

For more information about the Laudato Si Action Platform, visit

Poway School Staging ‘High School Musical’
POWAY — Theater-lovers are invited to check out St. Michael School’s upcoming performance of Disney’s “High School Musical Jr.”

This version of the hit musical was designed for younger performers. The cast will include students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Performances will take place at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, and at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, at St. Michael Parish’s Holy Family Center in Poway.

Tickets are available for $10 each at For more information, email

Vatican Highlights Mental Health
SCRANTON, Pa. — As his prayer intention for the month of November, Pope Francis called on the Catholic Church to “pray that people who suffer from depression or burnout will find support and a light that opens them up to life.”

The Holy Father requested these prayers in a video via the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, made with the guidance and support of the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers.

With its president, Deacon Ed Shoener of Scranton, and its chaplain, Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan of the Diocese of San Diego, the association has guided parishes through the process of creating a mental health ministry to provide spiritual support for those struggling with mental health issues.

Bishop Dolan and Deacon Shoener are co-editors of two books, “Responding to Suicide: A Pastoral Handbook for Catholic Leaders” and a workbook titled “When a Loved One Dies by Suicide.” The former was named the Association of Catholic Publishers’ 2021 “Resource of the Year” and a first-place winner in the Association of Catholic Publishers’ 2021 Excellence in Publishing Awards; the latter received a second-place in the Excellence in Publishing Awards.

More information about the San Diego Diocese’s Mental Health Ministry is available from Deacon Bill Adsit at (858) 490-8299 or

Young Adults to Gather for Holy Hour, Vigil Mass

CORONADO — All young adults ages 18 to 39 are invited to a young adult holy hour and Vigil Mass for Life at 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 14, at Sacred Heart Parish in Coronado.

The diocesan Office for Young Adult Ministry will host the event in collaboration with the Office for Life, Peace and Justice and the organizers of the annual San Diego Walk for Life, which will take place the following day from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Waterfront Park.

The holy hour with worship music will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Ramón Bejarano. Confession will also be available during the holy hour. The event will conclude with a young adult social.

For more information, email or call (858) 490-8263.

Are You a Catholic Mom Who Likes Catholic Books?
SAN DIEGO — The Moms’ Catholic Book Study, formerly known as the Moms’ Bible Study, has been going strong for more than 25 years.

In addition to spiritual reading, the group also offers fellowship and has produced long-lasting friendships.

The group meets at 10 a.m., every Wednesday during the school year, at St. Mary Magdalene Parish.

For more information, visit

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

Catholics Invited to ‘Encounter’ Jesus
SAN DIEGO — On the second Friday of every month, Catholics are invited to “Encounter,” a Spirit-filled evening of inspiring music, prayer and Eucharistic adoration at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Rancho Penasquitos.

Encounter is sponsored by the parish’s Hearts of Fire Ministry.

For more information, call (858) 484-1070.

Women’s Prayer Group Seeking New Members
SAN DIEGO — Women seeking to grow closer to God and deepen their relationship with the Bible are invited to join a women’s prayer/Bible study group conducted via Zoom.

The group, which meets virtually at 6 p.m. every Thursday, offers fellowship and prayerful reading of the books of the Bible.

For more information, call (619) 955-3985.

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