News around the diocese: Nun-photographer to lead Advent reflection, diocese hosting ‘Explorer Day,’ stewardship leaders receive award, and more


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Nun-Photographer to Lead Advent Reflection
SAN DIEGO  — Sister Rose Marie Tulacz, also known as the “Nun with a Nikon,” is returning to San Diego to present a unique Advent Evening of Prayer.

Sponsored by the diocesan Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry, the bilingual event will be held on Thursday, Dec. 1, at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Carlsbad. It will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and will include a reception.

Sister Tulacz, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame, is the founder of Notre Dame Creations, which is described as “a ministry of liturgical and fine art photography and spirituality.”

During the upcoming event, she will offer a meditation. Examples of her photography will be arranged in stations, where attendees can stop and reflect upon them. Lupe Rios, music director at Mary Star of the Sea Parish in La Jolla, will present Advent- and Christmas-themed music in both English and Spanish.

There is a $15 cost to attend. For more information or to RSVP, visit or call (858) 490-8232.

Local Stewardship Leaders Receive Award 
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The International Catholic Stewardship Council presented a special award to the Diocese of San Diego’s parish stewardship leaders and diocesan staff at its conference in Anaheim on Oct. 3.

The Bishop Cirilo Flores Memorial Stewardship Award recognizes parish and diocesan leaders who have fostered and promoted the spirituality of stewardship as a way of life. A total of 55 people from the diocese were on hand for the presentation of the award, which is gratefully shared with the parishes of the San Diego Stewardship Network.

The award is presented in memory of Bishop Flores, who served as bishop of San Diego for almost a year before his death in September 2014.

Father Efrain Bautista, a member of the Diocesan Stewardship Commission, accepted the award.

“I think (the award) speaks about the importance that the Church of San Diego gives to stewardship,” he said, adding it is also a testament to Bishop Flores’ legacy as “a huge proponent of stewardship in our diocese.”

Cindy Bosh, stewardship director at All Hallows Parish in La Jolla and a co-founder of the San Diego Stewardship Network, said, “(The award) represents that, parish by parish, month by month, pastor by pastor, leader by leader, you can make a difference and you can live a stewardship way of life.”

The network was established in late 1999 and currently includes around 40 parishes.

“(We’re) the only diocese in the country where parishes meet in a network format and have done so for over 20 years,” said Bosh. “There’s no model; we are the model.”

San Diego Priests Celebrate Jubilee Anniversaries
TEMECULA, Calif. — The annual Convocation of Priests, which was held Sept. 26 to 29, provided an opportunity for all of the diocese’s priests to gather with Cardinal Robert W. McElroy for a week of prayer, reflection and renewal. As in past years, the schedule included a special Mass celebrated in gratitude for priests marking their golden (50 years) and silver (25 years) jubilees of priesthood.

The golden jubilarians included: Father Brian Corcoran, retired; Father Raymond “Jerry” O’Donnell, retired; and Father Jim Rafferty, retired. The silver jubilarians included: Father John Amsberry, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo; Father Clement Iorliam, chaplain at Scripps Mercy Hospital;and Father Brent Kruger, pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Oceanside.

Father Mario Vesga, retired, was recognized for his 60 years of priesthood.

Pictured, from left, are: Father Amsberry, Father Corcoran, Father Iorliam, Auxiliary Bishop Ramon Bejarano, Cardinal Robert W. McElroy, Father Vesga, Father Kruger, Father Rafferty and Father O’Donnell.

Saintsmen Garner National Scholar Accolades
SAN DIEGO — More than a dozen students at St. Augustine High School have been recognized in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

“Those being recognized today have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” Principal James Horne announced on Sept. 15. “We hope that being recognized today broadens their educational opportunities. We are grateful that these students and part of our learning community and we encourage their continued pursuit of academic success.”

Students who were recognized this year include: National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist James Patrick O’Leary; National Merit Commended Scholars Henry Hooper and Theodore McKamey; National African American Scholars Recognition Award recipients Gabriel Felix and Jaden Matingou; and National Hispanic Scholars Recognition Program honorees Oscar Celaya, Lukas Cerny, Ian De La Rosa, Gabriel Felix, Sam Fries, Jesus Garcia, Ricardo Laborin, Marcus Roman, Romeo Velarde-Alvarez and Samuel Velazquez.

Holiday Craft Fair, Bake Sale Returning
EL CAJON — The Our Lady of Grace Parish Catholic Women’s Club will hold its annual holiday craft fair and bake sale on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parish center and patio area. Admission is free.

There will be more than 70 crafters, whose handiworks will include fashion apparel, home decor and artwork for the upcoming holidays. In addition, there will be freshly baked items, including cakes, as well as fudge and peanut brittle. Lunch will also be available.

For more information, call (619) 980-6841.

Men Invited to ‘Explore’ Vocations
SAN DIEGO — The Diocese of San Diego is hosting an Explorer Day for those men who are interested in exploring a possible vocation to the priesthood.

The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, at St. Francis Center, located on the campus of the University of San Diego.

Those who may be interested can pick up an application at their parish office, or contact Father Eric Tamayo at St. Francis Center at (619) 291-7446 or

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 Penasquitos.

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

Remaining dates in 2022 include Nov. 11 and Dec. 9.

For more information, email

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Presenting Advent Retreat
SAN DIEGO — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul San Diego Diocesan Council is presenting an Advent retreat.

Led by Sister Paule Freeburg, a Daughter of Charity, the retreat will be held on Saturday, Nov. 19, at St. Catherine Laboure Parish. The church is located at 4124 Mount Abraham Ave., San Diego 92111.

Sister Freeburg serves as spiritual advisor to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Western Region.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested by Saturday, Nov. 12. To register, send your name and phone number to

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., Tuesdays, Nov. 22 and Dec. 20.

Learn more and register at

Bishops to Attend Fall Meeting in Baltimore
WASHINGTON (Catholic News Service)  – Cardinal Robert W. McElroy and Auxiliary Bishop Ramón Bejarano will join their fellow U.S. bishops for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) fall general assembly in Baltimore Nov. 14 to 17.

During the meeting, the bishops will elect the USCCB’s next president and vice president from a slate of 10 candidates nominated by their fellow bishops. They also will vote on chairmen-elect for six standing committees.

The president and vice president are elected to three-year terms, which begin at the conclusion of this year’s general assembly. At that time, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit will complete their terms as president and vice president, respectively.

The candidates for president and vice president are, in alphabetical order: Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services; Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Va.; Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Conn.; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City; Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco; Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Seattle; Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas; Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio; Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore; and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind.

Ready for Christmas? Let Advent Mini-Retreat Help
SAN DIEGO — Whispering Winds Women’s Auxiliary is hosting an Advent mini-retreat.

Led by Anamaria Anthony, chair of the Theology department at Mater Dei Catholic High School, it will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 30, in Mission San Diego de Alcalá Parish’s St. Francis Chapel.

Participants will be invited to ponder Mary’s humble “yes” and reflect on the areas in their own lives where they may be challenged to say “yes” to God’s plan. Anthony will help them to discover how the ordinary becomes the extraordinary, as well as how lived experiences and God’s Word together can transform us as we anticipate Christ coming into our lives more fully.

There is no cost to attend the event, which is open to both men and women, but a “love offering” will be collected.

For information, call, text or email Judy Lemm at (619) 507-1152 or

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

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

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, 2023.

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 Catholic tradition.

Early registration is recommended as space is limited.

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

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, 2023.

It will be held at Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, where organizers promise a supportive and caring environment with others that 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.

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