Our diocese has embarked on a new process called MAP (Mission Alignment Process). This is how the diocese describes the process. “Recent declines in Mass attendance, baptisms, vocations to the priesthood and other factors are challenging us to take a fresh look at ourselves. In response, Bishop Michael Barber, S.J. is asking every Catholic in the Oakland diocese to support the Mission Alignment Process (MAP). Guided by the Holy Spirit, this process will help us align our precious resources: our wonderful lay faithful, our parishes and schools, our clergy, and our financial resources for missionary fruition. Change is never easy, but when did God ever say that our lives would be easy? The way to salvation always has a cross in its path. But it is precisely the cross which leads us to new life.”
The bishop has constituted a MAP Commission, which is made up of priests and laity, men and women, from diverse generations, locations and cultures; they will analyze the reality of our diocese. Through professional analysis and dialogue with our pastors and parish leaders, the commission will provide a report in one year that recommends the appropriate alignment of our resources to support our raising missionary disciples.
The MAP Commission will be seeking your input via a survey from October 14, 2021 through November 22, 2021. Christ the King and St. Stephen will be participating in this parish survey about discipleship conducted by the Catholic Leadership Institute! We need the voice and input of every parishioner in our Diocese, so please participate when the survey becomes available. We will be making this survey available to you on our website and through other options available. I have already participated in a survey that was made available to us priests.
If you prefer a paper copy, you may pick up a paper copy of the survey after daily and Sunday Masses after October 14. They will be located in the back of the church and in the Ministry Center. A printable version of the survey will also be available on the parish website. To submit the completed paper survey, please drop off in the survey box located in the back of the church or in the Ministry Center. To make special arrangements for getting a paper copy, please contact Nelson Gonzales at 925-375-9608. For more information, a video is available for your viewing pleasure here.
The survey link will be available beginning October 14th.
St. Stephen Parishioners can click here.
Gift card phishing scam: "Can you do me a favor?"
You may receive an email or text that looks like it comes from your Pastor or one of our staff members or even a co-worker of yours, saying something like: “Can you do me a favor?” If you reply, the next email asks you to purchase a gift card on their behalf. The message may say that they need the card immediately, but they are too busy to do it, and they will pay you back as soon as possible, etc. These emails are not legitimate. They are sent by malicious entities who are impersonating people in your contact lists to gain your trust and exploit you. These kinds of fraudulent emails, known as "phishing", attempt to gain your trust in order to access your personal and/or credit card information, or to get money (in the form of gift cards). Any request for money or gift cards by email/text must always be verified by talking to the person. In short, never do anything financial without first verifying it securely.
What should you do if you receive such an email? If you believe you have received this type of phishing email: (1) Contact always the person whose name appears in the email (not by emailing) to find out if the request is valid. (2) If not, notify your colleagues to be on the lookout for fraudulent emails. Again, never trust an email these days when it comes to asking for money or gift cards regardless of the motives.