From the Diocese of Oakland

From Bishop Michael Barber: A Review of Father Augustine’s Book, October 2022

Read Bishop Michael Barber’s column reviewing the book, “Mission Stories” written by Father Augustine Joseph (our Pastor).

“The book, Mission Stories, is a living testament to the transformative power of the Christian faith. It shows how peoples and cultures have found a way out of the blind alley of cultural quagmire, superstitions, fears, and moral paralysis through their faith in Jesus Christ.

The Greco-Roman world was saved from gods and goddess and many evils by the power of the Word of God. It is a process that continues today. Some pundits speak of a post-Christian world, which is a gross misrepresentation of truth. On the contrary, the book exhibits the need for a re-christening of our world.

It is my hope and prayer that all those who read the book will be missionaries or messengers of the Word of God in their own surroundings.

Jesus Christ, or Word of God is same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)”

From Bishop Michael Barber: A Response to the Immigration Crisis, July 2018

Bishop Michael Barber asks us to continue to pray and work toward a solution for children and their families at our borders. “I stand with my brother bishops in supporting and praying for the families suffering at the U.S – Mexico border,” he said. “As Cardinal Dolan so eloquently told CNN, ‘You can have secure and safe borders … while still maintaining that grand American heritage of welcome of the immigrant and refugee.’ The Catholic Church stands for the dignity of all human life.” “We care for babies, whether they are in the womb or at the border,” Bishop Barber said. “Mercy and justice must be given, together, to bring an end to this travesty. “I would like to invite all Catholics to call your Congressional Representatives and Senators and ask them to do everything they can do to shine a light on this situation. Catholic Charities has already launched a website you can use for that purpose

Catholic Charities USA Action Center : We provide a voice for the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society to the federal government. Our efforts to reduce, alleviate and prevent poverty are amplified when Congress hears from their constituents. Take action and make your voice heard. Change is possible when we stand together in solidarity. The ongoing practice of separating children from their parents has already, as of May, left nearly 2000 children separated from their parents. As Bishop Vásquez, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, and Sister Donna Markham OP PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities, remind us – as a nation and people of faith, we can and must do better. Join USCCB/Migration and Refugee Services and Catholic Charities USA today to help make a difference. Please email us at or with information and questions.

Letter from Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ, Bishop of Oakland

October 2017

As the loss of life and property mounts due to the wildfires north of our Diocese, our hearts ache for our sisters and brothers in the Santa Rosa Diocese. Please join with me in praying for the dead and for those who are suffering, whether from physical injury or from the loss of their homes and livelihoods. We also pray for the firefighters, medical personnel, social workers and others who are aiding the victims and their loved ones.

I have spoken with Bishop Robert Vasa, the bishop of Santa Rosa. He is grateful for our prayers, and is providing regular updates on his website: He is encouraging everyone to participate in a holy hour of adoration to pray for those affected and for the fires to subside. I ask all parishes to consider a special collection for the victims of the fires. Please select a weekend to accommodate your parish’s calendar, and send the money per our usual process for special collections. We will send immediately to the Santa Rosa Diocese.

Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa ( is working with other agencies to provide short-term and long-term support for victims. People who are in shelters will need to find temporary housing while their homes are being rebuilt. Monetary donations will be the most useful contribution to that work; you can find information on how to donate at their website. They are also able to accept a limited number of the following items: diapers, baby wipes, face masks, twin size blankets, toiletries, towels and warm adult coats.

Catholic Charities is also in need of bilingual volunteers; you may call 707-5288712, ext. 160 for more details. Sometimes people in shelters appreciate having someone willing to listen and to pray with them. This ministry of presence is truly an act of mercy.

I am grateful for your compassion and outreach to our sisters and brothers.

Michael C. Barber, SJ Bishop of Oakland

Bishop Michael Barber joins other faith leaders in responding to hate marches

Encourages participation in interfaith prayer service at Temple Beth Abraham on Aug. 26

August 19, 2017

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, is joining other local faith leaders in encouraging acts of kindness and peace in response to recent events, including the horrific tragedy that happened in Charlottesville, VA, Aug. 11-12. He has issued the following statement:

Hatred has no place in the hearts and minds of Christians. Our love of Christ compels us to treat people of all races and nationalities as our brothers and sisters, with generous kindness and sincere love. I ask all Catholics in the Diocese of Oakland to join me in praying for those who have been harmed or threatened by the evil ideology of racism. May they be delivered from hatred by our unrelenting embrace of solidarity and unity, and may our children especially be healed from the violence and terrible words and images they have witnessed these days. May the Word of Life replace words of fear and intimidation.

The rector of the Cathedral of Christ the Light, Father Jay Matthews, will be Bishop Barber’s official representative at an interfaith prayer service of peace, “Standing Together,” to be held Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. at Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd. Bishop Barber joins Rabbi Mark Bloom in inviting the public to come together as a community of peace and love. For more information on the prayer service, please contact Rabbi Bloom at 510-832-0936.

The Diocese of Oakland serves two counties in the East Bay region, Alameda and Contra Costa, and has 84 parishes, 16 pastoral centers, nine high schools, and 39 elementary and middle schools.

Bishop of Oakland calls for unity in response to executive orders regarding refugees and immigrants. Bishop Michael Barber, SJ, Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, has issued [the attached statement] regarding President Trump’s executive orders on immigrants and refugees and responses to those orders

February 2nd, 2017

[one paragraph excerpt below]:

In closing, I wish to make my own the excellent statement crafted and released by our diocesan Catholic Charities of the East Bay.  I would only change one thing. Instead of saying “Catholic Charities of the East Bay stands with the immigrant, refugee, and migrant community”  I would change it to “The Catholic Church” . . .“stands with the immigrant, refugee, and migrant community. We oppose actions that promote fear and hostility towards people of all faiths and nationalities. We remain committed to our mission of welcoming the stranger through legal services, refugee resettlement, education, and community outreach. Toward this end, our legal team is resolved to continue filing applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as long as the program exists.

All God’s People :: United in Faith

We are “All God’s People” and the 2017 Bishop’s Appeal is a way for us to come together in unity to serve others and be generous in sharing our blessings.  With the participation of all 84 parishes, our diocese will grow stronger together, “United in Faith.”

Every family is asked to make a proportionate sacrificial pledge or gift to the Bishop’s Appeal by completing a pledge card.  This pledge can be paid over the next 10 month.

We realize that not everyone can make the same size gift, but we can make the same size sacrifice.  Whether you choose to make a pledge or a one-time gift, all gifts are greatly appreciated.