a Word from the pastor
November 19, 2023
Dear Assumption Family and Friends,
Thanksgiving is upon us, and I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts and gratitude with all of you.
Firstly, let me express how grateful I am for each and every one of you. Thank you for your love and support to Assumption Church. Our parish is more than just a community; it is a family bound together by our shared faith and love for God and one another.
Thanksgiving is more than just a day marked on the calendar; it is a profound opportunity to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the countless blessings bestowed upon us. I encourage each of you, as you gather with your family and friends this Thanksgiving, to take a moment to reflect on the gifts that God has bestowed upon you. It could be the love of family, the warmth of friendship, or the simple joys of everyday life.
Our faith teaches us the importance of gratitude. In Colossians 3:17, we are reminded: "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Our thanksgiving is an offering to God, a recognition that all we have comes from His boundless love and mercy. Please join us at our Thanksgiving Mass celebrations (8:30am and 10:00am), and together as a parish family, let us express our sincere thanks to God, the Source and Giver of all good things.
Let us also extend our gratitude to others and remember those who may be experiencing hardship. Please share the abundance of your blessings, reach out to those in need, pray for them, and be a source of hope and joy to others.
Finally, I want to express my deep gratitude for being part of this amazing parish family. Your faith, love, and commitment make Assumption truly special, and for that, I am profoundly grateful.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with laughter, joy, and a spirit of generosity in the company of the people you love.
On behalf of your Assumption parish and school staff, I wish you and your loved ones a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!
- Father John
October 15, 2023
The Church is where we gather every week to worship, to find solace, and to strengthen our faith. It's a place where we connect with God, each other, and the melodies of our hearts. Today, we're thrilled to share some exciting news with you - our beloved church now boasts a brand new sound system. This transformation in our worship experience wouldn't have been possible without the incredible generosity and faith of our donors. Join us in celebrating this moment and expressing our heartfelt gratitude.
The Journey Toward Clarity
Our old sound system, like an old friend, had been with us for a long time. It had served us well, but over the years, it began showing signs of wear and tear. The persistent crackles, hisses, and occasional silences became a frustrating backdrop to our prayers and hymns, creating a disconnect between us and the divine messages we sought.
The vision was clear - to enhance the clarity of our worship. We longed for a sound system that would make every word, every note, and every prayer reach our hearts, no matter where we sat in our cherished sanctuary. We aimed to elevate our worship services and create a space where the voice of God and the harmonies of our congregation could be truly felt.
Honoring Our Donor Angels
Our journey toward a new sound system was marked by challenges, but it was also a testament to the power of faith and community. The cost of such an upgrade exceeded our regular budget, but our determination and your unwavering support and patience made the dream a reality. Today, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you who stood by us through this journey. Each of your contributions has had a profound impact on our church and our worship experience. Your faith in our mission is etched in our hearts, and we thank you from the depths of our souls for your unwavering support.
The New Sound System: A Gift to Cherish
Our newly installed sound system is a gift we will cherish for years to come. It was carefully selected and designed to cater to the unique needs of our church, and it stands as a testament to the wonders of audio engineering and technology.
The system comprises state-of-the-art microphones, amplifiers, speakers, and a soundboard that gives us precise control over audio levels. The sound quality is nothing short of divine, and the voices and instruments resonate throughout our sanctuary with impeccable clarity and depth. However, what truly sets our sound system apart is its inclusivity. Thanks to well-placed speakers and an acoustic layout designed with care, sound is evenly distributed throughout the sanctuary. No matter where you sit, every word and every note is crystal clear.
The Impact on Our Worship Experience
Since the installation of our new sound system, our worship services have undergone a transformation that's truly remarkable. The impact has touched every heart in our congregation.
Crystal Clear Messages: With the crisp and clear audio, Father John and Father Julius' sermons can now be heard and understood by everyone in the sanctuary. The Word of God reaches us more profoundly than ever before.
Uplifting Music: Both our Children and Adult choir's angelic voices and the melodies played by our talented musicians are even more enchanting. The sounds of praise fill our sanctuary, forging a spiritual connection that's truly heavenly.
Closer Community: The improved sound system has fostered a stronger sense of togetherness. Congregants can actively participate in hymns and prayers, creating an engaged and united atmosphere.
Accessibility for All: The inclusivity of our new sound system ensures that those with hearing impairments can fully engage in our services, ensuring that no one feels left out.
Special Events Shine: Our church's special events, from weddings to community gatherings, will also greatly benefit from the new system. The clarity of audio and the beautiful ambiance now elevate these moments to a new level.
As we bask in the glory of our new sound system, we acknowledge that this is just the beginning. The journey of faith, community, and togetherness is ongoing, and there are countless opportunities for us to grow, improve, and better serve our congregation and community.
So, to all who made this possible, we thank you from the depths of our hearts. Your patience, your generosity, your faith, and your support have allowed us to create a space where the harmony of our faith and the beauty of our worship can truly shine. This new sound system in our church is more than just a technical upgrade; it's a testament to the incredible power of community, faith, and generosity. We are grateful to have each and every one of you as part of our congregation, and we look forward to many more years of beautiful worship, fellowship, and togetherness.
May the grace of God and the melodies of our hearts continue to fill our sanctuary and our lives with everlasting joy.
Thank you for making this dream a reality.
With love and gratitude,
With hearts brimming with gratitude and joy, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who contributed to making our 72nd Parish Anniversary and Parish Feast of Our Lady of Assumption celebration an unforgettable and blessed experience.
To all the Parish Staff, Volunteers and Ministers: You are truly AMAZING! From the planning committee members to decorators, from food preparations to ushering, from beautifying our surroundings to ministering at Mass, your tireless efforts turned a vision into reality. Your hard work behind the scenes ensured that every detail was attended to. Thank you for your tireless support to our Assumption community. Thank you for your selfless offering of your time, talent and treasure.
To all Parishioners: You are the heart and soul of our parish. Thank you for your enthusiastic participation, unwavering support, and joyful presence during celebrations and events. Whether you were singing with the choir, attending Mass, or simply joining in the events, your presence added a special touch to the events. Your love for Our Lady of Assumption and your dedication to our parish family are the driving forces that make our community thrive.
To Bishop Michael Barber SJ, Priests, Golden Gate Boys Choir, Guests and Visitors: Thank you for celebrating with us and for being part of our journey as a parish and school community.
To Our Lady of Assumption: We extend our deepest gratitude to Our Lady of Assumption for her intercession, guidance, and protection. Your maternal presence was felt throughout the celebrations, reminding us of the importance of faith, hope, and love in our lives. May we continue to walk in your footsteps and follow your example of grace and humility.
Let us continue to carry forward the spirit of unity, service, and faith that were so beautifully displayed during these celebrations. Together, we can continue to build a thriving parish and school community that honors Our Lady of Assumption and brings her message of hope and love to the world.
May Lord Jesus abundantly bless you and your loved ones, and may the Mother of Our Lord and Our Mother keep us always under her mantle of protection and love. Our Lady of Assumption, pray for us!
Dear Assumption Family and Friends,
Happy Easter! On behalf of your Assumption parish and school staff, I wish you and your loved ones the peace and joy of our Risen Savior. Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed!
Come and celebrate with us the Resurrection of our Lord who gives us hope that cannot be crushed, love that conquers all, life that never ends. His victory over the powers of death is our victory, too! We believe that death, sickness, sadness, family problems, financial troubles do not have the final say in our life. Jesus is risen! Jesus will also make us rise again from all our troubles and pains.
This is why Easter matters; this is why we teach this story to our children and grandchildren; this is why we shout Alleluia! It's because the resurrection of Jesus Christ offers us something that cannot be found anywhere else, something we so desperately need.
Come, then, and experience anew the richness of our faith by participating in the various Holy Week and Easter celebrations. At Easter Vigil, we welcome three new adult Catholics into our community, one will be joining us in Full Communion, and five children will receive baptism. In May, we will be celebrating the First Communion of our parish and school children. If you or a loved one would like to know more about becoming Catholic, please feel free to speak with me or our Faith Formation staff. We will be happy to walk with you on this journey of faith.
Do you have friends and family that would perhaps consider joining you? Maybe just a simple invitation might be the very thing they need to join you for Easter Sunday 2023.
Finally, I wish to express our profound thanks to each of you. Thank you for being the heart our community. Thank you for your continued financial support particularly in this season of Easter because we do need your help. Thank you for being God’s hands and heart in a world that yearns to know the peace and joy that the Risen Lord brings.
I pray that the Risen Lord may continue to bless you and your family. May He keep you and your loved ones safe. And may the Easter Joy continue to fill your hearts and bless your homes throughout this season.
-Father John Carillo
Parish and School Staff
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
May the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ always fill you and your loved ones with His peace, joy and tender mercy. May He keep you under His care and surround you with His love. And may His unfailing grace and abundant blessings be with you, now and always. Our prayers are with you and your loved ones this Christmas and New Year. We ask you to please remember us and your Assumption community in your prayers as well. Fr. John & the Parish Team 2022
My Dear Assumption Family and Friends,
Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! It’s been two years since we were able to celebrate as a community the great Solemnity of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After these long and challenging years, I am happy to welcome you back to your spiritual home and your Church. We are now able to joyfully gather and celebrate together the Lord’s Resurrection.
And we do have a reason to celebrate and to rejoice because amidst the pandemic and other difficulties brought into our lives, the Light of the world has been with us - accompanying us, conquering our fears and darkness, giving us new hope and new life. I pray that you will embrace fully the Light of Christ. I pray that you will encounter fully the Risen Lord. Join me in celebrating Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Masses to thank the Risen Lord for the beautiful gifts and graces that He blessed each of us with.
At our Easter Vigil Mass, we will welcome two new Catholics as members of our parish family. In a few weeks, we will celebrate the First Eucharist of our parish and school children. If you or a loved one would like more information about becoming Catholic, please feel free to speak with me or our Faith Formation staff. We look forward to walking with you on this journey of faith.
After the Easter Masses, we have a special gift of a holy water bottle for you to take home as a reminder of your own baptism and entrance into the Church. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are introduced into a life of faith and an amazing journey with the Lord. As we continue to walk together towards a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus, may we grow towards embracing a heart that burns to know, love and serve God by loving Him and serving others.
When you come before the Lord, please pray for me, our staff, and our parish and school community. Know that we will pray for you and your loved ones. If you have any special intentions, please put them in the envelope and we will place them on the Altar.
May the peace of the risen Lord, the Light of the world, be with you and your loved ones in this Easter season and always.
Per Jesum Ad Mariam,
Father John Carillo
My dear Assumption Family,
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
On the first Christmas night, after the angel appeared and announced the good news to the shepherds, they said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So, they went in haste and there they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant Jesus lying in the manger (Luke 2:15-16).
On this Christmas, I pray that we be like the shepherds too. I pray that we truly encounter Bethlehem and find meaning of “this thing that has taken place.” I pray that we move from an idea of Christmas to the experience of true Christmas. Look at the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes laid in the manger. That is our God! That is our True God who comes to meet us! Who is born to us! Who comes to us as a gift!
My dear Assumption family, receive the infant Jesus who has become a gift for us. I invite you to our Christmas Masses to celebrate the birth of Our Lord and thank Him for the wondrous gift of Himself. I also encourage you to invite your friends, family, and neighbors to attend with you. Ask the Lord to help you think of a few people to invite to Church so they too can receive the gift of Christmas!
Pope Francis says, “Let us open our hearts to receive the grace of this day, which is Christ himself. A day of mercy, in which God our Father has revealed his great tenderness to the entire world. A day of light, which dispels the darkness of fear and anxiety. A day of peace, which makes reconciliation. A day of joy: a ‘great joy’ for the poor, the lowly and for all the people (cf. Lk 2:10).”
Finally, I would like to acknowledge and thank our hardworking staff, our very dedicated Parish and Finance Councils, our school faculty and staff, and our wonderful volunteers for their unfaltering commitment and service to our parish community. And I am deeply grateful to you for your overwhelming response to the parish initiatives and events. I am deeply grateful to you for sharing your many gifts, talents, time and treasure.
May the gift of the birth of Jesus bring you and your loved ones peace and joy this holy season. May He bless you in abundance and keep you all safe from harm. Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.
Ad Jesum Per Mariam,
November 28, 2021
My dear friends,
We now begin a new liturgical year as we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus (parousia in Greek) which means “arrival or coming” and “presence.” It is the manifestation of something long-awaited. It is a time that we reflect on Israel’s promised savior and remember his birth, as well as anticipate his return. It is a time of joyous remembrance and eager anticipation.
Advent is the time that we look back to the birth of Jesus and look forward at the same time. It is a time of devotion and waiting, of repentance and faith in the promised messiah of Israel. Therefore, let us hold fast to God’s promise and look forward to his arrival. God’s final word to Israel before the coming of Christ were to the prophet Malachi: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Mal 4: 5-6). Thus, as we prepare our hearts for the Christmas celebration, we meditate on the miracle that occurred that night at Bethlehem. Let us heed the word of the Lord and turn our hearts to him!
Join me in celebrating the promised word-made-flesh and remain steadfast in his proclamation this Advent season. I ask that you share your prayer intentions with me — prayers for your loved ones and for those in need of special intercession, for our beloved church and school, and for our world. During the Season of Advent, I will keep your intentions with me as I pray and celebrate the holy Mass and pray the Holy Rosary. At this special time of year, we will be joined together in lifting our prayers to God the Most High, and his son Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Please cut the bottom portion and mail them to the Rectory Office or send an email of your intention requests to email@example.com. I also humbly ask that you remember me and our parishioners in your prayers especially during this holy season. May God continue to bless you and your loved ones.
+ Father John
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Dear Father John,
Please remember my special intentions in your prayers this Advent Season. __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ If you wish you, you may email your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be confidentially printed and added to those mailed.
July 4, 2021
Dear Assumption family and friends,
Last Sunday, Mark’s gospel told us two beautiful stories about Jairus, the synagogue official who went to call Jesus to save his dying daughter, and about a woman who had hemorrhage for 12 long years. Amidst their great need, Jesus healed the woman and raised Jairus’ dead daughter back to life. The display of their faith was so powerful it could work miracles.
In this Sunday’s gospel, however, faith is absent - and so are the miracles. The gospel tells us that Jesus returned to his own hometown Nazareth. When Jesus preached in the synagogue, his former townsfolk recognized him and were amazed at the authority and wisdom of his words.
And yet, despite all that, instead of accepting Jesus and His message, they rejected Him – a prophet without honor in his hometown. They thought they knew Jesus too well. They knew His family. They knew His background. They knew a lot about Jesus and had known him since childhood. And with that, they concluded that it is impossible that one of them, one so familiar, could really be a prophet sent from God. Blinded by their own biases and prejudice, they were not able to see beyond the ordinary presence of Jesus and to encounter the extraordinary presence of God right there in their midst.
As a result of this absence or lack of faith, the gospel tells us that Jesus was “not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.”
My dear friends, we too may have the same tendency in our relationship with God and His Church. We may be tempted to think that we don’t need God or the Church because we have finally figured out that we can get by without Him. Or we may be too familiar or too complacent about our faith.
But the gospel today reminds us that when our hearts are open, God can make wonders in our lives. When we have faith, there is no limit to what we can expect from God. On the other hand, the absence or lack of faith in the Lord closes the door to the abundant blessings He wants to impart to us. In a sense, a closed heart limits the great possibilities on what God can do with us and through us.
So, how do we deepen and nurture our faith? It all begins in a personal encounter with Jesus through prayer, the sacraments and acts of mercy.
Let us pray for another always. If you need prayers or have special intentions, please email at email@example.com or call the office at (510) 352-1537. These intentions will be included in our daily rosary. If you wish to be included in the universal prayer at mass, please contact the office.
May the good Lord continue to bless you and your loved ones with His abundant grace.
Have a blessed and Happy 4th of July.
June 27, 2021
My dear Assumption family and friends,
The gospel for this 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time gives us a beautiful story about two people who approached Jesus for help. One was a synagogue official named Jairus who came up to Jesus very publicly on behalf of his dying daughter. The other was a nameless woman who approached Jesus very privately on her own behalf and discreetly touched His cloak. For all their differences, these two people had something in common: their need for healing and their need for God. And it is in their great need that they found the strength and the courage to approach Jesus.
Friends, you and I are like these two people to some degree. The difficult situations in which we find ourselves or the sufferings and pains we bear in this life can move us powerfully to make contact with the Lord – to make contact with his overflowing generosity and immense love. And here lies a very important biblical principle - that we encounter God into our lives often in moments of our greatest vulnerability and need. Our difficult situations or our suffering and pain can be a sacred space where we meet God. Or better yet, where God meets us.
Our calling is to get out from our enclosures, from our isolation and reach out to God who is calling us to Himself. And God will never disappoint. Because the Lord wants to be near us and touch our lives. He wants to heal us and give us new life.
Isn’t this what we all long for and desire? Isn’t this what our hearts truly yearn for?
Friends, the Lord does not relate to us at a distance. Just as Jesus entered the home of Jairus and took his daughter by the hand, so He longs to enter our hearts and our lives and take us by the hand. Just as the woman with hemorrhage touched Jesus, so He longs that we touch Him with our faith and trust in order to open up the wellspring of His love and mercy.
I invite you, therefore, to approach our Lord and encounter His healing power.
Come and join us as we open wide the doors of our Church and make the sacrament of healing more available.
Every first Saturday of the month after the 8:15am Mass beginning July 3rd, the priests will be administering the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. The Anointing of the Sick is not just a sacrament for those who are at the point of death. This sacrament is primarily intended for Catholics who are sick, those who are suffering from serious or chronic illness or facing life-threatening situations (like major surgery or a serious medical emergency), as well as those who may be struggling with the infirmities of age.
In this sacrament, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus, the Divine Physician, who touches the sick person to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. “When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God's will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit's gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Chapter 19).
If you are homebound or scheduled to go to the hospital for surgery or extended care, please contact the Parish Office at 510-352-1537 to arrange with the priest for the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.
Finally, we will be adding more Masses on Sundays beginning July 11th. We will post the new Mass times in the bulletin and our social media platforms in the coming week.
Please know that you and your loved ones especially those who are sick will always be in my prayers.
May God continue to bless you with abundant grace of peace, joy and love. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You.
June 13, 2021
My dear Assumption Family,
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Lk 1:46-47).
This passage, first uttered by Our Blessed Mother at the Annunciation, describes exactly how I feel after meeting you together with our parish staff and teams and our schoolteachers and students. Celebrating my first Sunday Mass with you last weekend was very moving. I am filled with so much joy and gratitude for the amazing blessings God has bestowed upon me in making me part of this parish community. Thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality. Thank you for your words of encouragement and support. Thank you for your love for God and His Church. You made me feel right at home. Indeed, Assumption Church is my new home. You are my new family.
As I mentioned in last Sunday’s homily, our Lord Jesus desires that we come closer to Him and enter into a deep and intimate relationship with Him. He desires that we each grow in our faith, so that our hearts can truly be opened to know and love Him and our neighbor. And it all starts from small beginnings like a mustard seed in today’s parable.
Yet, as the parable suggests, these small beginnings are the promise of something wonderful to come, just as the mustard seed “the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
You see, humble beginnings can have extraordinary and beautiful outcome when it is participating in God’s work, when it is in accord to God’s will.
Friends, this should give us encouragement to keep on knowing and loving God and our neighbor. This should inspire us to keep on doing the little bit of good we are able to do. It may not seem much in our own eyes or in the eyes of others, yet God can work powerfully through us in ways that will surprise us. We can all plant the equivalent of the mustard seed. The prayers, the little initiative, the small gesture, the offer of help, can all bear fruit in ways that we could never imagine. The time, talent, and treasure you share, can work powerfully, and make a difference in the parish.
Our calling is often to plant some good seed and to trust that the Lord will do the rest. And our parish exists to make this a reality in our lives. I
am blessed to be able to work with amazing staff at our parish and school and our many ministers and volunteers. I’m impressed by the dedication that they have to the mission of Church. They truly desire our community to flourish! And I give thanks to God for these and the many other ways He has blessed our community.
Let us always pray for one another and ask the unfailing help of our Blessed Mother. May God continue to bless you and the people you love.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You.