National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Oakland, Calif.

Catholic cemeteries strike innovative deal with union

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After more than four years of negotiations, the Catholic cemeteries of the Oakland diocese have reached a 10-year agreement with Local 265 of the Service Employees International Union representing their 23 groundskeepers. The agreement includes a no-layoff provision, a buyout of the union-managed pension, and health care with no lifetime cap. It was ratified by a 22-1 vote.

New bishop wants to serve Oakland as pope serves 'the whole church'

In a joyful celebration that incorporated the many gifts of the diverse communities that make up the Oakland diocese, Bishop Michael Barber was ordained and installed as Oakland's fifth bishop May 25 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

With his brother Jesuit Fr. Stephen Barber and another brother, Kevin Barber, serving as lector, Bishop Barber, 58, became the first Jesuit to become the bishop of Oakland. He also is the first priest to be named bishop of Oakland. All previous bishops had already been ordained bishops.

Oakland priest holds vigil for church reform while on voluntary exile

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Every Sunday morning for the last three years, Tim Stier, former pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Fremont, Cailf., has stood outside Oakland's Cathedral of Christ the Light to call attention to the need for what he calls "structural reform" within the church. Sometimes he is alone, holding a large sign that reads, "Include the Excluded: Women, Gay Persons, Abuse Survivors." At other times, a handful of supporters joins him in the two-hour vigil.

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