St. Joseph of Cupertino Nov. 2010 Flyer St. Joseph of Cupertino St. Joseph of Cupertino Parish...
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St. Joseph of Cupertino St. Joseph of Cupertino Parish
Flyer Nov. 2010
Profile: Rev. Vincent Pineda By Mike Hoffman
Vincent Pineda was born in Manila on January 22, 1976. He is the eldest of seven children – four sisters and two brothers. His parents, brothers and sisters all still live in the Philippines. Vincent’s mother and father met while attending college in Manila. His dad was from Subic Bay and spoke only Tagalog. His
mother was from Ilocos Sur and spoke only Ilocano. Somehow they managed to communicate and fell in love. When Vincent’s mother became pregnant, they quit college and Vincent’s father attended a vocational school to become an auto mechanic. Since they were very young and unprepared to marry and raise a family, both their families were disapproving and deeply hurt. Their attitude changed when their first grandson was born. Vincent was particularly close to his great-grandmother (Catalina). She was a power within the family and Vincent’s dad was her favorite grandson. When Vincent was five, the family was living in Manila and he was sent to Subic Bay to spend the summer with his great-grandparents. When summer ended he stayed on. Around this time, Vincent’s father accepted a job in Saudi Arabia where he stayed for five years. When he came back, he got a job at the U.S. Navy Base Exchange store at Subic Bay and the family was reunited. Vincent was around ten at the time. When Vincent was at his great-grandparents house, there were no other children around, only adults. He believes that this adult atmosphere allowed him to reason as an adult at an early age. The family house in Olongapo (close to the Subic Bay naval base) was very close to the local parish (St. Joseph). His great- grandparents lived with them and Catalina had a very hard time getting around. She would often ask Vincent to accompany her. Vincent was her “walking stick” to church and afterwards she would take him to any restaurant he wanted to go. Catalina’s devotion to the church played a big part in Vincent’s decision to become a priest. When Vincent was in fifth grade, Catalina died. This was an extremely difficult time for Vincent; he described it as “surreal.” When he was 14, Vincent applied to the local minor seminary, passed the admission test and was invited to come for a weekend live-in trial period. He never told his parents about any
of this. They didn’t know anything about it until they received a copy of his acceptance letter. They were not pleased. They were concerned about being separated from Vincent and about the high cost of sending him to the seminary. His father, who had attended seminary but only lasted two weeks, told Vincent he didn’t think he’d be able to make it through. When Vincent couldn’t be dissuaded, his mother said, “We didn’t realize how hardheaded you are.” Vincent entered St. Augustine’s Seminary at Iba, Zambales. He was there when Mount Pinatubo erupted. He experienced the sky turning red and ash and sand falling from the sky. For some time, he was unable to go home for his monthly weekend visits because bridges had been destroyed. One of the reasons Vincent succeeded in all his seminary studies and became a priest is that he wanted to prove to his parents that he had made the right decision. Vincent did succeed, even excelled throughout his minor seminary and his philosophy studies at San Carlos in Manila. After graduating from San Carlos, he felt he needed to take a break. Before making his final decision to join the priesthood, he wanted to know more about the world. He was granted a one year leave (regency). During this time, he taught philosophy and theology at a Dominican school and studied for a master’s degree at a Jesuit school. At the end of the first year, he applied for second year. This is unusual, but his request was granted. He loved university life but he felt a sense of emptiness. So, at the end of the second year, he decided to return and studied theology. Theological training in the Philippines tends to be very rigid and was not at all to his liking. With the help of Father Mark Catalana, Vocation Director for the Diocese of San Jose, he was admitted to St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. On June 5, 2005, he was ordained by Bishop McGrath. Before coming to St. Joseph’s, Father Vincent served at Holy Spirit in San Jose, St. Cyprian, and Resurrection in Sunnyvale. At Resurrection, he was Director of Liturgy and was also in charge of the Youth Ministry. He said of his pastoral experience in these various parishes, “I was able to experience different styles of leadership.” Asked what he likes most about being a priest, Father Vincent spoke of an early morning call he had just received. A longtime parishioner had died and he went to give a final blessing. He noted that in situations like this, “A priest can give consolation that even a doctor can’t give.” He also said that when he consoles grieving families, “I’m also being nourished by the experience.”
November 2010 www.stjoscup.org Page 2
Early Childhood Education Program Gives Young Children a Faith Experience By Tam Tran
St. Joseph of Cupertino has an Early Childhood Education (ECE) program conducted on Sunday mornings during the school year. Children aged three years to six (first grade) meet in the school’s classrooms during the 9:30 am Mass. This program gives children an age-appropriate faith experience while their parents and older siblings are at Mass. Parents are able to focus on participating at Mass knowing that their young children are having fun and learning about God.
The Early Childhood Education programs are based on the Church’s teaching that the primary responsibility for the spiritual growth and development of children rests primarily with the parents. Our programs assist parents in passing on their faith in a way that those being catechized can understand.
The Early Childhood Program uses the I Am Special curriculum published by Our Sunday Visitor. Through this series, three-year-olds learn that everything they experience with their body in this world is from God. The four-year-old curriculum expands to things that the children could do with their body in the world, thanks to such abilities being gifts from God. At the kindergarten age, Jesus is introduced and their emotions are added as gifts from God. They begin to learn that we are to model our own behavior after Jesus. First grade is the beginning of formal catechetical instruction, with actual text and an introduction of formal doctrines, such as the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the Church. The Sign of the Cross in introduced in the four-year-old class, with mastery by kindergarten age; and the Lord’s Prayer and Hail Mary are taught in the first grade. The idea of prayer and going to Mass is also introduced in the kindergarten class.
The children participate in several prayer services every year to which their parents and siblings are invited. Traditionally, all the children come together for a Thanksgiving and a New Life (post-Easter) celebration. Depending upon which days they fall, there are celebrations for Valentine’s Day and Epiphany, too. This year, the Thanksgiving celebration will be substituted by a Christmas celebration.
The Early Childhood Education classes are taught by volunteers and parents. For many years, the parish has been blessed to have dedicated catechists teaching. Volunteers in this ministry find it very rewarding. The smiles on the children’s faces are what keeps them coming back to volunteer.
Parents who are not catechists are instrumental in the program, too. They are asked to serve as aides in their child’s class twice a year, helping the children in the many activities. Many parents enjoy this activity so much, they volunteer to serve as aides every Sunday or become a catechist the following year! Material preparation for class activities is done by the parents. Their help with the material preparation reduces the time children need to spend cutting and gluing their projects during class. This enables the catechists to accomplish more activities and teaching during the classes.
Our ECE program continues to thrive as new families join our parish and current families send their young ones to us.
The ECE classes are held from October to May on Sunday mornings from 9:20 am to 10:30 am. For registration packets or more information on the program, please contact the catechetical office at 252-7653, ext. 60.
November 2010 St. Joseph of Cupertino Parish Page 3
Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in SJC Rose Garden By Désirée Widjojo
"Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, cradled in my arms? Is there anything else that you need? Let nothing ever grieve you, or prey on your mind..."
In 1531 Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego near Mexico City. She came at a time when paganism and human sacrifice were rampant in that part of the world, and asked that a church be built in that place. Juan Diego, a poor Indian, approached the Bishop with Our Lady's request, and miraculously, the image of Our Lady was imprinted on Juan's tilma.
We call this image "Santa Maria de Guadalupe," which means "Holy Mary who saves us from the Devourer." The tilma (mantle) shows Mary
standing on a moon, supported by an angel and radiant as the sun. Through the centuries, people devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe have received her specia