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Artist ‘shares gifts’ to help others ‘share faith’

04 PAGE Family at 100th Birthday PartyHAPPY BIRTHDAY: With his wife Mary and family at his side, John Johnson celebrated his 100th birthday with Mass and reception June 17 at St. Charles Parish, San Carlos, his and Mary’s home since 1953. Testimonials at the reception included honors from the City of San Carlos and the crowning of John as “king” by the four generations of the family in attendance. John and Mary’s children – Kathleen, Paul, and Teresa – attended St. Charles School and later Notre Dame, Belmont and Serra high schools. Their spouses, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren complete the proud immediate family. “We all agree my dad has filled his 100 years with a love of family, a passion for knowledge, hard work and community service. We love you, Dad!” Kathy said for the bunch in a note to this column.

July 27, 2017
Tom Burke

04 THUMB Amanda ElizabethIf you are a little shy to wear your faith on your sleeve, how about on a tote bag? Artist Amanda Barden can give you a hand.

“I was recently inspired to start putting my art skills to work designing Catholic art,” Amanda told Catholic San Francisco. “For me, it’s a way to share my faith and to help others share their faith.” Amanda designs tote bags, coffee mugs, and wall art with a mix of traditional and modern art.

The idea had been tugging at Amanda for a few years saying she finally “couldn’t ignore it.”

Amanda attends Mass at San Francisco’s St. Ignatius and St. Dominic parishes. The idea for designing faith-related items came clear at liturgy, she said. “I knew I was on the right track one day at church. I’d just launched the website and was having doubts about whether this was really a good idea or not. We were singing ‘We Are Many Parts’ and there’s a line in the song that goes, ‘… and the gifts we have, we are given to share ….’ It may sound silly, but I took it as a sign.”

Those who have found their way to Amanda’s website are glad they did. “I’ve been getting great feedback so far. People love the store and having inspirational and attractive designs on items they can incorporate into their everyday lives,” Amanda said.

“I find beauty in practical, down-to-earth art – a beautiful tote bag I use for groceries, a framed quote on my bedside table, a cute mug or notebook with an inspirational message. I like everything I use to mean something to me. One of my goals with this project is to create these practical objects we all use every day with Catholic messages.”

Find Amanda online: www.CatholicArtStore.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/catholicartstore/; Instagram: www.instagram.com/catholicartstore/; Twitter: https://twitter.com/NovenaArt.

04 dcnmcneil2. HALFHEART OF THE MATTER: Deacon Chuck McNeil of St. Dominic Parish was ordained in 1999. Today among his ministries is an eight-week grief support group. The group is open to all but you have to want to be there and you have to meet with Chuck before attending the first session. “It is not an open drop in group although I am flexible,” Chuck told me. The ministry is “a formal support group for those who have lost a loved one in the last year to death and helps them begin the long journey of healing,” he said.

“The group works best for those who are able to come in for a full hour meeting and are able to attend all of the eight sessions. I tell the group that they are the main instruments of healing for each other.” Chuck took over the ministry just two years after his mom died. He was not sure he was strong enough to take it on. “At first I did it for my mom and after a while it just came natural. People just need to hear that grief is a natural response to loss.” Chuck explained that the group environment provides “a safe place for people to mourn,” can “encourage members to support and understand other bereaved persons,” and provides “an environment in which the bereaved receive hope and get renewed energy.”

The next sessions begin Aug. 6. The group meets on eight Sutndays, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at St. Dominic’s. deaconchuck@stdominics.org.

SADDLE MATES: What a pleasure it was for me to have some time on the phone with Marie Annuzzi, longtime – and I mean longtime – secretary at St. Kevin Parish, San Francisco and now retired in her Bernal Heights home nearby. Marie, now 92, said she was making the trip to St. Kevin’s most days up until a year ago. Marie’s legacy of faithfulness and pastoral care at St. Kevin’s is firm, as well as the legacies of priests she’s been in service with at St. Kevin’s including Msgr. Jim O’Malley, pastor 1967-93, and who died in 2012. Marie and her late husband Mel are remembered as a great couple. They invited the entire parish to their 60th wedding anniversary Mass and reception in 2004. Marie says “hi” from her retirement spot and that I can call again as long as it’s not during her shows. Marie and I have shared the yoke of church work as well as its joys and, for us, the friendship that sometimes grows from it. I am grateful.

Email items and electronic pictures – jpegs at no less than 300 dpi to burket@sfarchdiocese.org or mail to Street, One Peter Yorke Way, San Francisco 94109. Include a follow-up phone number. Street is toll-free. My phone number is (415) 614-5634.

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