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by Tom Burke

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.

  • Bishop Bill Justice: 50 years ‘helping people with the message of Jesus’

    by Karessa McCartney | Jun 06, 2017

    04 suzanne and fans cropped PAGEMASTER CLASS: Choir members from St. Monica School, San Francisco, and St. Catherine School, Burlingame, visited May 12 with beloved composer Mercy Sister Suzanne Toolan at the sisters’ convent in Burlingame. Music teacher Nancy Rogers accompanied the young singers on the trip. “The kids were really excited to speak with Sister Suzanne,” Nancy told me. “They treated her like a rock star.” The children sang Sister Suzanne’s “Jesus Christ, Inner Light” and Sister Suzanne played her cherished “I Am the Bread of Life” for them. One student asked Sister Suzanne to sign his hymnal and the rest lined up respectfully to have Sister Suzanne sign their music, Nancy said. The picture says so well that a good time was had by all.

    June 8, 2017
    Tom Burke

    04 Justice THUMBBishop Bill Justice turned 75 on May 8, a major age for bishops. “At age 75 bishops must send a letter to the pope offering their resignation,” the St. Gregory School and Serra High School graduate told me in a beautifully handwritten response to questions I posed to him via email. “I have just recently done that.”

    Bishop Bill became a priest “to be able to help people with the message of Jesus, and to empower them to share that message in the way they choose to live.” He was a priest 40 years when named a bishop by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. “When the call came from the apostolic nuncio in Washington, I was surprised as I had not dwelt on it.”

    Responsibilities as an auxiliary bishop have seen him celebrating confirmations, representing the archbishop at functions, working with the chancery Office of Human Life and Dignity and sitting on a number of committees with the California Catholic Conference and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    He has enjoyed it all but “celebrating confirmations at the parishes is one of the highlights.”

    As to the future? “Since I have never been retired I will have to experience it to know exactly what I would like to do,” he told me. For a start he wants “to continue celebrating confirmations and do special things when needed” as well as helping at a parish on weekends.

    Why is priesthood a good choice for men? “It enables you to share the word of God, celebrate the sacraments and help people in their need,” Bishop Bill said, “and give them courage and deeper skills to work together for peace, justice and human dignity in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

    The church lives today in an “age of challenge and transition” and can be “the hope that this reality will be for the benefit of human life and dignity,” Bishop Bill said. “Each person is a creation of the God of love. Together we as Catholic Christians can build up the community of Jesus’ love so that all will live as truly God’s human family.”


    04 Bay Scholars HALFACADEMICS: Mercy High School, San Francisco recently hosted Bay Scholars president Clint Reilly and representatives of the organization that “provides yearly scholarships for 25 young women at Mercy,” the school said. Pictured from left: Megha Rajput, Analisa Lonich, Casey Hart, Clint Reilly, Ava Ragasa, KeShay Dumetz, Angela Vallejo, Janet Reilly; Mercy head of school Scott McLarty, and Caitlin Kavanagh.


    04 Welstead THUMBHAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Capuchin Father Flavian Welstead celebrated his 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood May 21. Father Flavian is a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Angels Parish, Burlingame, and hails from Douglas, County Cork, Ireland. He was ordained on the Emerald Isle at Ard Mhuire, Donegal. He has served as a missionary in the Sioma and Mangango missions and in Livingstone in Zambia, and was the Capuchins Provincial Development Director from 1989-1997. “Father Flavian is generous to a fault,” Capuchin Father Michael Mahoney, OLA pastor, told me. “He is tireless in his ministry to others,” the Capuchins said in a statement.


    PARTNERS: St. Anthony-Immaculate Conception School and San Francisco Islamic School collaborated in a socks and sundries collection for the needy in the Mission district. “This was the second collaborative collection this year,” said Barbara Moodie, principal. In November the schools worked together on a canned food drive in support of San Francisco’s St. Anthony’s.


    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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