Orozco: Valley Catholics gather for 25th Congress

The Fresno BeeOctober 11, 2013 

More than 1,500 Roman Catholics in the central San Joaquin Valley are expected to attend the 25th edition of the Diocesan Congress on Oct. 19 at the Visalia Convention Center.

This year's theme is "Called and Gifted, Stronger in Faith."

The event annually brings together Catholic educators, lay ministers, catechists, the religious, clergy members, chaplains, directors of religious education programs and youth ministers.

This year, 60 workshops will be presented in seven languages. The keynote speaker is the Rev. Allan Figueroa Deck, a Jesuit priest and the Charles S. Casassa chairman of Catholic Social Values at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Bishop Armando X. Ochoa of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno will celebrate Mass at the conference.

As part of the Diocesan Congress, High School Youth Day is scheduled Oct. 20, also at the Visalia Convention Center. About 1,500 youths also are expected to attend.

The event includes a presentation — "Faith Leads to Action" — by the Rev. Dan Avila. A panel also will discuss what it means to say yes to God in one's life.

Details: dioceseoffresno.org/congress or (559) 488-7400.

Fresno priest celebrates Mass under circus tent

A Fresno Catholic priest celebrated a private Mass for Circus Vargas performers after their late show Oct. 5 under a big-top tent in a lot by the Save Mart Center.

The Rev. Eric Swearingen, pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in northeast Fresno, celebrated the Mass. When he was in training for the priesthood, Swearingen served as unofficial "circus pastor" with Circus Vargas.

Circus Vargas performed in Fresno on Oct. 3-7. Circus Vargas had last come to Fresno in 2009, when Swearingen also celebrated a Mass for performers.

Katya Quiroga, owner of Circus Vargas with husband Nelson Quiroga, says Swearingen "has a history with us. He is a good man."

Synagogue honors man for his 100th birthday

A member of the area's Jewish community was honored Friday — six days before his 100th birthday. Sol Kaufman was born on Oct. 16, 1913.

The caring committee at Temple Beth Israel hosted oneg in Kaufman's honor after the Shabbat Service at the synagogue.

Kaufman has been considered a "loyal member of the Jewish community" since he came to Fresno from Stockton as a young boy.

Islamic center caps holy week with bazaar

A Community Celebration and Bazaar is scheduled at 3 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, 2111 E. Nees Ave.

The event will feature real camel rides, henna art, international food vendors, kids' rides and attractions and Eastern tea booths. Admission fee is $5. Children under 5 are admitted free.

The celebration is in conjunction with Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest periods of the Muslim calendar. Eid prayer starts at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday with takbeers (glorifying God) at the center.

Details: icfresno.org or (559) 297-9535.

Visalia church honors Our Lady of Fatima

The 30th edition of the Our Lady of Fatima Celebration is Sunday, Oct. 13, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Visalia, 608 N. Church St.

The event begins at 9:30 a.m. with a procession in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, from George McCann Memorial Catholic School to St. Mary's.

A Mass in honor of Our Lady of Fatima is at 10:30 a.m., followed by a barbecue dinner at 11 and a carnival for children and adults at 1 p.m. The dinner ends at 4 p.m. There also will be continuous reciting of the rosary in the church, from 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Proceeds benefit McCann School. Details: tccov.org or (559) 733-3929.

New Praise church has new location

New Praise Nondenominational Church will hold services and activities at 4333 N. West Ave., Suite B, beginning Sunday, Oct. 13.

The church offers Sunday school at 9 a.m., followed by worship at 10.

The church also presents WOW Bible study at 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

The church pastor is the Rev. Joaquin Hobdy. Details: (832) 331-0048.


The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304 or rorozco@fresnobee.com.

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