Over 400 people gathered on the Feast and Solemnity of Saint Clare to mark another milestone of the 40th Jubilee of the Diocese of San Jose. This fourth Jubilee outdoor mass, held in what Bishop Cantù called the “tent cathedral” of St Clare’s parish, was presided by Bishop Cantù as well as over 40 concelebrants from diocesan parishes and religious communities. The mass was very lively and well organized, with beautiful music. It was an enjoyable liturgy, where many men and women religious, who came representing their communities, as well as their religious Jubilarians, received a spontaneous applause when Bishop Cantù introduced them to the general public.

This fourth Jubilee mass especially honored the contributions made by the many religious communities of men and women present within the Diocese. As Fr Shinseki S.J., the homilist of the celebration, remarked in his reflection: While some religious within the Diocese are cloistered and live lives of prayer and penance, most of the religious present in the diocese are actively engaged in some sort of apostolic activity or ministry, catering to those in need and on the margins of society. He emphasized that religious are called in a particular way to witness material freedom through the evangelical counsels, especially in this diocese, located within Silicon Valley, where luxury and extravagance abound, and where the vow of poverty with its emphasis on sharing, manifests a freedom from material possessions. Similarly, the vow of chastity aims to proclaim freedom from possessive relationships, while the vow of obedience aims at pointing to the freedom of the ego, in a world that exalts and understands freedom as the ability to do what one wants at every moment of life. In the readings, Fr Shinseki recalled the words by Saint Paul “that this freedom is a grace, not of our own doing, but rather a gift from God.” Saint Paul was freed to be, in the words of Saint Clare, a vessel “of God’s compassionate love for others.” Over the past 40 years, hundreds of religious from the many women’s and men’s orders present in the diocese, have been vessels of God’s compassionate love for the people of the Diocese of San José, serving in parishes, convents, schools, hospitals, retreat centers, and social apostolates. They all put their trust in in God’s providence, and we are all called to do the same, especially in this moment where the pandemic is far from over. Fr. Shinseki concluded his homily, reminding us that only a radical trust in God’s providence will enable us to continue forward, come what may, in our “Journeying Together in Hope.”

During the mass Bishop Cantù also honored Catholic Charities for their outstanding service to the people of this Diocese and Santa Clara County. Catholic Charities predates the founding of this Diocese and has been a cornerstone and a lifeline for many families in need, especially during this pandemic. The Franciscan Fathers Friars Minor were also recognized for fifty years of outstanding pastoral service at our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. Bishop Cantù thanked them all for their work and presence, which greatly enriched and empowered the people of the parish through their presence, teaching and commitment to social justice.

After the mass, all participants were invited to a light reception in the beautiful backyard of St. Clare’s Parish Residence. People gathered and were invited by St. Clare’s Youth to light refreshments and snacks, provided through the generosity of St. Clare’s parish. It was a wonderful opportunity to mingle and great each other on a late summer evening with ideal temperatures.

These celebration of the 40th Jubilee of the Diocese of San Jose have been a great opportunity to recognize the grace and providence of God as well as to connect and re-connect with one another, as we continue to journey in Hope.