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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.


  • ‘Mosaic’ is TV show and bigger picture, communications, staffer says

    by Karessa McCartney | Apr 02, 2017

    new_04 StRomK.jpegGOOD GIFTS: Kindergartners at St. Robert School, San Bruno, held a Pajama Drive collecting pajamas, socks, slippers and blankets for kids helped by the San Mateo County Children’s Receiving Home.  “Our pajama drive ends with a fun ‘Pajamas, Pancakes and Polar Express Day’ to celebrate the generosity of our class,” teacher Gina Thomson told me in a note to this column. “This is one of my favorite service projects because all children can relate to how nice it is to get a new pair of PJ’s. It makes them feel very happy to know that they have helped someone in need.”

    January 26, 2017
    Tom Burke

    new_04 Street THUMBNew among us chancery grunts and appropriately welcomed is communication manager, J.A. Gray. John calls himself “the third member of a three-person team” in the Office of Communications that includes Mike Brown, director, and assistant director Jan Potts. John said he has “worked a lot within the Catholic community, particularly in education, but never before been a diocesan employee.” He especially appreciates “having Mass available every day at noon” in the chancery chapel. John’s communications experience includes being “an editor at monthly magazines, the New Oxford Review in Berkeley and First Things in New York” He has also been “editor of school magazines at St. Mary’s College of California and De La Salle High School” in Concord. He is a former director of communications at the Christian Brothers’ provincial headquarters in Napa.

    Among John’s duties in the office is hosting “Mosaic,” a 30-minute public service program airing on KPIX Channel 5 and broadcast in what some may call the wee hours of Sunday morning, now 5 a.m. Being asked to host “Mosaic” was a bit of a surprise to John, who admits his television experience at the time added up to “none whatsoever.” He calls himself “a guy who sits at a keyboard and makes words appear on the screen, not a guy who appears on any screens himself.”

    John has brought his magazine skills to the table with “Mosaic” saying he’s “always enjoyed interviewing people, drawing them out and finding a story that is important to them and that can touch and instruct.” 

    Busy sharpening his on-camera skills he spoke of the challenges of the taping experience. “Segments are about seven minutes each, and when the guest is deep into a subject, and the stage manager behind the camera is signaling ‘one minute left,’ I’m thinking, ‘How do I wind this up and get us into the commercial break?’” John said. “We tape it live without retakes.”

    “Mosaic” is taped at KPIX on the last Wednesday of the month and airs on the first Sunday of the next month. The archdiocese produces some dozen of the shows per year with the rest filled in by production teams from other Bay Area faith groups. The show has been on the air for 40 years.

    “Mosaic” will continue long term with the archdiocese of itself and as part of the communications mosaic currently under design, according to John. “We plan to continue it, with very interesting guests, to show the richness and depth of local Catholic life,” John said.  “It fits with our expanding digital media plan. It serves our mission of evangelization and outreach.”

    “Mosaic” airs next on Feb. 5 with guest Melanie Morey, a national expert on Catholic culture, talking with John about renewing Catholic parish culture. Archived episodes of “Mosaic” are online at www.sfarch.org/mosaictv.

    new_04 Erin Scheg and Sr. ChristineSAINTLY SCRIBE: Congratulations to St. Stephen School eighth grader Erin Scheg winner of the $500 first prize in the 2016 St. Thomas More Society eighth grade essay contest. “The contest challenges our parochial students to apply lessons from their Christian formation to timely topics,” Katherine Moser, school development director, told me in a note to this column. The topic of the essay included how politicians today can benefit from the life of St. Thomas More. Erin, pictured here with Dominican Sister Christine Ostrowski of the St. Stephen faculty, was honored at a St. Thomas More Society luncheon Dec. 15. Erin’s parents are Katie and Jim Scheg.

    new_04 Street last THUMBHOME AGAIN: Notre Dame High School alumna Stephanie Barile who graduated in 2001 is back at the Belmont school as a member of its Social Sciences Department. Stephanie completed an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon also studying in France and at Long Island University.  Her experience includes teaching at public schools in New York City. “Notre Dame is proud to welcome her back to Belmont!” the school said.

    RICHLY DESERVED: A Mass commemorating consecrated life and the women and men religious at its heart will be celebrated Sunday, Feb. 5, 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Gough Street at Geary Boulevard, San Francisco. The liturgy will especially pray for 38 women and men religious celebrating jubilees representing 2,125 years of service, Presentation Sister Rosina Conrotto, director of the Office of Consecrated Life, told me. Bishop William Justice is principal celebrant. A reception follows in the cathedral’s downstairs halls.

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