Catholic San Francisco

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St. James School recently celebrated its Mass for peace and justice. Students from primary, middle and junior high are acknowledged at the Mass with Peacemaker Awards. From left: Katherine Vilchez; Francesa Garcia Madria; Aliyah McCarver.

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‘Living out mercy in fabric’ of Notre Dame, campus ministry director says
February 2nd, 2016
By Tom Burke

Students at Notre Dame High School are making a choice to let mercy more into their lives, Kay Dinglasan told me via email. Kay has been at Notre Dame, Belmont for nine years, the last five as director of campus ministry. She is also a former young adult minister at the Newman Center at San Jose State University where she completed her undergraduate degree. She holds a graduate degree from Holy Names University.

“Living out mercy is embedded into the fabric of the Notre Dame, Belmont culture,” Kay told me. Notre Dame kicked off the school year with Mass and a “United in Diversity” theme.

“The message from that liturgy was a call for us to love one another because of the beauty that is within each person, even if that beauty looks different from our own,” Kay said. She called it a “great launching point to point out Pope Francis’ call to love one another, especially the poor and marginalized, in our everyday life.”

Offering mercy is a daily experience for students at Notre Dame, Kay said, and no more evident than in older students desire to help younger students at the school.

“When you ask a Link Crew leader or a retreat leader why they choose to go out for these roles, the majority will state it is because they want to help and support freshmen and sophomores because they recognize how hard those two years can be.”

Students also live out mercy by filling needs within their community with more than 20,000 service hours annually. A Students in Action club researches volunteer opportunities with nonprofit organizations. The mercy mission is also being achieved within the ranks of faculty and staff.

“They have been exploring the Beatitudes as a way of diving into conversations of spirituality and leadership,” Kay said. “These conversations have led to deeper discussions of how we should live out mercy and support to one another.”

Are students at Notre Dame aware of Pope Francis? “Yes they are,” Kay said. “When Pope Francis came to the US back in September, we made sure to highlight his visit and many of his teachings during his time here. We had a bulletin board filled with images and quotes from his speeches, as well as included prayers for him daily.”

Teachers are including him and many of his teachings in religion classes, Kay said, and some science teachers have included the pope’s encyclical “Laudato Si’” into their teaching.

Many students would say they view Pope Francis as a kind, open person, Kay said. “While they are aware that he may not be as ‘liberal’ as some have made him out to be, they appreciate how open he is to dialogue with those who may not think the same way as Catholics do.”

SCHOOL CENTENNIAL: St. Paul School, San Francisco, will celebrate its hundredth year over two days beginning April 30.It begins with Mass at 4 p.m. Saturday, with reception following where food and beverages will be available for purchase. Former San Francisco archbishop Cardinal William J. Levada is principal celebrant. Join in Sunday for a family Mass at 9:15 a.m. followed by a pancake breakfast at $5 per person. Visit; (415) 648-2055.

SOUL TIP: Thanks again to St. Cecilia Parish and the latest advice on its marquee: “Let your faith be greater than your fear.”

BALLOT BOX: Heard that several people helping with the various presidential campaigns are coming down ill. The cause is something like “second-hand smoke and mirrors.”

Email items and electronic pictures – jpegs at no less than 300 dpi to 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.

From February 4, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.


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