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Immaculate Heart Radio host Patrick Madrid played to an SRO crowd at St. Timothy Parish, San Mateo Jan. 21. The popular apologist spoke on the question “Why Be Catholic When You Can Be Anything Else?” The event was sponsored by the St. Timo

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Marin Catholic alum brings vocation home
February 7th, 2017
By Tom Burke

Renewal Friar Isaiah Marie Hoffman was once again among the halls of Marin Catholic High School where he graduated in 2004. He entered the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in 2008 making final vows July 26, 2015. According to Peggy Semling, Marin Catholic’s director of campus ministry, Brother Isaiah and three colleagues from the congregation spent several days in January at Marin Catholic leading mini-retreats involving all of the school’s more than 700 students. On Jan. 21, they led prayer before they and some 60 Marin Catholic representatives took off for the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. This is the third year members of the congregation have visited Marin Catholic.

Brother Isaiah was TR Hoffman when he attended Marin Catholic, Peggy said, and a major part of his ministry now is music. A theme of one of the mini-retreats was “struggle” and Brother Isaiah brought an in-the-works song he is writing on struggle to the group. “Within the first few chords of the song, he had the packed chapel ringing out with the lyrics, ‘Every good thing is born of a struggle,’” Peggy said. Brother Isaiah spoke about how he and the others had witnessed Christ working in their own lives, Peggy said, helping retreatants see that many times the loving fire of God ultimately comes from the crosses of our lives. Brother Elijah spoke about God’s persistent and unconditional loving gaze on each of us and about how we can bring our struggles to God through prayer if we desire to see their fruits. Then, Brother Elijah challenged students to 30 days of prayer, starting with one minute the first day, two the second, on up to 30 minutes of prayer on the last day. Students set their alarms on their phones as reminders and were inspired to grow in their prayer life.

“The day ended with an evening Holy Hour in the chapel, which was a beautiful way to bring our cares to God in adoration and reconciliation,” Peggy said. “The brothers brought those gathered through a musical guided meditation that left them comforted by the presence of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge that God walks with us on the journey.” Peggy called this night additionally special because “Holy Hour-goers got to experience Brother Isaiah’s special gift of music that resonates in the hearts and souls of his listeners. It was a joy to witness the spiritual wisdom that has grown in one of Marin Catholic’s own graduates. Marin Catholic is grateful to all our CFR brothers for sharing their light with us.”

Founded in 1987, among the friars charisms is serving the material and spiritual needs of the very poor calling themselves Catholic, Franciscan, Capuchin, contemplative, active, apostolic, fraternal, pro-life, and witnesses to the Gospel. They say they are deeply committed to the New Evangelization as envisioned by St. John Paul II. Visit the congregation at

SORRY: My personal apology to Father Manuel Igrobay, pastor, St. Paul of the Shipwreck Parish, whose name I misspelled in Catholic San Francisco, Jan. 26, 2017, issue.

Star of the Sea speaker series continues with “Hope for Catholic Health Care.” Dr. Michel Accad speaks about promising developments in health care that aim to reduce costs, reduce dependence on expensive health insurance, minimize unethical conflicts of interest, and promote a return to healthy relationships between Catholic patients and doctors. Feb. 12, 6 p.m., Star auditorium, Eighth Avenue and Geary Boulevard, San Francisco; Claire Herrick, director of evangelization and catechesis, (415) 751-0450, ext. 22;;

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 9, 2017 issue of Catholic San Francisco.


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