What is a labyrinth? The labyrinth is a spiritual tool serving as a walk-centering activity for the human heart, mind and soul.
Is it Catholic? Yes, it a form of meditation and centering prayer. The most famous Catholic labyrinth is in the Chartres Cathedral in France
Is it a maze? No, a labyrinth has a single path that winds from the edge into the center. The same path leads back out to the edge again. It resembles the indirect path of our lives, which may lead us into the center of the human condition, into the heart and mind of God, sometimes into the very core of illness or pain, perhaps into the focal point of enlightenment or understanding.
Where is it? The labyrinth is outside in the courtyard between the church and Mullen Commons.
What do I do and how long does it take? Usually people take a moment before entering the labyrinth to quiet themselves. In silence slowly walk follow the path to the center letting go of stress and distractions. Once in the center remain there as long as you wish. You may kneel, face several directions and pray in silence. Slowly walk back out of the labyrinth in gratitude taking time to integrate this experience into your life. Plan on at least 20-30 minutes.
Calling all parish volunteers! Our Diocese and all dioceses in the United States requires that all volunteers retrain for Safe Environment for Children when they begin their ministry. The Diocese of Oakland uses a Safe Environment training program called Virtus and it is a Catholic based training system that provides wonderful material for both in-person and online trainings.
All parish employees and volunteers must update their training by attending a Safe Environment for Children training class or taking the training online. Whether you take the online class or sign-up, you must register through the Virtus system by going to Safe Environment Page. You will see a place to click for all the training classes. If you prefer to do the online class that is fine, your registration through the system will be all the proof that you need. The parishes are paying a fixed fee for the use of this system, so we are no longer being charged a per person fee.
The purpose of this training is to make sure that all our volunteers are knowledgeable about the facts and indications of child abuse so that we can protect our children here in our parish, at home and in our neighborhoods. Even if you are not currently a parish volunteer, we welcome you to be trained. We have trained over 300 volunteers over the past few years and we are committed to doing all we can to keep St. John Vianney a safe environment for our children.
To get started please register through the Oakland Diocese website. If you have questions or need help registering please contact the parish office, 925-939-7911 ext. 0.
Training should be completed by ALL parish volunteers before starting their ministry.
Thank you all for your commitment to serve and to keeping our children safe here in the St. John Vianney Community!
Refresher Course Update
In 2016, volunteers at our parish trained for Safe Environment (Protecting God's Children). That certification was valid for 3 years. As due dates approach this year, some parishioners are receiving e-mails from the Diocese with a link to the refresher course. Please take some time to complete the refresher course as soon as you receive it. The Module is called: Keeping the Promise Alive.
As a side note, if you read your monthly bulletins from VirtusOnline, you are in compliance and will not receive an e-mail to retrain.