Quotidian miracles: what we now have time to appreciate

Renewing a sense of wonder and awe in the world God created

Pictured: Quote "Faith doesn't make sense. It makes miracles" is printed over a background of the forest
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 28, 2020

I regard faxes as sort of a minor miracle. You dial a phone number, your paper disappears, the fax machine makes a racket, and somehow it magically, instantly, perfectly PRINTS OUT THE SAME THING IN MICHIGAN??

Emails I can make sense of - all kinds of digital data can be communicated through fiber optic cables and satellites and whatnot. But how on earth can something as technologically ancient as an analog phone line reliably send an exact replica of my paper across the world in an instant?

It makes me wonder what other quotidian miracles God has given us that we miss simply because we've seen them so often we take them for granted, with a saddening loss of wonder and awe we're unaware is even gone. Like they say, familiarity breeds indifference.

Being stuck at home can either lead us to depression and despair, or offer us an opportunity to look more closely at the world with new eyes filled with wonder and awe. I'm trying to do the latter, so I've started taking an inventory of awesome things I've noticed. Here are just a few:

  • The atmosphere - it's quite remarkable how what looks like absolutely nothing shields us from UV radiation, regulates the planet's temperature, and protects us from space debris.
  • Plants - they purify the air just by growing, and that's ridiculous. People pay money (and use electricity) to purify air when plants do the same job for a little water. (But you already know how I feel about houseplants.)
  • Continuing the botanical theme, trees - they take the most fluid things I know (air and liquid water) and turn it into rock-solid material, which is actually made stronger when blown about.
  • Water - it's "the universal solvent," makes up 70% of our bodies, and occasionally falls from the sky.
  • The threads on bolts - have you ever realized many bridges and buildings are really held together literally by "a thread"? Sure, there are those giant I-beams but what holds together the I-beams? The threads on nuts and bolts! (Or rivets, but don't kill the fun, okay?)

What could you use new eyes to see? Go take a walk and see what sticks out at you, and renew that sense of wonder and awe in it. It's a Gift of the Holy Spirit. And if you can't find anything, I'm here to help - just fax me.

Megan Arteaga
Youth Minister
Weekend Worship Opportunities
June 28, 2020
8:30am | Mass in the Parking Lot; also Livestreamed (available all day)
10:30am | Mass in the Parking Lot

Join us this Sunday in the Parking Lot at 8:30am or 10:30am for Mass! We are blessed to be able to celebrate Masses publicly with you again. If you are unable to physically join us, we will continue to livestream the 8:30am Mass for you to participate from home.

Click on the image to open or print this Sunday's worship aid for your convenience.
Thank you, clean-up crew!
A huge thank-you goes out to John Cahill, Marita Platon, Walter Peyton, Holly and Paul Pabst, Judy and Ron Shallat, Jessie Rosendez, Marcus Erickson, Franco Alejo, and Social Justice coordinators Gail Gabriel and Janet Riley, plus staff Megan Arteaga and Tony Millette for spending Tuesday morning on the church grounds participating in our cleanup - click here to read more!

Our next cleanup is Tuesday, June 30 from 8am-11am! Come for all or part, and bring your gardening gloves!

Contact Gail Gabriel to sign up.
Volunteer from home
Become a remote tutor to children in foster care and help support foster and adoptive families! We're gearing up for fall classes now - click here for details on how you can help!

Interested? Contact Maggie Reeves by email or by phone at 925-212-8848.
Backpack drive coordinator: found!
A big thank-you goes to rising junior Ethan Berndt for volunteering to coordinate the back-to-school drive for our parish to work with St. Vincent de Paul!

Keep an eye out for more information on how you can help.
Our monthly collection income goal has been updated
After discussion among the Finance Council members, the monthly regular plate collection goal has been determined to be $42,000.00. This does not include Second Collections - only the First Collection which supports the general parish fund.

We are grateful to those of you who have continued to support our parish during these trying times. We are greatly appreciative of any help you can provide so we can continue to provide the services you request and need.

Here is a summary plate collection report for the last few months:

March 2020: $47,746.76
April 2020: $37,181.40
May 2020: $50,812.90

To make a donation to Santa Maria, please click here !
How can I keep supporting Santa Maria?
Thank you so much for thinking about us and continuing to support our parish during these trying times! We are greatly appreciative of any help you can provide.

You may drop your collection in the offertory baskets at Parking Lot Masses, mail a check to the Parish Office (40 Santa Maria Way, Orinda CA 94563), or  make a one-time donation using Faith Direct, our eGiving service, to make your offering.

If you would like, you can also  sign up for recurring giving through Faith Direct to continue to give to the Sunday plate even though you can't come to the church to drop it in the basket as usual. Again, we thank you for your planning and your generosity!
Pastoral Team
Reverend George Mockel

Deacon Rey Encarnacion
dcn.rey@smparish.org x310

Deacon James Pearce
dcnpearce@smparish.org x301

Mirna Wong
Administrative Assistant
mirnawong@smparish.org x301

Tony Millette
Liturgy and Music

Sister Mary Margaret Phan, LHC
Faith Formation (Grades K-5)
srmmphan@smparish.org x306

Megan Arteaga
Youth Ministry (Grades 6-12), Communications, and CYO
megan@smparish.org x308

Sister Mary Magdalene Nguyen, LHC
Pastoral Care of the Sick
sistermn@smparish.org x309

Sister Magdalena Duong, LHC
sistermagdalena@smparish.org x305

Prayer Intentions
For the Sick:
Liduvina Acosta, Sonny Acosta, Mary Beth Alban, Joan Artmann, Shoaib Aryan, Kristy Blackey-Taylor, Kathie Brady, Cara Bradbury, Miguel Briseno, Maria Carmen, Fred Chavaria, Jan Coe, Grace Parent DeBoot, Rich Delany, Lorna Elliott, Anne Emery, Nora Enriquez, Emidio Fonseca, Liam Foley, Patricia Fox, Bridget Gallagher, Noreen Gillham, Doris Hale, Florentino Ibabao, Brian Kelly, Mason Kelly, Aileen Kelly, Michael Kelly, Jim Kennedy, Jerry Kirk, Lawrence Knapp, Carol Koupus, Judy Lazarus, Rose Mary McPhee, Robert Nick, Arsi Orihuella, Deacon Jim Pearce, Kathleen Pelz, Ann Powell, Mark Ricci, Ben Richey, Brian Riley, Patrick Sheehy, Jackie Voigt, Jean Wells, Faye Young

Would you like to add yourself or someone else to the prayer list? Please contact Mirna in the Parish Office at 925-254-2426 or at mirnawong@

Mass Intentions
All Mass Intentions during Shelter in Place orders are either postponed or celebrated privately. Mirna is contacting all those who requested the currently scheduled intentions.

To request a Mass Intention, please contact Mirna in the Parish Office.