California Catholic Daily exclusive.

On Thursday, July 27, the well-known author, columnist and television personality George Weigel will make a special appearance at Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco. Mr. Weigel, one of the best known lay figures in the English-speaking Catholic world, is in the Bay Area for the Seventh Annual Napa Institute Conference. The conference theme is indicated by one of the topics: “Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Christian Faith in a Post-Christian World.” Since not everyone will be able to attend, the appearance of George Weigel at Star of the Sea is all the more welcome. At Star of the Sea, he will speak on “The Courage to be Catholic.” A donation is suggested of $10.

Star of the Sea’s pastor, Fr. Joseph Illo, invited parishioners to attend the event, with a message in the July 23 bulletin: “Our Catholic way of life is greatly misunderstood and much maligned in our time. Wouldn’t you like to be able to explain our faith in a new way to, say, your grandson or that favorite niece who shrugs off the Catholic faith? This Thursday will give you a deeper understanding of our faith and help you articulate that to those you love.”

The event is the latest coup by Fr. Illo in his short tenure at Star of the Sea. Mr. Weigel joins a slate of memorable Catholic speakers who have visited the parish, including bestselling author and EWTN host Raymond Arroyo and Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, editor of Ignatius Press.

Interestingly, in the same bulletin message where Fr. Illo invited parishioners to the Weigel event, he also congratulated three parishioners on entering the seminary: “We congratulate David Mees, Jerick Rea, and Marko Mihic for having all been accepted into the archdiocesan seminary program for this year. They join Cameron Pollette, bringing to four the number of men from Star of the Sea in seminary. Of the four men entering seminary this year from the 85 archdiocesan parishes, three of them are from Star of the Sea. (emphasis added) I think it is the Adoration chapel that has brought this flowering of faith and commitment to our community. If you want more priests, do your part and spend an hour a week in that chapel! We also congratulate Brendon Ford, who will enter the Dominicans this year. Pray for all five men!” The fostering of vocations led Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to accurately describe Star of the Sea “San Francisco’s vocations parish.” 

Add the number of seminarians to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, which on July 23 featured 10 altar servers aged from about 10 to about 70; the newly built adoration chapel with 24-hour adoration; the parish’s street evangelization and pro-life ministry, packed holy hours, all accomplished in under three years, and one is tempted to suggest that the attendees at the Napa Conference might find it useful to take a field trip to the city by the bay. It’s hard to imagine a place more “post-Christian” than San Francisco and it’s hard to imagine a parish “living the Christian Faith” more fully than Star of the Sea.

George Weigel will speak at 6PM on Thursday, July 27, at Star of the Sea Parish, 4420 Geary Blvd., in San Francisco. Tickets to the event may be purchased here: