The following comes from a May 23 Catholic Voice article by Michele Jurich:
One of the lasting aspects of this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is the establishment of the Pope Francis Legal Clinic at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.
The clinic, which will offer mediation, reconciliation and resolution, has been in the planning for more than two years. It will open with a Mass and blessing of the clinic, which is in the chancery building adjacent to the cathedral, at 5:30 p.m. June 4. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will preside.
The clinic will be staffed entirely by volunteers, who will provide their assistance at no charge.
The clinic is expected to offer counsel and advice regarding employment, housing, probate and financial disputes. While Catholic Charities of the East Bay already has a robust presence in immigration law, the Pope Francis Legal Clinic will be able to offer counsel.
Tom Greerty, who last year retired from his longtime practice in Martinez, created the clinic as his capstone project, culminating his five years of part-time study at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley. He received his master of theological studies degree this month.
The directive from the bishop was clear, Greerty said. “He has emphasized he wants this to be a place of reconciliation and a place of mercy,” he said. “He wants us to use our skills to try and get reconciliation for people.”
From its beginnings as an idea two years ago, the legal clinic — which was named by the bishop — grew to recruit a panel of attorneys who will meet with the public, as well as a group of attorneys who are willing to act as consultants.
Establishment of the clinic is a response to Pope Francis’ call to do more for our sisters and brothers on the periphery, Bishop Barber said in a letter announcing the legal clinic.