Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update (March 12) from the City of San Marcos

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update

No reported cases in San Marcos. Several City events postponed.

Post Date: 03/12/2020 1:54 PM


At the City of San Marcos, the health and safety of our community is our top priority. There are no reported cases of COVID-19, or coronavirus disease, in San Marcos.

We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation, along with the CDC, the County of San Diego and emergency management services. Local and state health officials are actively engaged in preparation to keep Californians safe.

The City is open. 

All City facilities remain open during normal business hours. Emergency services, including Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department services, are fully operational.

Increased sanitary measures

We have increased cleaning at all City facilities. Hand sanitizer is available.

Residents are encouraged to engage with the City via phone and the San Marcos City App.

To save a trip to City Hall, residents can contact the City via phone at (760) 744-1050 or the San Marcos City App to report non-emergency concerns, like potholes, park maintenance and debris. The app is the quickest and most direct way for residents to alert City staff to any concerns. Learn more about the app at

Public gatherings update

In order to safeguard public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19 in our state, the California Department of Public Health has issued guidelines regarding public gatherings and events. You can read the guidelines here.

The following City events are postponed until further notice:

  • Citizens Academy
  • General Plan Update Visioning Workshops #2 and #3
  • March 16 Planning Commission Meeting
  • March 18 Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting
  • March 22 Star Walk
  • March 31 State of Your Community event
  • April 1 Traffic Commission Meeting

Additional changes to events will be posted on the City’s COVID-19 Response webpage at,

What can I do to prevent getting COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19, but it is recommended for everyone to get their flu vaccine and practice proven preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Support local businesses

The City encourages residents to keep local businesses in mind when shopping for goods and services. If you find yourself staying in more due to COVID-19 concerns, consider purchasing a gift card at your favorite restaurant or store to treat yourself at a later date.

Stay informed

Youth Stewards in Action

Thank you to the youth and parents who have recently become part of our Altar Server Team here at St. Mark’s.

Avery Pineda

Sarai Chavez

Gunnario Saco

Olivia Stalzer

Kimberly Camacho

Dyani Vega

Guadalupe Ortiz

Mayerlin Munoz

Thank you to the those who make it happen:

Lenny, Aaron, and Noemie 

Lenten Spiritual Retreat Ecological Spirituality

Lenten Spiritual Retreat Ecological Spirituality


March 28 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

How should Catholics respond to fears of a climate change apocalypse?

Lenten Spiritual Retreat – The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego

Anna Keating February 07, 2020

It is a snowy Friday evening and I am in a tiny, 100-year-old cabin off a dirt road in Manitou Springs, Colo., watching 20-something Colorado College grads in sweaters and boots prepare food for a Shabbat potluck, or “Shabbat-luck,” which they host every week to welcome in the Sabbath, even though only three of the 20 or so people in attendance are Jewish.


Everyone is giving hugs as people stream in with homemade squash pies, zucchini chocolate cakes and chiles rellenos to share. Ruthie Markwardt, 27, my host, picked the chilis she is cooking. Ms. Markwardt shares this modest home with her boyfriend, Barack Ben-Amots, as well as three other roommates. Through their eco-conscious living, food donation, teaching and music, they are young people committed to trying to repair a distressed world. The windowsill in the kitchen is covered with succulents and candles, gourds and dried flowers, an Our Lady of Guadalupe and a piece of honeycomb. It feels a little like a home altar, and the hospitality I have received is radical and good. Ms. Markwardt and Mr. Ben-Amots, who teaches middle school, are turning this land into a community garden and educational farm.

Even though this is my first Shabbat, the ritual feels immediately familiar and profoundly human: lighting candles, singing songs, blessing and sharing bread, blessing and drinking wine. As we eat, after prayers, Ms. Markwardt, who has long blond hair, bright blue eyes and a nose ring, starts telling me about when she “first fell in love with seeds.” She spends some of her days picking vegetables at Hobbes Farm, others working for a community nonprofit called Concrete Couch, a group committed to community gardens and public art made from salvaged material. Ms. Markwardt teaches people skills that their great-grandparents once knew, like how to can peaches and tomatoes so they can eat locally all year round, or how to use tools so they can build and mend things. It is about rejecting what Pope Francis calls the “throwaway culture.”

It’s a beautiful instantiation of living the Gospel, although Ms. Markwardt and the other environmentalists in attendance are not Catholic. They are predominantly “nones,” people who claim no particular religious affiliation. Yet they are clearly living the call of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’,” right down to the pope’s desire that we rediscover the Sabbath (No. 237).

What Has Changed

I have come here because it can be difficult to find this sort of ecologically minded conversation among Catholics in my social circles. My sister Mia Alvarado taught a class on “Laudato Si’” at our Colorado parish in 2018, but it was sparsely attended. My impression is that, even now, many Catholics in the United States do not have a sense of urgency around this issue, nor have they heard about it from their pastors. Catholics also are sharply divided along political lines when it comes to the issue of climate: Eighty percent of Catholic Democrats say that humans are a cause of global warming, while 78 percent of Catholic Republicans say humans are not to blame.

It can be difficult to find ecologically minded conversation among Catholics.


But the impacts of climate change are already being felt, and the extreme weather that accompanies it is devastating communities’ lives. Last summer the temperature reached 108.6 degrees Fahrenheit in France, 108.7 in Germany. Hundreds died. My cousin in Houston was rescued from her flooded home during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 by canoe. These days, we frequently read headlines and wonder if it is already too late. Headlines like the BBC’s “Climate Change: 12 Years to Save the Planet. Make That 18 Months” urge us to act, but they do not erase feelings of helplessness nor quell fears of the futility of our small actions. Few thought climate change would arrive so quickly. More and more friends tell me, “I’ve given up hope. It’s liberating.” Or, “We’re doomed.”

Even among those who understand the urgency and consequences of climate change, resistance, to many, seems pointless. We are accustomed to religious fundamentalists saying that we live in the end times, but now we also see articles about a “climate apocalypse” in The New Yorker and The New York Times. The authors of pieces like these, who often do not have children, seem almost proud of their acceptance that the end is near. As if the end of human life on earth will be a relief. (No more striving for that next promotion.) Many of us, especially those of us with children, cannot accept this. How could we, when it will be our children and grandchildren who will face the long-term effects of our actions?

In the more than four years since “Laudato Si’” appeared, there have been worthy local efforts to respond to its call. The California bishops have laid out a climate action plan; many parishes have formed reading groups and invited speakers on climate change, switched to LED lights and installed solar panels. On a larger scale, the Global Catholic Climate Movement was founded as a network to connect hundreds of member organizations around the world. It also has a youth arm, called Laudato Si’ Generation. These initiatives offer some hope, but it is hard to say whether the people in the pews are getting the message. I have been a Mass-goer my entire life and I do not recall a single homily about caring for creation, nor has my parish made even small symbolic changes like reusable coffee mugs after Mass or changing to a more eco-friendly thermostat. A priest I work with this year told me, “I haven’t read ‘Laudato Si’.’ Should I? I don’t believe in climate change.”

Pope Benedict XVI declared pollution a “social sin,” requiring confession and repentance.

A student I know told me, “China doesn’t care if you compost or use a clothesline or fly less or work for political change.” In other words, your little good deeds are as straw before flame. And perhaps he is right. The world is warming much faster than almost anyone predicted, and the combination of political, economic and lifestyle changes needed to reverse course seems unlikely to occur. Still, as Willa Cather wrote in her 1925 novel The Professor’s House, “We were better off when even the prosaic matter of taking nourishment could have the magnificence of a sin. I don’t think you help people by making their conduct of no importance—you impoverish them.”

The Church Has Spoken

The church is not without a viewpoint here. Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have picked up on this issue as one of the most urgent of our time. And the church has long been calling us to be mindful of threats to our common home. When Pope Francis was elected in 2013, he chose St. Francis of Assisi as his patron, immediately indicating to the world that he would continue the work of calling the faithful to an “ecological conversion.”

In “Laudato Si’,” Pope Francis wrote, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to the life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience” (No. 217). In this encyclicalPope Francis connects care of creation to all of Catholic social teaching, from “Rerum Novarum” to “Humane Vitae,” from the church fathers to the Hebrew Scriptures, and calls on the world’s biggest polluters to embrace simpler lifestyles and advocate for social change. “We need to take up an ancient lesson, found in different religious traditions and also in the Bible. It is the conviction that ‘less is more’” (No. 22). Following “Laudato Si’,” in 2016, Francis also called caring for creation one of the works of mercy.

On these matters Francis is in good company. His writings on ecology and creation are consistent with those of Pope Benedict XVI, who was sometimes called The Green Pope because he made the Vatican the world’s first solar-powered state and sought to make it fully carbon-neutral. During his eight-year tenure, he was critical of world leaders and corporations for failing to take action to halt the spread of climate change and condemned a “selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism.”

Pope Benedict XVI was sometimes called The Green Pope because he made the Vatican the world’s first solar-powered state and sought to make it fully carbon-neutral.

Echoing his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who frequently spoke about ecological issues, Benedict XVI wanted the world’s one billion Catholics to cultivate global solidarity. He encouraged us to recognize that because climate change disproportionally affects the poor, caring for creation and caring for the poor are the same. He urged us to see that the earth herself is poor and that when our brothers and sisters do not have clean air to breathe or clean water to drink, it is obviously our concern.

Pope Benedict XVI declared pollution asocial sin,” requiring confession and repentance. He also encouraged “particular attention to climate change,” which he described as a matter of “grave concern for the whole human family.” Benedict loved nature and animals and spoke out against factory farms. He argued that ecology was key to teaching young people about morality and natural law, as there is nothing morally relative about clear-cutting a forest and leaving the land a desert. He said in 2007, “Everyone today can see that man could destroy the foundation of his existence—his earth—and, therefore, we can no longer simply use this earth, this reality entrusted to us, to do what we want or what appears useful and promising at the moment, but we must respect the inherent laws of creation.” He urged people to “learn these laws and obey these laws if we want to survive.” More recently, Pope Francis has said he plans to include a definition of ecological sins in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

How to Cope?

Despite this urging from several pontiffs, our two-party political system and polarized cultural climate has turned being good stewards of God’s good earth, a common-sense position, into a partisan one, which often makes the topic off limits in polite conversation. But this is not a time to be polite.

What scares me most is our collective silence. So many of us do not even talk about the ecological news with our friends and fellow parents at soccer practice. Floods. Droughts. Wildfires. Melting ice caps. The sixth mass extinction. It is enough to make anyone tune out the problem and quietly hope that someone else solves it. But how can we make sense of these strange times without each other? How can we live Pope Francis’ injunction to “sing as we go,” never letting “our struggles and our concern for this planet take away the joy of our hope” (“Laudato Si’,” No. 244)?

Some good news is that caring for creation may be a place where religious and nonreligious people can come together. First, we must learn from the Ruthie Markwardts of the world and at least acknowledge the existence of the crisis. This can happen regardless of whether a person understands the science, is politically conservative or liberal, is religious or not. Taking better care of our natural resources is a simple matter of manners that in turn lead to morals. Most of us can agree that the earth is a gift, so we should not pollute it or destroy it.

Some good news is that caring for creation may be a place where religious and nonreligious people can come together.

Second, we must take action and do something at a personal cost, irrespective of whether our actions will ultimately be successful in terms of “saving humanity” or “saving the earth.” Whose individual actions have ever been successful on that kind of scale? As an oft-quoted prayer by Bishop Kenneth Untener reads:

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

I first met Catholics who lived voluntary simplicity and did good works that others considered crazy in the Catholic Worker Movement. For example, Sheila McCarthy has brown hair and rosy, makeup-free cheeks, and often wears T-shirts and long skirts. Now 40, she has spent her entire adult life in the movement founded by Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day. She says, “Everything I’ve done in my life: living in community, eating food that would otherwise be thrown away, has been a way of saying, ‘We have too much.’”

Ms. McCarthy has taken Jesus’ teachings to heart, opening her home to people who were homeless, organizing against war and torture, and living simply. She has a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Notre Dame, and she lives in South Bend, Ind., where she teaches at the women’s prison and works at the St. Julian of Norwich organic farm. She grows vegetables but also flowers and pollinators for bees, and these flowers “grace the tables” of her friends. Ms. McCarthy says, “Interesting things can happen at the fringes. Impossible things. Shifts can occur. I mean, Francis is our pope.”

“Interesting things can happen at the fringes. Impossible things. Shifts can occur.”

The Catholic Worker taught me that we do not feed the poor thinking that poverty will be eliminated by our actions or, worse, that we have come to save the poor. We feed them because Jesus told us to and because feeding people is inherently good work. We feed the poor as a spiritual practice, praying that we might be made worthy to feed them. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Isn’t this same attitude required for planting trees or rewilding lands or any good work? One day at a time, “Thy will be done.”

Imagine all the saints who could have said, “What difference will my life make? What’s the point? The Nazis/Communists/slave owners/Romans are going to kill me, or others, anyway.” But we are called to be like Jesus, who “so loved the world” and who loved it to the point of death—Jesus who died, seemingly, a failure.

In my searching, I have found points of light like Catholic Energies, a nonprofit group that helps churches switch to solar power, or Jen Betz, a member of Catholic Worker and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Ms. Betz became aware that her hometown of South Bend, Ind., was going to sell the Elbel Park golf course and the surrounding Mud Lake wetlands, fully one quarter of the city’s parkland. She and others formed Elbel for Everyone and fought to save the land by keeping it wild. In so doing, they acknowledged an ecological issue in their own backyard and then took action. In a democracy, without mass movements of people demanding change, nothing will change. Each of us is called to do good works in different ways, depending on our vocation and state in life. Most of us will never be arrested for civil disobedience, but some of us will feel called to that kind of radical action.

Brenna Cussen Anglada, for example, is someone who has responded to that call. The founder of the Catholic Worker Movement’s St. Isidore Catholic Worker Farm in southwestern Wisconsin, she is a member of the activist group Four Necessity Valve Turners. The four were arrested in February 2019 for turning off the flow of tar sands oil in their area, 20,000 barrels of which leaked into the Kalamazoo River in 2010. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison. Ms. Anglada says, “I don’t think our action or the way we are living is singlehandedly saving anybody. But there’s hope in the world when lots of people are working to protect our relationship with the earth and to try to live in right relationship with creation.”

“There’s hope in the world when lots of people are working to protect our relationship with the earth and to try to live in right relationship with creation.”

Indeed, we need to cultivate the virtue of hope. Hope is what gives us the courage to live differently and to be brave and joyful in impossible times. As C. S. Lewis wrote in his 1948 essay “On Living in an Atomic Age” about the very real threat of nuclear holocaust in his lifetime:

The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs.

Therapists tell their news-addled patients to focus on what they can control. Make commonsense preparations for a survivable disaster like a hurricane. Do something good for the earth. Call your lawmaker. And make time for joy and rest and friendship and laughter. If you feel you are working in an immoral industry, try to change it; or else leave it and do something that leaves the world a better place. There is some measure of peace that cannot be purchased in feeling like you are doing something you believe in.

When I first met the Catholic Worker Movement’s Sheila McCarthy, I was a prospective Notre Dame student, and what drew me to her was not her ideas, which at the time I knew nothing about; it was her freedom. I remember thinking, “Who is the beautiful woman with unshaved armpits inviting me to a L’Arche dance?” (The L’Arche movement benefits people with intellectual disabilities.) I did not know that this version of being an American woman was an option. I did not know you could actually wear the world like a loose garment. I wanted some of that freedom. I still do.

I did not know that this version of being an American woman was an option.

It is consoling to think of people living radically good lives and making the world more beautiful regardless of social approval. I do not think the end of the world will come any time soon, but if it does, I hope it would find us, like Ruthie Markwardt, lighting the Sabbath candles and eating a meal with our friends. Or like Sheila McCarthy, visiting the imprisoned and putting up solar panels. Or like Brenna Cussen Anglada, giving shelter to the homeless and milking a cow. Or like my sister Mia Alvarado, raising babies, writing books and composting her table scraps. This is sensible and human work, regardless of whether or not it fixes everything, regardless if it looks to all the world like folly.

As St. Augustine has written, “Bad times, hard times, that is what people keep saying; but let us live well, and the times shall be good. We are the times: Such as we are, such are the times.

This article also appeared in print, under the headline “For God So Loved The World,” in the February 17, 2020, issue.


Parish Office Closed 2-4pm

Parish Office Closed 2-4pm

Please note that the Main Parish Office (Building A) will be closed from 2-4pm, Monday –Friday, the first week of March .

Conscience, Candidates and Discipleship in Voting


Conscience, Candidates and Discipleship in Voting

Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture

                                           University of San Diego, Feb. 6, 2020, by Bishop Robert W. McElroy

In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis points powerfully to the vocation of faith-filled citizenship:

“An authentic faith…always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all of its tragedies and struggles, its hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. The earth is our common home and all of us are brothers and sisters. If indeed ‘the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,’ the Church ‘cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.’”

It is primarily through the votes of Catholic women and men, rooted in conscience and in faith that the Church enters into the just ordering of society and the state.

And it is primarily in voting for specific candidates for office that believers as citizens have the greatest opportunity to leave the earth better than we found it.

Yet comparatively little attention has been paid in Catholic moral theology to the moral nature and structure of the act of voting for specific candidates. Much focus is placed on individual policy issues and their moral implications in Catholic social teaching. If the primary role of citizens were to vote on specific issues, this might be sufficient. But a vote for individual candidates inevitably encapsulates a wide range of policy options reaching out into the future, as well as varying capacities and intentions among the candidates. Where does Catholic theology begin in assisting believers to carry out their role of ennobling the world?

Pope Francis answers this question by proposing starkly that our political lives must be seen as an essential element of our personal call to holiness. This certainly means that our political actions must reflect and flow from our Catholic faith. But Francis is demanding much more. He proposes that we can only fulfill our vocation as faithful citizens if we come to see in the very toxicity of our political culture at the current moment a call for deeper conversion to Jesus Christ. It is not enough for us to ignore the corrosive elements of political life in the United States, nor even to navigate our role as citizens and voters without succumbing to the tribalism that bisects our society. We are called in our lives as citizens and believers to be missionaries of dialogue and civility in a moment that values neither. And this requires deep spiritual reflection, courage and judgment. It demands a Christ-like dedication to seeking the truth no matter where it may lie, and defining our politics and voting in the light of the Gospel.

Salient Issues of Catholic Social Teaching

In this task, the principles of Catholic social teaching as they are applied to the core political issues of American society today provide a rich and sacred source of guidance in weighing the policy proposals of competing candidates.

The comprehensiveness of Catholic social teaching points toward an understanding of justice, life and peace that refuses to be confined to narrow boxes or relegated to partisan categories. At the same time, this very comprehensiveness makes the prioritization of Catholic teachings difficult for voters. As the 2020 election cycle begins, at least ten salient goals emerge from the Gospel and the long tradition of Catholic faith.

  • 1-The promotion of a culture and legal structures that protect the life of unborn
  • 2-The reversal of the climate change that threatens the future of humanity and particularly devastates the poor and the marginalized.
  • 3-Policies that safeguard the rights of immigrants and refugees in a moment of great intolerance.
  • 4-Laws that protect the aged, the ill, and the disabled from the lure and the scourge of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
  • 5-Vigorous opposition to racism in every form, both through cultural transformation and legal structures.
  • 6-The provision of work and the protection of workers’ rights across America.
  • 7-Systematic efforts to fight poverty and egregious inequalities of wealth.
  • 8-Policies that promote marriage and family, which are so essential for society.
  • 9-Substantial movement toward universal nuclear disarmament.
  • 10-The protection of religious liberty.

Frequently in discussions of the application of Catholic social teaching to voting, the question is raised whether one issue has a unique priority among all of the other issues in its claim upon believers in the current election cycle. Some have categorized abortion in that way. Others, climate change. This question deserves deeper scrutiny.

More than 750,000 unborn children are directly killed in the United States every year. At one time, there was bipartisan support for erecting policies that made abortion rare. Now that commitment has been eviscerated in the Democratic Party in a capitulation to notions of privacy that simply block out the human identity and rights of unborn children. Even in an age when sonograms testify with the eloquence of truth and life itself that children in the womb are genuinely our brothers and sisters, our daughters and sons, the annihilation of their humanity in perception and in fact continues. Catholic social teaching has consistently demanded that there be legal protections for the unborn, as they are the most vulnerable and victimized of humanity. But we are rapidly moving toward becoming a nation split in two: with half of our country moving toward laws safeguarding the unborn and the other half of our country adopting ever more extreme laws that allow the killing of children on the verge of birth.  The passage of the New York abortion law this past year was a marker of America’s repudiation of the most basic principles of human life. It is for all of these reasons that so many in the Church consider abortion to be the preeminent political imperative at stake in 2020.

At the same time, there is a clear international scientific consensus that climate change caused by the use of fossil fuels and other human activities poses an existential threat to the very future of humanity and that air pollution resulting from fossil fuels is already a major cause of premature death on our planet.

Existing trajectories of pollutants being placed in the atmosphere by human activity, if unchecked, will raise the temperature of the earth in the coming decades, generating catastrophic rises in human exposure to deadly heat, devastating rises in water levels and massive exposure to a series of perilous viruses. In addition, there will be severe widespread famines, draughts and massive dislocations of peoples that will cause untold deaths, human suffering and violent conflict. The devastating fires in Australia are a sign of what lies before us, and a testimony that, on so many levels, our current pollution of the earth is stealing the future from coming generations. Because the trajectory of danger unleashed by fossil fuels is increasing so rapidly, the next ten years are critical to staunching the threat to our planet. The United States, which was once a leader in this effort, has in the current Administration become the leader in resisting efforts to combat climate change and in denying its existence. As a consequence, the survival of the planet, which is the prerequisite for all human life, is at risk.

Against the backdrop of these two monumental threats to human life, how can one evaluate the competing claims that either abortion or climate change should be uniquely preeminent in Catholic social teaching regarding the formation of Americans as citizens and believers? Four points should be considered.

  1. 1-There is no mandate in universal Catholic social teaching that gives a categorical priority to either of these issues as uniquely determinative of the common good.
  2. The death toll from abortion is more immediate, but the long-term death toll from unchecked climate change is larger and threatens the very future of humanity.
  3. Both abortion and the environment are core life issues in Catholic teaching.
  4. 2-The designation of either of these issues as the preeminent question in Catholic social teaching at this time in the United States will inevitably be hijacked by partisan forces to propose that Catholics have an overriding duty to vote for candidates that espouse that position. Recent electoral history shows this to be a certainty.

3-The question of preeminence is further clouded by a third compelling issue our country faces in this election cycle — the culture of exclusion that has grown so dramatically in our nation during the last three years. Racial injustice is on the rise, buttressed by a new language and symbolism that seek to advance the evil of white nationalism and create structures of racial prejudice for a new generation.

4-Immigrants and refugees, who have been at the core of America’s history as a source of vitality and richness, are portrayed as a cause for fear and suspicion in our society rather than of solidarity. Members of the Muslim community are widely characterized as aliens whose religion automatically means they cannot be trusted, while incidents of vile and pervasive anti-Semitism are on the rise.

This growing culture of exclusion does not emerge as a specific policy question in our contemporary national politics; rather, it seeps into all of the most salient questions of life and dignity that our society faces and corrodes each one in turn.

The culture of exclusion has unleashed a poison of animosity against immigrants that paralyzes our politics so deeply that we cannot even find a pathway to protect young men and women who came to this nation as children and now thirst to be citizens of the only land they have ever known. The deadly imprint of racist structures and legacies on our criminal justice system magnifies fears and resentments among African American and Hispanic families and further imperils the men and women who give their lives to law enforcement. Racial and ethnic disparities in education, health, job availability and housing that are rooted in our nation’s historic culture of exclusion dramatically propel the breakdown of marriage and family life. And inequalities of wealth and income make it all but impossible to overcome the enduring challenges of work and poverty in our nation.

On virtually every question of human life and dignity, the growing culture of exclusion in our nation reinforces and propels cleavages that are highly destructive to all of the goals that lie at the center of Catholic social teaching. For this reason, many faith-filled Catholics believe that in this election cycle the most compelling issue that arises from Catholic social teaching for American voters is the need to repudiate radically this culture of exclusion before it spreads further and leads to new levels of moral paralysis and division.

Seen against this background of abortion, climate change and the culture of exclusion, it is clear that the faith-filled voter who seeks to be guided by Catholic social teaching is confronted by compelling moral claims that cut across the partisan and cultural divides of our nation. The pathway from these crosscutting moral claims to decisions on particular candidates is not a direct and singular one in Catholic teaching, rooted in one issue. For this reason, the drive to label a single issue preeminent distorts the call to authentic discipleship in voting rather than advancing it.

Opportunity, Competence and Character

In America today a faith-filled voter is called to approach voting from a stance of bridge-building and healing for our nation. Such a voter is also called to integrate into his voting decisions the major salient elements of Catholic teaching that touch upon the political issues of our day, understanding that these teachings vary in priority and claim, but are united in their orientation to the common good.

But voting for candidates ultimately involves choosing a candidate for public office, not a stance, nor a specific teaching of the Church. And for this reason, faithful voting involves careful consideration of the specific ability of a particular candidate to actually advance the common good. In making this assessment, 1-opportunity, 2-competence and 3-character all come into play.

The question of opportunity is pivotal in voting discipleship. What are the elements of human life and dignity that a specific candidate will actually be able to advance given the scope of the office she is seeking, the crucial issues that are likely to face her during her term, and the policy positions she embraces? What coalitions will she be likely to join and advance? In short, what capacity will she have, in the specific political context she will face, to transform law and public policy in key sectors in order to promote the common good?

Competence is also a central metric for faith-filled voters to consider. It does little good to elect a saint who echoes Catholic social teaching on every issue if that candidate does not have the competence to carry out his duties effectively and thereby enhance the common good. Faith-filled voters must assess the intelligence, human relations skills, mastery of policy and intuitive insights that each candidate brings to bear, for voting discipleship seeks results, not merely aspirations.

Finally, because our nation is in a moment of political division and degradation in its public life, character represents a particularly compelling criterion for faithful voting in 2020. In the United States, political leaders, especially at the highest levels, imprint their character in pivotal ways upon the entire political culture, and thus on society itself. Today, leaders in government embrace corrosive tactics and language, fostering division rather than unity.  The notion of truth itself has lost its footing in our public debate. Collegiality has been discarded.  Principles are merely justifications for partisan actions, to be abandoned when those principles no longer favor a partisan advantage. There is a fundamental lack of political courage in the land.

For all these reasons, character is an even more essential element in effective faith-filled voting at the present moment, and another reason why faith-filled voting cannot be simply reduced to a series of competing social justice teachings.

In the end, it is the candidate who is on the ballot, not a specific issue. The faith-filled voter is asked to make the complex judgment: which candidate will be likely to best advance the common good through his office in the particular political context he will face? Such a decision embraces the planes of 1-principle and 2-character, 3-competence and 4-capacity. And for the faithful voter, the very complexity of this moral judgment demands a recourse to the “voice of God” which lies deep within each of us – our conscience.

Conscience and Prudence

For the disciple of Jesus Christ, voting is a sacred action. In the words of The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, it touches “the crossroads where Christian life and conscience come into contact with the real world.” For this reason, it cannot be reduced to a logical set of propositions that yield a pre- determined result in the selection of candidates.

Some theologians have sought to find such a logic of deduction in the concept of intrinsic evil. Catholic theology holds that some actions, such as abortion or research on human embryos, are intrinsically evil; that is, they are always and everywhere wrong. Because of this some Catholic leaders have asserted that candidates who seek laws opposing intrinsically evil actions automatically have a primary claim to political support in the Catholic conscience.

The problem with this approach is that while the criterion of intrinsic evil identifies specific human acts that can never be justified, this criterion is not a measure of the relative gravity of the evil in particular human or political actions. Telling a lie is intrinsically evil, while escalating a nuclear arms race is not.? But it is wrongheaded to propose that telling a lie to constituents should count more in the calculus of faithful voting than a candidate’s plans to initiate a destabilizing nuclear weapons program. Similarly, contraception is intrinsically evil in Catholic moral theology, while actions which destroy the environment generally are not. But it is a far greater moral evil for our country to abandon the Paris Climate Accord than to provide contraceptives in federal health centers. What these examples point out is that Catholic social teaching cannot be reduced to a deductivist model when it comes to voting to safeguard the life and dignity of the human person.

How, then does the faith-filled voter choose candidates in a way that integrates the tenets of Catholic social teaching, recognizes the role that competence, character and capacity play in the real world of governing, and preserves a stance of building unity within society?

The Church locates this pathway in the virtue of prudence. In the words of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, “prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it….It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience.” In Catholic social teaching, prudence is called “the charioteer of the virtues”; it brings into balance all of the virtues of the Christian moral life to provide a singularly incisive moral perspective for the disciple confronting ethically complex problems. It is at the heart of the workings of conscience.

Some Catholic commentators on voting have in recent years portrayed prudential judgment as having a deficient dignity and grasp of the truth.  They say that there is a categorical claim to support candidates who legislatively oppose intrinsic evils, but only a secondary claim for candidates whose proposals rest on prudential judgment for their moral discernment.

To say this is to miss the central element of Catholic teaching about conscience and prudence. As the Catechism notes, “With the help (prudence), we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to be avoided.”

Prudential judgment is not a secondary or deficient mode of discernment in the Christian conscience. It is the primary mode.

This is certainly true in voting for candidates for public office. The constellation of substantial moral elements that are relevant to deciding which candidate is most likely to advance the common good during her time in office can only be morally comprehended through the virtue of prudence. There cannot be faith-filled Catholic voting without the virtue of prudence, exercised within the sanctity of well-formed conscience.

In the closing remarks of his address to Congress in 2015, Pope Francis said a nation is great when it defends liberty as Abraham Lincoln did, when it seeks equality as Martin Luther King did, and when it strives for justice for the oppressed as Dorothy Day did. Let us pray that our nation moves toward such greatness in this election year, and that faith-filled prudent disciples are leading the way.


High School Seniors/Becas / Caballeros de Colón

High School Seniors/Becas / Caballeros de Colón

 Los Caballeros de Colón estarán otorgando beca/s. Para participar, tienen que estar en el grado 12 de High School, ser católicos y feligreses de la parroquia de St. Mark’s.

 Las aplicaciones están disponibles en oficina parroquial.

Applications are available in the parish office for the Monsignor Thomas P. Healy Council #6979 Knights of Columbus Scholarship. 

Our Knights of Columbus Council will award scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the Class of 2020 who are Roman Catholic and parishioners at St. Mark’s. 


Looking for Pro-Life Nurse Manager/Pro-Life Enfermera Manager


Looking for Pro-Life Nurse Manager/Pro-Life Enfermera Manager

Job Details:

Registered Nurse with management experience

Will be trained in Obstetric Sonography

30-40 day time hours per week, no weekends

Available immediately

Must have a love for women and pregnancy

Must be technologically adept and have the ability to learn quickly

Please send resume to: or call 760-621-3414 x 111 for more information 




Thank you for all the help with the blood drive last weekend!

This is not possible without all the great donors who took the time to do this.

We had a really good blood drive with 47 pints collected. This will help 141 people with the blood products they need. Thank you for all your help!


Next Blood drive to be announced

Perpetual Adoration, which means every day 24 hours 7 days a week at St. Mary’s in Escondido


St. Mary Parish, Escondido offers a gift the Lord has blessed us now for almost 10 years. While other churches might have adoration once a month, here at St. Mary we offer Perpetual Adoration, which means every day 24 hours 7 days a week.

The Adoration Chapel is located in a separate room right behind the altar.

It is here where Jesus is Alive and present True Body, True Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, thirsting to become one with us. It is an extension outside Mass that prolongs and intensifies all that takes place during the liturgical celebration itself.

It is an encounter with Jesus that strengthens our intimate relationship with Him.

When you visit Jesus in the Eucharist, He fills you with spiritual richness, beautifies our soul and increases our divine Union with Him.

Come and adore our Sovereign King who gives us life and all we have.

Jesus sacrificed His life for us. Please consider sacrificing your time by committing to an hour once a week here in our Perpetual Adoration Chapel. Your lives will only be enriched. There are many hours in need. Urgent Hours only have 1 person assigned and Weak Hours only have 2 people assigned. Our Lord can never be left alone, so it is ideal to have at least 3 people assigned per hour.

We are in need of committed adorers / Estamos en la necesidad de adoradores

Please consider committing to one hour by sacrificing your time and sharing in His Passion. Our Lord awaits for you night and day at the Tabernacle yearning to hear your sorrows and all your miseries and all your falls. He will wipe away your tears and inflame your heart with His Divine Love & Mercy.

Please contact Donna Oeland at 760-489-8830 if you would like to commit to one of these hours. The hours currently in need are: 

Monday: 10 pm WEAK HOUR

Tuesday: 2 am, 6 am URGENT HOURS

Wednesday: 1 pm URGENT HOUR; 7 pm WEAK HOUR

Friday: 4 am, 10 am, 11 am, 8 pm ALL URGENT HOURS; 2 pm WEAK HOUR

Saturday: 2 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm ALL URGENT HOURS; 10 pm WEAK HOUR

Sunday: 5 am, 8 pm URGENT HOURS; 7 am, 5 pm WEAK HOURS 

Weak hour is when committed adorers DO NOT make their committed time weekly.

Perpetual adoration has changed my life in so many ways. Would you like to share how adoration has changed yours? Share your own healing or change of life with others by placing your written testimony in the little gray box in front of the Jesus picture on the wall before entering the Adoration Chapel. We would love to share it in the bulletin so that others may know the beauty and the gift God has blessed us here with Perpetual Adoration 24/7.

Por favor tome su compromiso de una hora  seriamente. El tiempo comprometido en adoración es una Promesa hecha a Jesús en la que El no será dejado solo. Gracias a todos por el sacrificio que hacen para estar allí durante la hora  comprometida. Dios los bendiga a todos, sinceramente suya siempre y verdaderamente en Cristo, Donna. Favor de comunicarse con Lourdes María Alejandrino 760-519-4226 para comprometerse con alguna de las horas arriba indicadas.