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May 9, 2005 VOL. 43, NO. 9Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese


Teaching a lesson
Concord emergency personnel reenact a drunk-driving accident scene in the parking lot of De La Salle High School to demonstrate to De La Salle and Carondelet High juniors and seniors the tragic consequences of drunk driving. The mock accident, in which one student was killed and two critically injured, was staged through the “Every 15 Minutes Program.” Parents and administrators spent a year planning the two-day program.


Haley Finnane and Christopher DeMatteo do the groundbreaking honors for St. Monica Parish's 9,975-square-foot education and activity center, May 1, after the Moraga parish's 40th anniversary Mass celebrated by Bishop John Cummins. Joining in the groundbreaking festivities are, from left, Brittany MacDowell, Father Paul Minnihan, pastor, and Deacon William Bothe, assistant episcopal master of ceremonies. The building project, six years in the planning, will cost about $4.7 million.


Moms, kids reunited

Catholic Charities of the East Bay is one of several organizations that co-sponsored this year’s “Get On The Bus” event, an annual Mother’s Day reunion of children with their incarcerated mothers. About 20 buses filled with children and their guardians left San Leandro and other cities in the state and took the passengers to four women’s prisons in central and southern California, including two facilities in Chowchilla.

Because these prisons are far from urban areas, many children of inmates rarely or never visit their mothers during their sentences. “Get On The Bus” was created in 1999 to meet this visitation need. According to the California Department of Corrections, 17,760 children under the age of 18 have mothers in prison and live with relatives or in foster care. Many of these children develop emotional and behavioral problems.


Cabaret act at Mercy
Yesterday (May 8) Debbie de Coudreaux, an international singer, stage and film performer, transformed Oakland’s Mercy Retirement and Care Center into a cabaret setting with a special Mother’s Day performance of her one-woman show, “Have a Little Parish On Me.” Coudreaux, a Bay Area native, is performing through May 14 at the Empire Plush Room at the York Hotel in San Francisco. She described her performance at Mercy as being heartfelt and personal. “My father is in assisted living and I know how important it is to keep our seniors entertained since many of them don’t have the mobility to be able to attend a performance such as this,” she said.

Around the Parishes

Members of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball program at St. Joseph Parish in Fremont did more than watch basketball games this winter. Nine of the teams coordinated their own “Shoot-a-thon” fundraiser and raised $4,913.90 for charities — $530.50 to the St. Vincent de Paul Free Dining Room in Oakland; $530.20 to the Tri City Homeless Coalition; $2,760.20 to St. John Marie’s Pantry, a ministry of St. Joseph Parish; $746.50 to the Santa Maria Community in Guatemala, chosen by St. Joseph School last year to be a sister parish. And in response to the tsunami disaster Dec. 26, which occurred in the midst of the shoot-a-thon, one of the teams donated their $346.50 to a Catholic church that had been destroyed by the disaster in Sri Lanka.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Fremont has begun offering an early morning First Friday Mass – at 7 a.m. – at its Fremont Blvd. site: 40382 Fremont Blvd.
Members at St. Philip Neri Parish in Alameda joined Margie Joyce on May 1 at the 10:30 a.m. Mass to celebrate the 25th ordination anniversary of her son, Kevin. Father Kevin Joyce was raised in the Alameda parish. He has a doctorate in spirituality from Catholic University of America. He is director of the SpiritSite spirituality center in the Diocese of San Jose.

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Around the Schools

Congratulations to Bob Gannon, a science teacher at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland, who recently received a $10,000 Toyota Tapestry grant that will help fuel the campus’ focus on alternative energy. “It’s an unusual opportunity. I was bowled over by it,” said Gannon, one of only 50 people in the U.S. to receive the grant. The funds will help Gannon’s students build a wind electric generator, a solar cell collector and hydrogen cell collector. The students will also teach their peers at St. Elizabeth and students at other schools about alternative energy sources. To help raise awareness of alternative energy, Gannon also plans to invite educators to the campus to see the project or arrange for presentations at other school campuses. To contact Gannon: rgannon@stliz-hs.org or (510) 532-8947.

The 8th grade thespians at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro recently put on a wonderful rendition of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the Black Forest” and decided to donate their proceeds – over $900 – to programs that help others, including “Get On The Bus,” which reunites youngsters with their mothers who are incarcerated in prisons many miles away.

Bishop O’Dowd High in Oakland is joining more than 65 percent of Catholic high schools in the nation who operate with a president/principal administration. Stephen Phelps, director of professional development at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, has been named O’Dowd’s first president. He will focus on long-range planning, development and finances, leaving Basilian Father Donald McLeod, as principal, devoting all of his time to students and faculty. Phelps holds a doctorate in education.

At St. Mary’s College High in Berkeley, Christian Brother Edmond Larouche, the school’s president, has announced that Peter Imperial, vice-principal at Marin Catholic High, will become principal, replacing Kathleen Ryan McGuire, who will be moving out of the area.

Franciscan Father Mario DiCicco was inaugurated, April 16, as the sixth president and rector of the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley. He succeeds Capuchin Father William Cieslak who served as president for 12 years. Prior to assuming his FST post, Father DiCicco was interim president of Quincy University in Quincy, Ill. He holds a doctorate in New Testament from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.

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Names, News, Notes

Bishop Allen Vigneron has appointed Deacon Donaciano Perez of St. Paul Parish in San Pablo as spiritual director for the Latino Cursillo in the Oakland Diocese. Originally from Mexico, Perez was ordained in Oakland in 1995. He is married and the father of four.

Congratulations and many blessings go to Sarah and Vincent Enea, members at Holy Rosary Parish in Antioch, who are celebrating 60 years of marriage.

Condolences go to the family and friends of Maureen Scagliotti, a registered nurse and renowned natural family planning advocate in the Bay Area, who died suddenly on April 15. Scagliotti, who made countless presentations on NFP over the years, was instrumental in the founding of the California Association of Natural Family Planning (CANFP) and served on the founding executive board in 1993 and as vice president of CANFP from 1993-1996. She continued on the board until 2002.When she and her husband, Remo, moved from Fremont to the Sonora foothills, she continued to work as a nurse and became active in the local crisis pregnancy center there. Survivors include her husband, Remo, and two daughters.

A Memorial Day Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on May 30 at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1965 Reliez Road in Lafayette. The gathering will honor and remember those who lost their lives in America’s wars. Therese Dennis and the Golden Gate Boys Choir will provided the music. A display by the Travis Air Force Base Honor Guard will follow the Mass.

The inaugural launch of the Friends of the Society Breakfast, sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Alameda District Council, raised more than $20,000 to support the work of the Champion Guidance Center for Men and the Visitation Center for Woman and Children in downtown Oakland. Executive director Philip Arca outlined future goals for both programs that include increased counseling and developing employment and educational opportunities.

VOLUNTEER ALERT! St. Anthony Foundation, which has worked in San Francisco for over 54 years to provide for the physical and emotional needs of the poor and homeless, is in need of volunteers at their free dining room and various other programs. The need is especially great for weekday volunteers. For information, call (415) 241-2600.

VOLUNTEER ALERT! Two FESCO-sponsored programs for homeless families —Marquis House Shelter and Banyan House, are looking for volunteer dinner cooks and persons who can assist with children’s activities, life skills workshops and special events. Contact Nubia by phone: (510) 886-5473 or e-mail: volunteer@fescofamilyshelter.org.

EWTN Programming: A five-part reality-style series that follows a group of Americans to remote Amazon jungles where they provide badly needed medical care will begin airing May 23 through May 27 at 3:30 p.m. in five half-hour segments. EWTN is carried on Comcast Digital channel 229; DISH Satellite channel 261; and Direct TV channel 422; in Alameda on channel 30; Alameda Power carries it on channel 19. While EWTN is no longer available to San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Hayward on Comcast’s Expanded Basic channel 76, it is now available to these communities via Digital channel 229, similar to the Comcast service that other Bay Area cities receive.

The Sacred Heart Program, a radio ministry founded by the Jesuits in St. Louis, Missouri, is honoring the late Pope John Paul II with two new features on its website, www.sacredheartprogram.org. There is information about the life and papacy of the late Holy Father as well as a transcript of his January 1999 homily from the Mass of the Sacred Heart. Visitors can also go to a special section called “Pope John Paul II Memorial Gifts,” and sign up to receive two free commemorative gifts, including an 8 1/2 x 11” full-color Apostolic Blessing imprinted with the recipient’s name.

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