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August 8, 2005 VOL. 43, NO. 14Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese


Student outreach
Just weeks before school let out for the summer, the student council of St. Leander School in San Leandro filled treat bags for Bay Area children who would be traveling by bus to central California to visit their imprisoned mothers. The “Get on the Bus” event was sponsored locally by Catholic Charities of the East Bay.

Award-winning author
Mary E. McGann, associate professor of liturgy and music at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, received a first place in the 2005 Catholic Press Association awards for her ground-breaking book, “A Precious Fountain: Music in the Worship of an African American Catholic Community” (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN). McGann, a Religious of the Sacred Heart, is also the author of “Exploring Music as Worship and Theology” and co-author

40 years at Good Shepherd

Congratulations to Good Shepherd Parish in Pittsburg, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The parish was formed in 1965 from the southern half of St. Peter Martyr Parish, which had been the sole parish in Pittsburg.

Father Louis Dabovich, Good Shepherd’s founding pastor, presided at the parish’s first Mass on July 4 at a rented hall in the Heights Shopping Center, earning the parish the title, “the Supermarket Church.” Parish buildings were located on what had been Camp Stoneman, a former army base.

After numerous fundraising campaigns and with help from the diocese, the present church at 3200 Harbor St. was completed in September 1970. The parish now has 3,000 registered families under the leadership of Father Helmut Richter.

Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron will join parishioners on Saturday, Aug. 13, for the anniversary celebration — Mass at 5:30 p.m., followed by a dinner and dance in the church hall with music by the popular Vocalese and the Boogie Men, most of whom are members of the Good Shepherd music ensemble. Tickets are $50. For more information or tickets, call (925) 252-0421 or the parish office at (925) 432-6404.

Festivities will continue the next day with a parish picnic and barbecue in the parish’s spiritual garden at about 1 p.m.

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Support for housing

Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron joined members of COR (Congregations Organizing for Renewal) and city, state and county officials, July 12, at St. John the Baptist Parish in San Lorenzo to promote secure affordable housing. COR is a faith-based grassroots federation of 13 congregations, including several Catholic parishes, and two neighborhood groups.

According to COR, a preschool teacher would need to work over 120 hours a week to rent a two-bedroom apartment costing $1374.

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Singing for new bishop

The Episcopal ordination and installation of Father Larry Silva as bishop of Honolulu last month had special meaning for two local women. Sharon Xavier de Sousa and her mother Louise Xavier traveled to Hawaii to sing at the July 21 ordination Mass with the Hawaiian choir.

Xavier de Sousa first crossed paths with Bishop Silva a few years ago when he allowed her lay ministry choir, Deo Gloria, to rehearse at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, where he was pastor. Later, when he was appointed vicar general of the Oakland Diocese, she and her mother sang at a Mass of thanksgiving. “I have never known a priest who has become a bishop and it is a great honor and privilege to get to sing for him,” Xavier de Sousa said.

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Mitchell remembered

Family members, friends and associates gathered July 20 at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in San Pablo to remember Jabari J. Mitchell, a longtime employee at St. Lawrence O’Toole-St. Cyril Parish in Oakland, who died last year. In addition to his devoted service in the diocese, Mitchell was an advocate and supporter of orphaned children at Santa Maria Del Mexicano in Queretaro, Mexico. Friends and admirers are continuing Mitchell’s legacy of concern for the orphans by contributing tax deductible donations in his memory to: Sister Mary Paul, The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, P.O. Box 1406, Robstown, Texas, 78380.

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Sneaker update

Congratulations to Tony Freccero and all those who supported his Project Shoe Assist. The summer athletic shoe collection campaign has netted over 2,500 pairs of shoes for underprivileged youth in Brazil, where Freccero, a member of St. Lawrence O’Toole-St. Cyril Parish, helps run free basketball clinics. The shoe campaign drew support from Nike, who contributed 100 new pairs of shoes, the Golden State Warriors who donated 83 new pairs of game shoes, and Mizuno who gave over 200 pairs of shoes. And in another show of generosity, The Partnership with Brazilian Mission agreed to ship all the shoes to Brazil. For more information or updates all are invited to visit the new website at www.projectshoeassist.org.

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Around the Parishes

The Oakland Diocese’s Columbian Squire Program did itself proud by taking the two top statewide Circle honors at the annual state convention held June 17 – 19 at Notre Dame University in Belmont.

The Mother Teresa of Calcutta Circle #4413 at St. Michael Parish in Livermore topped 59 Circles in overall spiritual, service, civic and social activities. Led by Chief Squire Luke Logsdon and Counsellors Tony Lucero and Michael Valent, the Circle, founded in 1995, was particularly proud of completing a 12-session communication class.

Congratulations also go to the John Bosco Circle #4710 at St. Ignatius Parish in Antioch for taking second overall honors with Joshua Ruehlig named California “Youth Minister of the Year” for his dedicated altar service.

Congratulations to the five new Eagle Scouts at Berkeley’s St. Mary Magdalen Parish. The scouts, members of Troop 19, are Adrian Delmer, Warren Howe, Luc Maheu, Gavin Taylor, and Ryan Taylor. They completed their Eagle service projects in Berkeley by improving and repairing the famous path system in the Berkeley hills with the cooperation of the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association.

Father Elmer Torborg of Indiana will visit St. Margaret Mary Parish in Oakland, Sept. 3 – 4, to discuss the Mary Mother of God Mission Society, which is assisting in the rebirth of the Catholic Church in the Russian Far East. The Society supports five parishes, made up of about 800 people, who need help building parishes and evangelizing a culture emerging after 70 years of Communist rule.

Members of All Saints Parish in Hayward gathered last month to honor and bid farewell to six Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, who after 14 years of renting the parish convent, have relocated to other convents in northern California. The parish announced it will donate $1,500 to support the various ministries of the Sisters which include the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room and the Visitation Center, both in Oakland.

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Around the Schools

Congratulations to Sara Martz, a student at Salesian High School in Richmond, who was recently named recipient of a United States Achievement Academy award in history and government. Matthew Janisch, a teacher at Salesian, nominated Martz for the national recognition.

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Names, News, Notes

One thousand and one cranes were installed recently above the altar at St. Leo Parish in Oakland to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Paper cranes have become a symbol for all who dream of peace in the world. According to legend a wish is granted to anyone who folds 1000 or 1001 paper cranes. Several parishioners folded the paper cranes at St. Leo.

Members of St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord last month welcomed Steven Angelucci as director of liturgy and music.

A new support group for individuals with autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, fibromyalgia, and Sjogren’s Syndrome, began meeting last month at the Catholic Community of Pleasanton. The group meets the second Thursday of each month. For additional information, contact Sheila Thompson at (925) 846-5767.

Mary Poppingo, who grew up in Berkeley’s St. Mary Magdalen Parish and is a graduate of Holy Names High School in Oakland, recently joined the staff of the Burlingame Regional Community as resource development director. Poppingo will raise funds for the Sisters’ ministries in California and Arizona that focus on service to the poor. She will also seek funds to support retired Mercy Sisters.

The Knights of Columbus Council #4588 in Livermore recently presented the Birthright office in Livermore with a check for $500 to support the work of the pregnancy support service.

World Youth Day on EWTN: The 24-hour Catholic TV network will air extensive broadcasts of World Youth Day 2005 from Cologne, Germany, where more than a million young Catholics people will gather to share their faith. Pope Benedict XVI is expected to attend. Live programming includes: Welcoming Ceremonies, Aug. 18, at 7 a.m.; Way of the Cross, Aug. 19, at 10 a.m.; Vigil, Aug. 20, at 11 a.m.; and the Closing Mass, Aug. 21, at 12:30 a.m. Encore broadcasts will be at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

EWTN will also air its Life on the Rock youth program from Cologne on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. and will present a WYD Wrap-Up on Aug. 25 at 5 p.m. EWTN is carried on Comcast Digital channel 229; DISH Satellite channel 261; and Direct TV channel 422. In Alameda on Comcast channel 30 and Alameda Power channel 19. For a complete schedule visit www.ewtn.com.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County and Habitat for Humanity will hold their 2005 Summer Festival, a celebration of reusing, recycling and reconstructing creatively, on Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 9235 San Leandro St. in Oakland. Special guests include found-object artists and deconstructionist fashion designers. Admission is free. For more information visit www.svdp-alameda.org.

Heroes All! A photography exhibit, honoring World War II veterans on the 60th anniversary marking the end of the war, will open Aug. 31 at San Francisco City Hall Gallery, 401 Van Ness Ave. The black-and-white portraits by San Francisco photographer Tom Graves show 150 images of veterans, including mystery writer Tony Hillerman, filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, and U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, a Medal of Honor recipient. Each portrait is accompanied by a short interview introducing the veteran and describing that person’s experiences in the military.

“What Tree Is That?,” a 84-page pocket guide for identifying 157 trees found in the western U.S., is available from The National Arbor Day Foundation. To obtain a copy, send your name, address and $3 to “What Tree Is That?,” The National Arbor Day Foundation, Nebraska City, NE 68410 or visit the website: arborday.org.

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