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 October 3, 2005 VOL. 43, NO. 17Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Regina Mundi society honored
Clifford and Patricia Wiesner of St. Ignatius Parish in Antioch present the Offertory gifts to Bishop Allen Vigneron during a recent Mass honoring members of the Regina Mundi Society, made up of major donors to the Bishop’s Appeal. The Wiesners are charter members of the Society.

ICF’s Grand President
Leonard Rossi, music director at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland since 1978, is the new Grand President of the Italian Catholic Federation. Rossi is a graduate of Oakland’s St. Jarlath Elementary School and Bishop O’Dowd High. He and his wife Karen are members of Transfiguration Parish in Castro Valley. The Italian Catholic Federation, with branches in California, Nevada, Arizona and Illinois, performs works of charity and raises scholarship funds for high school seniors and seminarians.

LEO’s new home

After 11 years at Telegraph Ave. and West MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland, the LEO (Lasallian Educational Opportunities) Center has moved into the former parish center at Sacred Heart Parish, 710 40th St. Conducted by the Christian Brothers, the LEO Center offers after-school homework help and tutoring programs to middle school students in the afternoons and to high school students in the evenings. Adult classes in English and computer skills are taught in the mornings and evening hours and on Saturdays.

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To be spiritually fit

St. Ignatius of Loyola developed the Spiritual Exercises over 400 years ago as a method of helping people become closer to, and have a better understanding of, God. The exercises combine meditation, prayer, journaling, reflection and spiritual direction to help restore souls and bring balance to people’s lives. A 30-week version of the exercises, directed by a team headed by Holy Names Sister Barbara Williams, will be available at Alameda’s St. Joseph Parish beginning Oct. 22. Suggested donation is $300.All who may be interested are invited to an informational meeting on Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon in the parish center, 1119 Lafayette St. For more information, contact Anne Marie Fourre at (510) 749-7158.

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Around the Parishes

Piedmont’s Corpus Christi Parish will be hosting a JustFaith I program, introducing the Church’s social justice teachings. The first session is Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in the parish’s Keller Center. The 30-week formation process, endorsed by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Charities USA, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), operates in 70 dioceses throughout the country.

Members at St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord recently sent $3,000 from a late summer BBQ to St. Cornelius School in Richmond. The school will use the money for tuition assistance for four students.

The MOMS – aka Mothers in Ministry Sharing – is beginning again this fall at the Catholic Community in Pleasanton. The six-week workshop, where women gather to share faith and life experiences, will be held Monday evenings from Oct. 10 through Nov. 14.

Talk about pre-planning! Oakland’s St. Leo Parish is already getting ready for its big centennial celebration; the festivities, however, will start in January 2011. Organizers are getting a jump on the event by encouraging folks to write down and turn in their recollections – the earlier the better – of the parish and parish life. Photos of parish happenings during those first 100 years are also being sought – the deadline for submission is July 4, 2009! Don’t keep your St. Leo memories to yourself. Send them to the parish office: 176 Ridgeway Ave., Oakland, 94611.

Where in the diocese is Bishop Vigneron? After having completed visits to Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont (Sept. 18 – 19) and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Concord (Oct 1 – 3), the bishop will be heading for St. Elizabeth Parish in Oakland Nov. 4 – 6.

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Around the Schools

Renowned primatologist Jane Goodall will visit Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland on Wednesday (Oct. 5). She will tour the school’s living garden lab, thenspeak to students in the gym.

Students at St. Catherine School in Martinez brought their grandparents to school last month for a spirited celebration of Grandparents Day. The occasion included Mass, a BBQ lunch and visits to the classroom by grandparents or special persons designated by the students.

Last month St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda welcomed Rebecca Bischoff as its new director of advancement. Bischoff, who recently served as director of development at Live Oak School in San Francisco, succeeds Kay Reed who now holds the position of donor relations officer for the school.

Mary Jo Mishork’s fifth-grade class at St. Jerome School in El Cerrito recently wrote letters of appreciation to embassies of countries that offered aid to the U.S. after Hurricane Katrina. Each letter contained a student-traced “hand of gratitude.”

Are you an alumni or parent of St. Francis of Assisi School (previously known as Most Precious Blood School) in Concord? The school is compiling these names and addresses so that they can keep folks informed about future events and happenings at their former school. Send your contact information to MPB_SFA_Alumni@astound.net. Be sure to include your maiden name, married name, year graduated, complete mailing address, phone number and e-mail address.

The University of San Francisco, the oldest university in the city by the Bay, is celebrating its 150th birthday this month and kicking-off a year-long celebration with a pageant about USF’s history, “The Phoenix and the Bell,” at St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker Ave., on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. The pageant will be repeated Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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Among the Religious

Deacon Thomas McGowan has been named Ecumenical Officer for the Oakland Diocese by Bishop Allen Vigneron. McGowan currently serves as diocesan director of services and administration.

Precious Blood Father Jeffrey Keyes, pastor at St. Edward Parish in Newark, was one of the principal cantors of the Schola Speciale of St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, IN, which has just released a new CD of advent and Christmas chants. The recording is rhythmically and melodically in accord with the oldest of the ancient chant manuscripts. The Schola Speciale is a group of specially chosen singers from the Annual Chant Institute held each summer in the Midwest. (The recording is available through the parish office at St. Edward, (510) 797-0241 or parishoffice@stedwardcatholic.org.)

Holy Cross Sister Marianne Farina, a leader in dialogue between Islam and Christianity, recently joined the faculty of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley. Sister Farina spent over a decade in Bangladesh as a teacher and pastoral minister. In 2002 she helped begin the Islamic Study Project at the Graduate Theological Union, serving as a researcher, teacher and founding committee member. Most recently she served as director of research and scholarship at the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Jesuit Father Thomas Smolich has been appointed the next president of the Jesuit Conference, the national liaison office that coordinates the work of the 10 Jesuit provinces in the U.S.

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Names, News, Notes

Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union recently honored Nobel Laureate Charles Townes for his pioneering work in science and religion. Townes, a renowed professor at UC Berkeley, holds honorary degrees from more than 25 universities. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the maser, predecessor of the laser.

Congratulations to Peggy and Dick Boerger, members at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, who are celebrating 50 years of marriage.

St. Rose Hospital in Hayward and the American Cancer Society will host their annual reception for cancer survivors tomorrow (Oct. 4) from 5 – 7 p.m. in the Grand White Tent at the hospital, 27200 Calaroga Ave.

The diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting sponsored its annual retreat for all Catholic scouts, Sept. 23 – 25, at Camp Rancho Los Mochos in Livermore.

Due to popular demand, “Not A Genuine Black Man,” the long-running one-man show by the East Bay’s own Brian Copeland, will continue at The Marsh in San Francisco through Oct. 22. The radio talk show host, writer, comedian – and graduate of local Catholic schools – will also participate in the Comedy Celebration Day on Oct. 9 at Golden Gate Park from noon to 4 p.m. The event is free. For more on the busy Copeland, visit his website: www.briancopeland.com.

EWTN programming: Encore telecasts of the Eternal Word Television Network’s 25th anniversary celebration in Denver highlight October’s programming on the 24-hour Catholic TV network. The repeat telecasts will air on Oct. 8 starting at 8 a.m. The Denver celebration (Oct. 1 – 2) was the first of five EWTN anniversary events at cities across the nation. The next one is set for Oakland, Jan. 28 – 29, 2006. EWTN is carried on Comcast Digital channel 229; DISH Satellite channel 261; and Direct TV channel 422. In Alameda: Comcast channel 30 and Alameda Power channel 26. Also visit the website: www.ewtn.com.

The new IRS rules for vehicle donation went into effect Jan. 1, 2005. According to Karen Campese, CEO of cars4charities, a national non-profit car donation center, the new rules have significantly changed the amount most donors can deduct for their car donation. “The old law allowed the donor to deduct the fair market value of their car as determined by a pricing guide such as the Kelley Blue Book,” she said. But now, people who donate “older, less valuable cars can deduct up to $500. Those who donate more valuable cars can deduct the amount the charity sells the car for.” For more information, call cars4charities at (866) 448-3487 or visit the website: www.cars4charities.org.

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