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 October 17, 2005 VOL. 43, NO. 18Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese


Inspirational voice
“Breathing Lessons,” the Academy-Award winning documentary on the life and work of Mark O'Brien, a poet, journalist and inspirational voice in the movement of disabled people to lead independent lives, will be broadcast, Oct. 28, at 9 p.m. on KQED Channel 9. O'Brien contracted polio when he was six and lived in an iron lung until his death in 1999. He was a member of Holy Spirit Parish in Berkeley, attending Mass when he was able. A parishioner took him Communion every Saturday and Paulist Father Al Moser celebrated Christmas and Easter Masses in his room.

Star player
Katie Pittman, a computer lab teacher and assistant women’s soccer coach at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School, was recently selected to the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) women’s division all-star team. Pittman, who has been coaching soccer for the past five years, is a goalkeeper for the Lamorinda East Bay Power. “To be named to an all-star team with former national team players is a huge honor for me, to say the least,” she said.

Workshops on healing

Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Jesuit Father Matt Linn, who lead retreats all over the world on healing and reconciliation, will present two daylong workshops, Nov. 17 and 18, at St. Isidore Church in Danville.

The Linns integrate spirituality with psychology, medicine and science. Their visit to the East Bay is being co-sponsored by the diocesan Department for Evangelization and Catechesis, Friends of Respect Life, and After the Choice Ministries.

On Nov. 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., they will focus on the most common emotional and spiritual issues that pastoral ministers and health care professionals are likely to encounter as they work with clients, patients, directees and friends.

Specific topics will include cultivating a sense of belonging, healing emotional deprivation, resolving anger and the process of forgiveness, dealing with unresolved grief for the loss of a loved one, and hearing the voice of God in everyday life. The cost is $35 and includes lunch.

On Nov. 18, they will present an experiential workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Topics will include healing our image of God, healing shame-based ways of reading Scripture, and healing relationships with the deceased. Suggested fee of $15 includes lunch, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

This workshop will be offered in Spanish on Nov. 19 at St. Leander Church in San Leandro. For more information contact Juan Jesus Ambriz at jambriz@oakdiocese.org, or call (510) 267 8393.

For general information and registration, call Melissa Hyatt at (510) 267-8370, or go online at www.oakdiocese.org/pastoral/register.

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Praying with Icons
St. Michael Parish in Livermore is inviting all to a free slide lecture, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m., on the artistic traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Rite Catholic Church. Icons, representations of Christ and holy subjects, form a central part of the decoration of all Orthodox churches and are as much a part of Holy Liturgy as the words of Scripture themselves.

To the faithful, an icon is a window into sacred space, where saints become prayer partners. Meditating on an icon is a way to connect spiritually with the subject it represents.

Art historian Barbara Mitchell will show examples of icons and explain the theology that came to define them.

Father Raymond Sacca, St. Michael pastor, will discuss how icons assist believers in reaching their spiritual goals. St. Michael Church is located at Fourth and Maple Streets in Livermore.

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High school makeover
Hardhats and earthmovers have been sighted at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda as work begins on some major new facility improvements. A small housing unit that the school owned was demolished and part of the current gymnasium was taken down so the building can be expanded. The campus makeover is funded by donations totaling over $5.1 million from the school’s alumni, neighbors and current and past parents.

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CCHD eligibility quiz
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development will soon launch the application process for organizations working to end poverty. Applicant organizations must show how low-income people participate in the decision-making process of the organization, through its board, staff or activist base.
CCHD funds support programs that empower people in or near poverty to change the conditions of their lives. Prospective applicants for 2006 national grants must submit an “eligibility quiz” to the national office by Nov. 1, 2005. To take the quiz, go to http://www.usccb.org/cchd/.
For more information on CCHD national or local grants, contact Maurine Behrend, CCHD diocesan director, at (510) 768-3164.

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Around the Parishes

Members at St. Edward Parish in Newark recently commemorated the feast of its patron saint as part of their ongoing 125th anniversary celebration. Founded as a mission in 1880, St. Edward became a parish in 1920. Parishioners gathered Oct. 13 for a sung Vespers on the feast of St. Edward. A larger celebration, a parish dinner, will take place Oct. 22 at Golden Peacock Hall in Fremont.

The musical “Godspell” is coming to St. John the Baptist Parish, 264 E. Lewelling Blvd., in San Lorenzo on Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the new youth program. For tickets and information, contact Louie, (510) 278-5315, Cathy, (510) 276-5895 or Hilda, (510) 278-8532.

The St. Columba Parish Women’s Group is presenting a Zydeco Dance on Nov. 5, from 6 – 10 p.m. at St. Columba Parish Hall, 6401 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. $10 pre-sale, $12 at the door. Adults only. Information: (510) 654-7600 or (510) 527-0232.

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Around the Schools

Two thumbs way up for students at St. Isidore School in Danville who have joined the effort to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Emily and Ryan Jones (grades 5 and 2) donated $404 to the American Red Cross after selling cold lemonade, cookies and licorice with the help of neighborhood friends and getting matching funds from Wachovia Securities; Elizabeth and Matthew Fresquez (grades 1 and 4) also offered lemonade and cookies and raised over $800; Alexa Pickett and Allison Garavaglia, both 7th graders, raised $475 from lemonade and cookie sales and a matching donation from HP; 7th graders Scott Fugere, Chris Erickson, Luke Hartung, Andrew Clark, Patrick Hunt, and Matt Guerino held a car wash and raised over $900; a good number of students voluntarily spent their weekends preparing boxes of supplies to be shipped to the disaster region; and the 3rd grade Brownie troop donated $500 from their troop funds to the relief effort.

Congratulations also go to Meilani H. Clay, a senior at Hayward’s Moreau Catholic High School, one of 1,600 semifinalists in the 2006 National Achievement Scholarship Program, a national academic competition for black high school students.

Eight environmentalists from the Ukraine visited Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School last month to talk with students involved in the campus’ environmental and earth sciences program. They also took a tour of the school’s Living Laboratory, a former junkyard turned outdoor ecological classroom.

“The Wizard School of Science and Art,” a performance featuring optical illusion and magic tricks designed to make learning about the physical sciences exciting for all ages, will be held Nov. 5 from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Soda Center, St. Mary’s College in Moraga. A reception will follow. Admission is free for children with $5 general adult admission. K – 12 teachers free.

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Names, News, Notes

The Concord Family Service Center of Catholic Charities of the East Bay joined supporters and partners on Sept. 30 to celebrate the first year of the Mary Mahoney Project. Mahoney, a social justice advocate and member at Christ the King Parish in Pleasant Hill, had dreamed of creating a safe haven for Concord’s poor. Although she died before her dream could be realized, her cousins and trustees of her estate set up a fund in her name to pay for a bilingual case manager. The fund also provides a small budget for such critical needs as housing, utility assistance, and food vouchers. Since last November, 70 families have received help.

Wood Rose Academy in Concord, a private school that integrates Catholic traditions in its curriculum, has received a $5,000 grant from the Louise M. Davies Foundation to aid its music and art program. The grant coincides with the school’s 10th anniversary.

Because of all who sent in donations for their annual fundraiser, YMI American Council #8 and YLI Laurentian Institute #70 were able to present a check for $7,250 to Ardith Lynch, executive director of St. Joseph Center for the Deaf (SJCD). These funds help support SJCD’s faith formation program, which includes weekly Mass, preparation and celebration of the Sacraments, religious instruction/Bible Study, days of prayer/reflection, marriage preparation, and Liturgy of the Word for preschool children.

VOLUNTEER ALERT!: The Mercy Brown Bag program needs help with providing groceries to low-income seniors. Volunteers are needed to register seniors at the Mercy site in Oakland, to take groceries from Ashland Community Center in San Leandro to Meals on Wheels in Hayward, and to pick up bags and take them to homebound seniors. For more information, call Joy at (510) 534-8540, ext. 369.

The Salem Lutheran Home, a residence for 200 older adults in Oakland that is co-sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of Burlingame, is putting on its party hat to celebrate its 81st birthday. All are invited to enjoy refreshments, entertainment and an art exhibit by local artists and residents, Oct. 23 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. A Thanksgiving Workshop will follow at 4 p.m. Salem Lutheran Home is home to about 200 residents. For more information on the celebration, call (510) 434-2811.

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