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 November 21, 2005 VOL. 43, NO. 20Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Unsung heroines
The Diocesan Council of Catholic Women honored parish volunteers with their Woman of the Year Award for their quiet, behind-the-scenes work in parishes. Bishop Allen Vigneron (center) presented the awards during Mass at St. Paschal Baylon Church in Oakland. The honorees are, front row from left, Mary Pagni, St. Rose of Lima, Crockett; Louise Russo, St. Barnabas, Alameda; Josie Ramos, St. Cornelius, Richmond; Teresa Grant, DCCW president, St. John the Baptist, El Cerrito; Phyllis Ciardo, St. Jerome, El Cerrito; Bettyanne Westover, St. Patrick, Rodeo; Anna Schwartz, Our Lady of Mercy, Pt. Richmond; back row, Peggy Presley, Sacred Heart, Oakland; Joni Griffin, St. Paschal, Oakland; Bernice Walton, St. John the Baptist, El Cerrito; Pearl Moe, St. David, Richmond; Martha Stokowksi, Our Lady of the Valley YLI, St. Isidore, Danville. Also honored was Sister Mario Raffaelli of St. Lawrence O’Toole, Oakland.

75th anniversary gala
Stacy Clark, student body president at Oakland’s Holy Names High School, smiles after giving a gavel to Sister Rosario Asturias, who was dismissed as the school’s student body president 75 years ago because she played an unapproved piano piece at a recital. Sister Asturias’ “reinstatement” took place Oct. 6 during the school’s 75th anniversary on Harbord Drive. Actress Debbie de Coudreaux, a HNHS alum, was emcee. The City of Oakland declared Oct. 6 as Sisters of the Holy Names Day.


Christmas shoppers

Wouldn’t it be great to make progress on your Christmas gift list AND help religious communities that are struggling to meet their operating costs? Wonder no more!

Once again Monastery Greetings has compiled a heavenly list of products from monasteries, religious communities and hermitages that can make quick work of Christmas shopping. Products include devotional items: a Trappist Crucifix from France ($26.95) and a St. Francis Shrine from St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana ($39.95); body and care products made with olive oil and other natural ingredients from the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in West Virginia); and taste-tempting sweets such as fruit and apple butters ($5.95) from the monks at St. Gregory Friary and “Monastery Pray-Lines” from the nuns at St. Benedict Monastery in Canyon, Texas ($15.95). For more information, visit www.monasterygreetings.com or phone (800) 472-0425 to request a free catalog.

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Fair Trade Chocolates

Christmas shoppers can also support economic justice by buying or selling fair trade products through Catholic Relief Services. Fair trade items at www.crsfairtrade.org include chocolate bars, coffee and handicrafts such as hand-woven baskets, scarves, musical instruments and jewelry. Visit the website to access the online shop or phone 1-(800) 685-7572 to request a copy of the catalog, Work of Human Hands.

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Seeking New Faces

FACE (Family Aid-Catholic Education) has been helping students from low-income families access quality Catholic education in the Oakland Diocese since 1978. Already this year, 678 elementary school students and 310 high school students have received tuition grants totaling $1.75 million.

However, FACE needs to raise another $2.1 million for the mostly high-school students who are still on the waiting list. And you can help.

FACE is looking for volunteers for positions on the its board and committees. Of course, FACE is also eager for new donors.

For more information on how to become a volunteer or to support FACE in other ways, contact Anne Rynders, FACE executive director, at (510) 628-2169.

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Calling All Singers

The Advent Season is almost here and if you feel like singing, you don’t have to do it alone. All singers in the Oakland Diocese are invited to participate in a Lessons and Carols Service at Oakland’s St. Augustine Church on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 4 p.m. The service will be using the Hal Hopson arrangements of familiar carols among others. An orchestra will provide the music.

Rehearsals will be held on Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 from 7:30 – 9 p.m. at St. Augustine, 400 Alcatraz Ave. in Oakland. Interested singers should contact Jim Gilman, director of music ministries, at (510) 419-0740, or the parish office at (510) 653-8631.

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Around the Parishes

Our Lady of Grace Parish in Castro Valley will mark Thanksgiving with what could be a new parish tradition — a Thanksgiving Bread Exchange. Families will bring a favorite bread,—either store-bought or homemade – and place it on a table in front of the altar before Mass. After the liturgy, each participating family will chose another family’s loaf to take home for their Thanksgiving table. Each loaf will include a card with the names of their family members inside so they can be remembered in prayer before the Thanksgiving meal..

Yesterday (Nov. 20) members of St. Michael Parish in Livermore celebrated the Communal Anointing of the Sick at three Masses. “It is important that we devote specific time as a community of faith to pray for those among us suffering from illness,” Father Ray Sacca, pastor, wrote in the parish bulletin.

The St. Joan of Arc Council of the Knights of Columbus hosted its 6th annual pasta feed on Oct. 29 for the benefit of FACE (Family Aid-Catholic Education). The event raised over $3,000 to help fund tuition grants for elementary and high school students in the diocese. While parishioners enjoyed their delicious dinner, Dominican Sister Johnellen Turner and Cathy Glazzy, FACE board members, spoke about the success of FACE students.

Who’s Reading What? The fiction group at Holy Spirit-Newman Hall Parish in Berkeley will meet Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. to discuss “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

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Around the Schools

Students at Oakland’s St. Theresa School learned about being good stewards last month. They raised over $2,400 for Catholic Relief Services by collecting coins and participating in a $2 jeans day. The campus stewards didn’t stop there. This month they are putting together 18 Thanksgiving food boxes for needy families.

Two thumbs way up to Carondelet High School in Concord for spearheading a super-successful blood drive on Nov. 10. Seventy-three potential donors turned out to surpass by nearly 120 percent the goal to collect 46 pints of blood and/or red blood cells. “This strong turnout of young people is very impressive because they are our future community blood donors,” said Sara O’Brien, American Red Cross spokeswoman.

Congratulations to Stephanie Ham and Alissa Vannet, students at Oakland’s Holy Names High School, who were honored Nov. 2 as student leader participants in the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Program in the East Bay. Ham, a senior, and Vannet, a junior, will participate in a mentorship program with local Bank of America executives during 2006. Ham, active in Holy Names’ student government and drama program, spearheaded her class’ support of a Heifer project and has been participated in Habitat for Humanity projects in Oakland. Vannet has been a volunteer with the Women’s Cancer Research project and in AIDS awareness.

Gabrielle Soria and Danielle Campbell, seniors from St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, traveled to New Zealand earlier this month to participate in an oceanic dance conference hosted by the University of Hawai’i, Victoria University and the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The students, co-founders of the Polynesian Islands Culture Club at SJND, were traveling as part of KaUaTuahine, a Polynesian Dance Troupe based in Berkeley.

At Oakland’s St. Elizabeth High School, Bob Gannon, physical science teacher and recipient of a $20,000 grant monies from BP America and Toyota to study solar energy, and David Burke, the campus’ art teacher, are collaborating on the design and construction of a solar-powered fountain for a student park at the school. Students, parents and Fruitvale business owners and residents are being asked to help. The student park project has already received $10,000 from Trust Funds Incorporated for the purchase of new tables and benches.

More news from St. Elizabeth High: the campus recently received its second annual distribution of $200,000 from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation’s $600,000 grant in support of tuition assistance.

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Among the Religious

The Divine Word Missionaries will assume responsibility for the administration of St. Joachim Parish in Hayward next year. Two Divine Word Missionary priests are expected to begin living and ministering in the parish in mid-February. Father Sergio Mora will remain pastor over the next several months of transition. The Divine Word Missionaries currently administer St. Bernard Parish in Oakland.

Congratulations to Franciscan Sister Ramona Miller, director of spiritual formation and field education at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, who received the prestigious St. Clare Medal from St. Francis College during a ceremony at the Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. campus last month. The college’s board of trustees cited Sister Miller’s “joyful commitment and insight for Franciscan living.” The St. Clare Medal recognizes individuals who have served the community or distinguished themselves by charitable or heroic acts.

Sister Nancy O’Shea, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, was recently appointed director of spiritual care services at AlmaVia of Union City. Before joining AlmaVia, Sister O’Shea was pastoral associate at St. Patrick Parish in Sonora and served as a teacher and principal in Catholic schools throughout the west coast. Sister O’Shea grew up in the Centerville section of Fremont. AlmaVia of Union City is part of Elder Care Alliance, a nonprofit faith-based organization that serves older adults and is co-sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Regional Community of Burlingame.

The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose in Fremont celebrated the success of their Vision of Hope Endowment Campaign with over 200 donors, parents and children at a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Anthony of Padua Church in San Francisco on Oct. 30. Bishop Emeritus John Cummins presided at the liturgy, joined by current and former pastors from three local Vision of Hope schools: St. Elizabeth School in Oakland and St. John and St. Anthony Immaculate Conception schools in San Francisco. The Campaign raised more than $8 million for tuition assistance to eight inner-city schools the Sisters administer in California. For more information, contact Sister John Martin Fixa, Dominican Sisters Vision of Hope Office, 1555 - 34th Ave., Oakland, 94601 or (510) 533-5768.

Where in the diocese is Bishop Allen Vigneron? He will preside at the Vietnamese Martyrs Mass at St. Anthony Parish in Oakland on Nov. 27 at 3 p.m.; visit Corpus Christi Parish in Fremont the weekend of Dec. 3 – 4; and St. Louis Bertrand Parish in Oakland on Dec. 8 (Immaculate Conception/Central America Griteria) at 8:30 p.m. and Dec. 11 (Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass) at 6 p.m.

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Names, News, Notes

Best Wishes and Many Blessings go to Betty and Kelly Lopez, members at St. Leander Parish in San Leandro, who recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of their marriage.

Congratulations to Brandon F. Macadaeg, a member at St. Raymond Parish in Dublin, on his recent induction into Phi Eta Sigma, the Freshman Honor Society of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Phi Eta Sigma was founded in 1923 to encourage and reward academic excellence among freshmen in institutions of higher learning.

Much applause also goes to Jennifer D. O’Neal, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, who was named the 44th Medical Command noncommissioned officer of the year. Selection is based in part on exemplary duty performance, job knowledge and leadership skills. Sgt. O’Neal graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley in 2000.

Joe Adams, a Jesuit Volunteer Corps volunteer, recently began a year of service with St. Vincent de Paul Society of Alameda County. A former employee at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked in public accounting, Adams has been a volunteer with Mobile AIDS Support Services in Mobile, Alabama, and with camp Mercy Times in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he taught tennis to children with cancer. Now he’s working at the SVDP’s Champion Guidance Center and is detailing his experiences with a blog at the organizations’s website: http://svdp-alameda-volunteer.blogspot.com/.

Dr. Davida Coady, a member of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Berkeley, received the Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal from the Berkeley Community Fund for her ongoing work as a humanitarian, social activist, and founder of Options
Recovery Services.

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