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 March 7, 2005 VOL. 43, NO. 5Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Giving clients a Fresh Start
St. Vincent de Paul Society’s volunteer manager Rebecca Jewel (left) meets with Tori Coleman, Olivia Vera and Mark Olaguer, students at St. Leander School in San Leandro who helped collect personal hygiene items for clients of the Champion Guidance and Visitation Centers in Oakland. Also participating in the Fresh Start collection program were Salesian High, seven elementary schools — Our Lady of Grace, School of the Madeleine, St. Bede, St. Edward, St. Joseph, St. David, and St. Elizabeth—and a CCD group from St. Albert Parish.



Singers wanted

Laudate, a diocese-wide community chorus, is inviting singers to join the group as they prepare for their spring concert in May. Rehearsals are Mondays from 7 – 10 p.m. at St. Augustine Church, 400 Alcatraz Ave. in Oakland. The spring concert will follow the chorus’s successful debut of The Mass of Remembrance last November.

The spring concert, titled “Blessed Art Thou Among Woman,” will feature three works – “Regina Coeli” by Mozart, “Stabat Mater” by Caldara, and the Bach “Magnificat.” Funds raised by the concert will benefit charities engaged in women’s issues. For more information, contact Jim Gilman, music director, at (510) 653-7631.

Cell phones in church

What has your parish done to make Mass a no-cell-phone-zone? Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood recently asked parishioners to come up with slogans to remind folks to put a muzzle on their communications devices.
The winning slogan, now posted on an easel near the entrance of the church, is: “Please turn off your calls before entering the church. The only call you should answer is a call from GOD!”

Around the Parishes

Members of St. Lawrence O’Toole Parish and School in Oakland celebrated a “Special Persons Mass” during Catholic Schools Week to honor those who provide support to students. Father John Fernandes, pastor, presided at the liturgy packed with students and their “special persons.”

Members at St. Agnes Parish in Concord will gather March 23 for the community’s annual Seder Meal.

At St. Philip Neri Parish in Alameda, the Gabriel Project team is assisting a family in need. The Gabriel Project is a parish-based, "hands-on" program that helps provide pregnant women with whatever emotional, financial and physical support they need to bring their child to birth. Begun in 1991, the Gabriel Project is active in parishes throughout the U.S.

High school youth at the Catholic Community of Pleasanton are taking a spiritual journey during Lent. On March 13, they will help feed the hungry at St. Anthony’s Dining Room in San Francisco, on March 16, they will participate in the special reconciliation service, and March 18-19 they will participate in a 30-Hour Famine Retreat.

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Around the Schools

St. Bede School in Hayward will hold its annual science fair, March 17-18, and all are invited to examine the works of some up and coming scientists in grade 3 through 8. The science projects will be displayed from 6 – 8 p.m. on March 17 in the parish center and judged the following day. Science Fair souvenirs will include science materials and origami animals. Donations of science equipment or materials are appreciated.

Students at St. Bernard School in Oakland celebrated Black History Month with a Black History Quizbowl, an on-site Soul Food Day and entertainment by a professional storyteller.

During the annual Diocesan Celebration of Scouting held Jan. 30 at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Union City, 101 scouts were presented with religious awards. Among those earning awards were the 2nd and 3rd grade classes at Our Lady of the Rosary School.

High-fives go to the boys basketball team at Berkeley’s St. Mary’s High School who turned back Richmond’s Salesian High 58-50, Feb. 26, to take the Bay Shore Athletic League championship at Albany High School. The league championship may also make the Panthers the No. 1 seed in the upcoming North Coast Section Division IV playoffs.

Meanwhile the campus at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School is celebrating the Year of the Dragons as the boys and girls soccer teams both claimed North Coast Section 2-A championships on Feb. 26. The top-seeded girls squad scored their first NCS 2-A soccer title with a 2-0 victory over No. 6 Concord while the boys earned their first NCS championship title with a 2-1 win over De Anza.

Teachers at Oakland’s Holy Names High School held a “tsunami teach-in” on Jan. 24 to discuss the Dec. 26 tsunami and its deadly aftermath in South East Asia. In the biology and physiology classes, students learned about waterborne diseases and their potential to kill thousands. Physics classes connected the concepts of frictional force, kinetic energy and basic wave mechanics to the natural phenomenon of the tsunami. Students in social studies, English, pre-calculus and art classes also explored the disaster. Two days after the teach-in, students raised over $1,800 and agreed to donate 20 percent from their annual raffle (almost $3,000) to Catholic Relief Services for tsunami relief.

Students in grades kindergarten through 8 at St. John School in San Lorenzo will present “The Best of Broadway” in two shows, April 2 at 7 p.m. and April 3 at 2 p.m., at the Cal State Hayward Theatre. Tickets are $7 each. For information and tickets, call the school office at (510) 276-6632.

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Names, News, Notes

VOLUNTEER ALERT: Help Habitat for Humanity build affordable housing, May 20, at its West Oakland site at 10th and Union streets. Twelve single-family homes, including two that will be accessible to people with disabilities, are being built on the 1.5-acre site. Volunteers are needed for construction, making lunches, and offering financial help. For more information, contact the volunteer coordinator at (510) 251-6304, ext. 311 or visit the website: www.eastbayhabitat.org.

Free tax assistance through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program of Catholic Charities of the East Bay (CCEB) is available for anyone with a gross annual income of $36,000 or below. For more information or to make an appointment, contact CCEB at (510) 768-3100.

EWTN programming highlights: A documentary on Ireland’s Marian Shrine at Knock will air March 15 at 3:30 p.m., and a children’s special on the life of St. Patrick on March 17 at 1 p.m. A special program focusing on St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, will be shown March 17 at 10 a.m., repeated on March 19 at 5 p.m.

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