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 January 9, 2006VOL. 44, NO. 1Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese


Christmas parade
The Cub Scouts of St. Peter Martyr Parish in Pittsburg show their spirit during the city’s annual Christmas parade. The scouts took home a third place ribbon in the band/other category.


Holiday outreach
Victoria DeMaria, Alyza Dietzel and Denielle LeBarre of Holy Rosary School in Antioch help sort toys donated to the annual Grannies Anonymous giveaway to families in need. The school also sorted and distributed food baskets for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and delivered cookies to the Rivertown Senior Housing Center, where they sang Christmas carols.

Toys 4 Tots
Each class at St. Catherine School in Martinez filled a barrel for the U.S. Marine Corp’s Toys 4 Tots program. Eighth grader Kevin Mosby and Kindergartner Corey Burgstaller show some of the donations.


Generosity at Christmas

Parishes throughout the diocese remembered those less fortunate during the holiday season.

In San Ramon, St. Joan of Arc Parish’s Giving Tree program collected over $30,000 in cash and gift cards for several organizations, including Bay Area Crisis Nursery in Concord, St. Mary’s Center in Oakland, and the Danville Nursing Home.

Members at Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont collected over 2,800 Christmas gifts through their Share Christmas program for 20 organizations, the Kmhmu community in Richmond and the day care centers in Sacramento administered by the Sisters of the Holy Family.

High school youth at St. Theresa Parish in Oakland hosted a Christmas party Dec. 22 for students at St. Anthony School in Oakland. The teens helped the youngsters make gingerbread houses and Christmas ornaments, donated stocking stuffers and other supplies, and brought the food for the party.

The faculty and staff of St. Theresa School held a Christmas hat decorating contest and raised $300 to buy gifts for residents of Elizabeth House in Oakland.

Students at St. Patrick School in Rodeo have donated 900 pairs of gloves to the homeless through its “Cold Hands, Warm Hearts” effort. Inside each pair the students placed a small heart that says “St. Patrick Cares.” The students invited over 40 schools in Canada and the U.S. who share their name to join in the project.

The San Francisco East Bay Chapter of Kappa Gamma Pi provided Christmas baskets and a cash donation to two families at St. Mary’s Center in Oakland. Kappa Gamma Pi, a national honor society, has 110 members in its San Francisco East Bay chapter.

Deacon Dave Rezendes, renowned for his annual Christmas Lights Ministry, used this year’s display to make a statement about religion in American life. Included in the 260,852 lights at his Livermore home was a sign across his roof reading, “One nation under God.” The majority of the estimated 87,000 people who walked through the display voiced “overwhelming favorable comments” about the bold statement, Rezendes said. He dedicated every light in his display as a prayer for the safety of U.S. military personnel.

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Praying for peace

People of all faiths joined East Bay Catholics very early on the morning of Dec. 30 at St. Joseph Church in Fremont for the 25th annual International Prayer for Peace. The year-end event, which took place locally at 4 a.m., was held simultaneously around the world at noon Greenwich Mean Time. The Fremont gathering, sponsored by Pax Christi of Northern California, included nondenominational prayers, music and candle lighting.

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Interfaith dialogue

The four Catholic parishes in Alameda are offering a special six-session joint study series starting next week that aims to stimulate real conversation between Jewish and Christian – especially Catholic – congregations. Called “Walking God’s Paths: Christians and Jews in Candid Conversation,” the program will explore the evolving history and relationships of Judaism and Christianity.

It begins on Jan. 18 and continues for six weeks.

The series is part of the observance of the 40th anniversary of the historic declaration of Vatican II Council’s “Nostra Aetate,” and will be facilitated by Rabbi Allen Bennett of Temple Israel, Father Fernando Cortez of St. Albert Parish, Father Tony Herrera of St. Barnabas, Father Rich Danyluk of St. Joseph Basilica Parish, and Father Vince Cotter of St. Philip Neri Parish.

The program will conclude with a joint Catholic-Jewish liturgical music concert at St. Joseph Basilica, 1109 Chestnut St., on March 2 at 7 p.m.

Although the program is free and open to the public, advance registration is required. Contact: Anne Marie Fourre at (510) 749-7158.

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Around the Parishes

Father Quang Minh Dong will be installed as pastor of St. Mary-St. Francis de Sales Parish and rector of the Cathedral of Christ the Light on Jan. 22 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 202 Jefferson Street in Oakland. Bishop Allen Vigneron and Bishop Emeritus John Cummins will preside.

Bishop Allen Vigneron will meet with pastors and pastoral council members, Jan. 17 at St. Isidore Parish gym in Danville. For information, contact Nora Petersen, (510) 267-8351 or npetersen@oakdiocese.org.

Who’s Reading What? This month the Fiction Group at Holy Spirit/Newman Parish in Berkeley discussed “The Book Shop” by Penelope Fitzgerald; next month they will talk about “Wise Blood” by Flannery O’Connor.

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Around the Schools

Happy 20th Birthday to St. Raymond School in Dublin! When it opened in August 1986, St. Raymond was the first new parochial school in the Oakland Diocese in 25 years. Initially classes were held in portable classrooms for 111 students in grades kindergarten to four. In 1994 construction was completed on the two-story building in use today for its 314 students. Alumni and their families, former faculty and staff, current students, school families, faculty and staff will celebrate this milestone on Jan. 22 with a noon Mass at the parish church, 115557 Shannon Ave. A reception will follow with a nostalgic slide show, memorabilia and school tours. RSVP requested online at www.st-raymond-dublin.org/school or by calling (925) 365-0021.

Five gold stars go to the students at St. Catherine School in Martinez who accomplished multiple service projects and showed their concern for their community late last year. They raised $1,129 for the UNICEF foundation by asking for spare change while trick-or-treating. They also collected 11 barrels of food during a drive for the Contra Costa Food Bank.

A team of six University of San Francisco architecture students recently built a new colorful, arched entrance to the Adventure Playground at the Berkeley Marina. The new gate features an eight-foot-tall hammer and saw, holding up a large ruler with the words, “Welcome to the Adventure Playground.” The students worked for more than 100 hours on the project as part of a course assignment. The Adventure Park, which opened in 1970, allows children to build and paint their own structures using materials donated by local contractors. It is only one of three such playgrounds in the U.S.

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Among the Religious

What does a Sister do all day? How does she pray? Does she cook and eat dinner with other Sisters? Can she just “hang out?” How is her way of serving God different from mine? Or is it?… The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose invite young women to spend a day with a Sister on either Jan.12, 13 or 14. Then join the Sisters for Mass, brunch and a social on Jan. 15 at their Fremont Motherhouse. To register, contact Sister Beth Quire at (510)449-7554 or SBQuire@hotmail.com.

Ramona Miller, OSF and Bill Short, OFM of the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley will lead a Franciscan pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, May 28-June 7, explaining the meaning of the sites important to St. Francis and St. Clare. There will be time for private prayer and communal worship and enjoyment of Italian culture.
Brochures about the pilgrimage are available at jnielsen@fst.edu, 510-848-5232.

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Names, News, Notes

Michael Radding is the new director of programs at Catholic Charities of the East Bay. Radding, a member at St. Joseph Basilica Parish in Alameda, worked the last four years as director of program development for the Glide Foundation in San Francisco. He has worked in the social services, mostly serving homeless people, for 25 years.

St. Cecilia School in San Francisco is inviting all alumni, friends, faculty and former faculty to return to the campus for the 75th anniversary of the school on Jan. 29. The 11:30 a.m. liturgy will be followed by a reception and open house. For more information contact the school office at (415) 731-8400 or visit the website at www.stceciliaschool.org.

Got Good News? Be a parishioner-journalist and share your news about wedding anniversaries, student achievements; parish outreach projects, successful fundraisers and other happenings with Carrie McClish, c/o The Catholic Voice, 3014 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, CA 94610; phone: (510) 410-1074; fax: (510) 893-4734; e-mail: cmcclish@oakdiocese.org.

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