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 February 20, 2006 • VOL. 44, NO. 4 • Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Delegate to charismatics
Bishop Allen Vigneron hands Father Francisco Figueroa-Esquer a letter designating the priest as his delegate to the Hispanic Charismatic Movement in the Oakland Diocese during a Feb. 8 Mass at St. Elizabeth Church in Oakland where Father Figueroa-Esquer’s brother is pastor. The new delegate is parochial vicar at St. Clement Parish in Hayward.

Celebrating fathers and daughters
Third grader Camille Ayanruoh (left) and fifth grader Trinity Goss prepare flowers at a craft activity table.

Red, pink and white balloons, streamers and banners helped to transform the gymnasium at Oakland’s St. Leo School into a grand ballroom for a festive Father-Daughter Dinner and Dance on Feb. 4. The event drew 101 girls and 84 escorts, including Ken Barker (left) and his daughter, Kristen, an eighth grader.

Bishop and uncle
Joseph and Julia Fajardo, students of Holy Rosary School, Antioch, stand proudly with their uncle, Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez, following his ordination as Bishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, on Jan. 25.


75 years and counting
Happy Birthday wishes to Queen of the Holy Rosary College in Fremont, which is celebrating 75 years of Catholic higher education. The college was established as a four-year liberal arts institution to provide a religious and professional foundation for the Mission San Jose Dominican Sisters. After a long period of affiliation with Catholic University of America, the college was a satellite campus of Holy Names College in Oakland for 10 years. Since 1979 the college has been accredited through the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges as a two-year college of religious studies.

Matthew Kelly mission
Three parishes – St. Isidore in Danville, St. Joan of Arc in San Ramon and St. John Vianney in Walnut Creek – are co-hosting a three-evening mission, Feb. 26-28, featuring spiritual author Matthew Kelly.

The mission is designed to challenge and inspire all participants, from teens to seniors, to live everyday life with passion and purpose. It is held in conjunction with Catholics@Work, a fellowship of individuals who explore how to actively live one’s beliefs in the workplace.

Kelly will talk on “The Seven Levels of Intimacy” on Feb. 26 at St. John Vianney Church, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek; “Becoming the Best Version of Yourself,” Feb. 27 at St. Joan of Arc Church, 2601 San Ramon Valley Road, San Ramon; and “The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality,” on Feb. 28 at St. Isidore Church, 440 La Gonda Way, Danville. Each session begins at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge.
For more information phone: (925) 389-0704 or visit: www.catholicsatwork.org.

Ecumenical icon group
A new ecumenical group that will bring together individuals interested in icons – the religious art of the Orthodox faith – is beginning next month in the Tri-Valley area.

The Icon Fellowship will allow people to learn more about the artistic traditions of the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Catholic churches.

The kick-off meeting will be March 4 from 10 a.m. to noon at St. Innocent of Alaska Orthodox Church, 193 Contractors St. in Livermore. Father Leo Arrowsmith, the rector who is also an iconographer, will introduce participants to and talk about the icons he has written and his plans for additional icons at his church.

The Fellowship plans to meet monthly to learn more about and pray with icons, visit churches with icons, and write their own icons.

The group’s formation follows a slide lecture organized last fall by Father Ray Sacca, pastor at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, and Barbara Mitchell, a parishioner. The lecture was repeated at the Catholic Community of Pleasanton in January.
For more information, contact Barbara Mitchell, (925) 455-0944.

Interfaith dialogue
Local Catholics interested in interfaith dialogue are invited to attend the final session of the six-part series, “Walking God’s Paths: Christians and Jews in Candid Conversation,” Feb. 22 at Temple Israel of Alameda, 3182 Mecartney Road, at 7 p.m.

Each week over 100 people, including Catholics, Jews, non-Catholic Christians and at least one Muslim, have gathered. The topic of the final dialogue is “Mending Relationships, Mending the World.”

The series will conclude with a joint concert, “Celebrating Shalom, Sacred Music,” on March 2 at St. Joseph Basilica, 1109 Chestnut St., at 7 p.m. The concert will feature the combined choirs of Temple Israel and St. Joseph Basilica Parish.

For more information, contact Anne Marie Fourre, (510) 749-7158.


Reality TV at Wood Rose
Why did producers of a Hungarian reality TV show visit Wood Rose Academy, a laity-run school in Concord, earlier this month? To see how the school and its curriculum – with a focus on Catholic values, human virtues, and character development -- works. A camera was rolling as students arrived to begin their school day. Footage was shot of the first and second grade religion class as well as a discussion among seventh and eighth graders on whether God created the world.

Tamas Frei, producer of the Hungarian program Frei Dosszie on TV2 in Budapest, also stopped in several other Catholic cities to determine what small-town America is about and how the values of American suburban life compare to the portrayals of family life on such U.S. television shows as “Desperate Housewives.” His program is similar in format to ABC-TV’s 20/20 and reaches nine northern European countries through the Scandinavian Broadcasting System.

U.S. viewers interested in watching the Frei Dosszie program can view it online on or after April 3 at www.frei.hu/magyar/index.php?winsize=restore.

Honored for service
Bishop Allen Vigneron recently honored long-time employees of Catholic Cemeteries, Catholic Charities of the East Bay, and the Chancery office with appreciation awards. Among the honorees: Dominican Sister Elizabeth Lang, 30 years at CCEB; Joyce Burigsay, 25 years at Catholic Cemeteries; Jackie Compton and Martha Victoria, 25 years at the Chancery; and Loan Tran-Ta, 25 years at CCEB.

Around the Parishes

Plans to build a new church at St. Joseph Parish in Fremont recently moved a step forward after the city’s historical architectural review board voted unanimously to support the project. The parish’s next step is to seek the approval of the city planning commission. The proposed church, estimated to cost between $10 to 15 million, would seat 850. The parish currently gathers for Mass in the 700-seat parish hall.

Oakland’s St. Leo Parish is continuing to toll its bells 30 times each Sunday at 12:15 p.m. for those who have died during the past week in Iraq and Afghanistan. All who hear the bells are invited to pause and pray for peace and for those who perished in the war.

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Around the Schools

Dance fever swept through St. Joachim School in Hayward when Masankho Banda, a storyteller, drummer and dancer from Malawi, visited the campus earlier this month as part of Catholic Schools Week. Students couldn’t resist shaking and waving what God gave them during Banda’s performance.

Congratulations to Frank Allocco, basketball coach at De La Salle High School in Concord, who earlier this month reached a milestone 400th career victory. Allocco is in his ninth year as coach at DLS. He previously spent six seasons at Northgate High.

Five student athletes at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd signed national letters of intent during a Feb. 1 ceremony. Marisa Boge (soccer), a forward, is going to UC Davis; Kaylea Perenon (soccer), a center midfielder, to Boise State University; A.J. Simmons (football), a tight-end/defensive end, to the University of Arizona; Joanna Evans (volleyball) to Stanford; and Jeff Kobernus (baseball) to UC Berkeley.

In academic news from Bishop O’Dowd: Chanel Johnson, a senior, is one of 2,000 nationwide finalists in the 2005-06 Coca-Cola Scholars program; Andrew Prince, a senior, qualified as a finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program’s 42nd annual academic competition for Black American high school students; Robert Bauman (math), Sorren Lindstrom (fine arts), Erica Pang (science), and Emily Rusca (liberal arts) were nominated by BOD faculty to be plaque recipients for the Bank of America Achievement Awards Program.

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Names, News, Notes

Father William Rozario, parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish in San Lorenzo, is taking up a new assignment, March 1, as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Fremont.

Mary’s House, a Catholic residence for single pregnant women in west Contra Costa County, is looking for several volunteers to help with administrative tasks, fundraising, and transportation for residents. They also are seeking new board members. If you are interested, call Analyn Garcia at (510) 236-0383. Mary’s House is an apostolate of the Divine Mercy Center.

An encore presentation of “Portrait of Courage: The Untold Story of Flight 93,” will be broadcast Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. on the iNetwork, formerly PAX-TV. The documentary is based in part on the book “Fighting Back” by Deena Burnett, wife of passenger Tom Burnett. The Burnetts were members at St. Isidore Parish in Danville at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. Reports suggest that Flight 93 was the only one of four hijacked planes that did not reach its intended target because of the actions of Burnett and other passengers and crew.

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