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 April 3, 2006VOL. 44, NO. 7Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

A gift of warmth
Fifth and sixth grade students at Wood Rose Academy in Concord display one of the 25 blankets they decorated for a Lenten service project and delivered to St. Bonaventure Parish for homeless families staying at the church as part of the ecumenical Winter Shelter program. Wood Rose is an independent Catholic school.

Essay winner
The diocesan Respect Life ministry will sponsor its second annual student essay contest in October. Grand prize winner of the 2005 contest was Rosemary Cook, seen here with the certificate of honor she received along with a cash award. Cook is a fifth grader at St. Catherine of Siena School in Martinez.

Solidarity and prayer
Students of St. Elizabeth High School raise their arms in a gesture of acclamation, blessing the Latino veterans, military families and war resisters who stopped at the Oakland school on the final day of their 241-mile March for Peace from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Francisco. The marchers told the students that education was the first priority needed to address issues of justice and peace. Fernando Suarez de Solar, whose son Jesus was killed in Iraq, led the march to show Latino opposition to the war.

A Lenten conversation

On the Friday nights of Lent, members of Corpus Christi Parish in Piedmont and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Oakland have been sharing dinner and conversation about their respective traditions, including similarities and differences in worship, history, and organization. During the March 24 session they explored their views on gender and sexuality. “This is the area where we diverge the most,” said Father Leo Edgerly, Corpus Christi pastor.

Father Edgerly and the Rev. Scott Denman, pastor at St. John’s, hope the ecumenical gatherings will help to clear up misunderstandings between the two traditions and emphasize what is shared in common. “The payoff is being able to work better together,” Rev. Denman said.

In a few weeks the churches will have teams in New Orleans working on post-Katrina recovery.

The Friday night meetings will conclude with a joint Good Friday service at Corpus Christi on April 14.

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Free cards for pope

William H. Sadlier Inc., a New York-based publisher of educational and catechetical materials, is offering free electronic birthday cards to celebrate Pope Benedict XVI’s 79th birthday on April 16.

Through its Web site at www.webelieveweb.com, you can choose from four electronic cards with slogans such as “All God’s children love you, Holy Father” and “The whole world is happy on the birthday of our pope.” Each card may be personalized and sent in English or Spanish.

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Charity blooms

Much applause goes to Jennifer Bloom, a seventh grader at St. Francis School in Concord and a member of the school’s CYO basketball squad, who made a powerful statement off the court during the CYO playoffs in her school’s gym.

Bloom, whose team didn’t qualify for the playoffs volunteered to run the snack bar and donate the proceeds to Locks of Love, an organization that provides donated hair to young cancer victims. She planned the menu, purchased the food, made up signs, enlisted her classmates to help, and worked and supervised the snack bar during all the playoff games.

The effort even caught the notice of Bill Ford, diocesan CYO director, “This was one touching example of the many acts of service by many young people,” he said. A devoted supporter of Locks of Love, Bloom recently donated her own hair to the organization.

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Around the Parishes

Local Catholics interested in incorporating justice into their daily purchases are invited to hear about Fair Trade products tomorrow (April 4) at 7:30 p.m. at Corpus Christi Parish, 322 St. James Dr. in Piedmont.

Representatives of TransFair USA and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) will discuss Fair Trade products like coffee, tea and chocolates, where to buy them and how to help your parish become a fair trade parish.

Father Richard Mangini, pastor at St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord, traveled to Rome last month along with 30 relatives to watch his cousin, Archbishop William Levada, be formally elevated to the rank of cardinal on March 24.

The former archbishop of San Francisco, who succeeded the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was one of two Americans to be elevated to the College of Cardinals.

St. Mary Magdalen Parish and the School of the Madeleine hosted a first-class pasta dinner and raffle that raised more than $4,000 for FACE, the diocesan tuition-assistance program for low-income families sending their children to Catholic schools.

Deacon Antonio Baptista, who was ordained to the diaconate on Sept. 26, 1987, and his wife, Ina, have retired from ministry at St. Leander Parish in San Leandro.

The parish honored the couple on April 2 at the 11 a.m. Mass followed by a reception.

The Ministry of Mothers at St. Mary Parish in Walnut Creek provided free childcare during the Communal Penance Service on April 3.

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Around the Schools

Local CYO supporters enjoyed their share of March Madness on a local level with the recent boys basketball playoffs. The diocesan champs are: 4th grade- Immaculate Heart of Mary, Brentwood (Game 5A) and St. Leander, San Leandro (Game 5AA); 5th grade-St. Anne, Union City (5A) and St. Monica, Moraga (5AA); 6th grade-St. John, El Cerrito (5A) and St. Leander, San Leandro (5AA); 7th grade- St. Jarlath, Oakland (5A) and St. John, San Lorenzo (5AA); 8th grade-St. Leo, Oakland (5A) and All Saints, Hayward (5AA)

Rather than reporting on the news, The Spartan, the student newspaper at St. Philip Neri School in Alameda, recently made the news when the publication moved online. The newspaper is now located at http://www.my.schooljournalism.org/ca/alameda/spn/. Rising costs of printing the paper and the difficulty in securing funds for publication prompted Joe Leo, journalism teacher and newspaper advisor, and his staff to find new ways to keep The Spartan alive. After much research they discovered a website/organization that hosts school newspapers online. After four weeks of preparation, the newspaper officially made the leap from paper to web on March 17.

Congratulations to 10 students from Catholic schools in Contra Costa County who earned places at the 30th Annual Spelling Bee competition sponsored by the Contra Costa Times, the Scripps National Spelling Bee and Merriam Webster. The top Catholic spellers are: William Thombury, sixth grade, Christ the King School, Pleasant Hill; Evan Thomas Martin, eighth grade, Holy Rosary School, Antioch; Maria Nicholette C. Galsim, eighth grade, Queen of All Saints School, Concord; Joseph Warner, eighth grade, St. Catherine School, Martinez; Abene Breanna Clayton, sixth grade, St. Cornelius School, Richmond; Rachel Takata, eighth grade, St. Francis School, Concord; Negine Malboubi, eighth grade, St. Jerome School. El Cerrito; Geraldine Jorge, seventh grade, St. Mary School, Walnut Creek; Ashley See, sixth grade, St. Perpetua School, Lafayette; and Zachary Santos, eighth grade, St. Peter Martyr School, Pittsburg.

Let’s raise a cheer for Salesian High School’s cheerleading team who took the third-place trophy in the novice division of the show/cheer division at the JAMZ National Championships in Las Vegas. The Richmond cheer squad dedicated their appearance at the meet to Jenny Selitham, a member of the team who died in a car crash in February.

Congratulations also go to the basketball squad at De La Salle High School in Concord for their narrow victory at the California Interscholastic Federation Division I state championship, with a score of 43-40, over the Clovis West-Fresno on March 18 at the Arco Arena in Sacramento.

Got news? Share your school news, anniversaries, parish activities, individual achievements and other happenings in the Catholic community with Around the Diocese. Send your news to Carrie McClish at The Catholic Voice, c/o Around The Diocese, 3014 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, Ca 94610; phone: (510) 419-1074; fax (510) 893-4734; e-mail: cmcclish@oakdiocese.org.

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Among the Religious

Condolences and prayers to Deacon Mariano Preza and his wife, Corina, whose son Guillermo died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 27 last month. The funeral Mass was held at St. Bonaventure Parish on March 14.
Father Tom Burns, a retired priest of the San Francisco Archdiocese who serves as a weekend associate at Christ the King Parish in Pleasant Hill, has agreed to be the new spiritual advisor to the Catholic Divorced, Widowed and Separated of Contra Costa, a support-group based in Concord.

A new housing development in San Francisco has been named in honor of the late Mercy Sister Patrick Curran, a former vice president and chief operating officer at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland who had also served as executive director of the St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco. The Curran House, built with $25 million in private and government funds, offers low-rent apartments for low-income families with children. Sister Curran died in 2002 after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

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Names, News, Notes

The Oakland Diocese recently lost a hardworking and faithful member when Inetta Carty Calori passed away at the age of 96. A longtime member and past president of Gleeson YLI (Young Ladies Institute), Calori organized Masses, breakfasts, picnics and dances for the military during World War II. She helped raise funds for renovations at Vallambrosa Retreat House in Menlo Park while on its board of directors, and served as spirituality chairperson of the Oakland Council of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW). When the Theresians were formed in the diocese to foster religious vocations, she served as its first president. Later she was the first president of the Serrans of St. Therese. Calori received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award in 1973 and the Diocesan Medal of Merit in 1993.

Thanks to the generosity of the Oakland Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and the Contra Costa Deanery of Catholic Women, more students who receive tuition assistance from FACE (Family Aid-Catholic Education) can continue to study in local Catholic schools. Members of these groups recently donated $1156 to the non-profit organization.

Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), a 28-year-old federation of 40 congregations (including several Catholic parishes), schools and community joined the College of Alameda, the Port of Oakland and Western Aerospace Museum in celebrating approval of Oakland Aviation High School, which will open in August to 100 ninth graders. The school, long advocated by OCO, will offer a full college preparatory curriculum for students who will also receive college-level flight and aircraft maintenance instruction, and learn about airport and hospitality businesses.

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