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

Cultural pride
Students from St. Leander School in San Leandro show off the cultural heritage dolls they made to represent their cultures. They used fabric, paper, feathers, metal and straw for the dolls that decorated the booths at the parish’s recent International Festival. Pictured with them are Lynne Mullen, principal, and Father Paul Vassar, pastor.


Honor for St. Mary’s

St. Mary’s College in Moraga was named to the first President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll last month in recognition of its relief efforts to those in the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina last year.

In the aftermath of the devastating storm, 38 students from St. Mary’s traveled to New Orleans and performed an estimated 5,000 hours of hurricane relief that included clearing debris from storm-battered homes, restoring parks and community gardens and helping a pre-school to reopen. Additionally, the college enrolled 10 undergraduate students who had been displaced from area colleges by the hurricane.


Christmas shoppers!

Does the thought of traveling to and from malls and superstores takes some of the joy out of Christmas shopping? The good news is that the folks at Monastery Greetings have once again taken retail sales to a higher ground with their new 2006 Christmas catalog and website at www.MonasteryGreetings.com.

All the products have been made by religious communities, monasteries and hermitages across the U.S. and other countries. Proceeds from each sale help to sustain these communities, especially those that are cloistered or don’t have the time or funds to advertise. Products range from devotional items like rosaries and incense to balms for the spirit – music CDs by John Michael Talbot and the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Choir. There are also balms for the body – lavender milk baths and goat’s milk liquid and bar soap.

Those with a heavenly craving for sweets won’t be disappointed by the wide selection of goodies that include pralines from the nuns at St. Benedict Monastery in Canyon Texas, “monk beans” (espresso beans covered with dark chocolate) by friends of the Trappist Monks at Holy Spirit Monastery, and fruitcakes from various communities including a chocolate-covered fruitcake from Holy Cross Abbey in Virginia.


Around the Parishes

St. Leander Parish in San Leandro celebrated the recent repairs and renovations of their church by donning their garden clothes and planting over 2,500 daffodil bulbs on church property. With the cooperation of the weather, the parish gardeners hope the daffodils will be in full flower on the last weekend of April 2007.

Rawn Harbor, nationally known liturgist, composer, musician and liturgy director at Oakland’s St. Columba Parish, led the Third Annual Catholic Liturgy Music Workshop held at Christ the King Church in San Diego Nov. 9 – 12. The workshop was sponsored as part of November’s Black Catholic History Month celebrations.

The Walnut Creek Action for Beauty Council presented an architectural award to St. John Vianney Parish in Walnut Creek for its recently completed Mullen Commons project. Mullen Commons, named for founding pastor, Msgr. William Mullen, includes a hall and conference and class rooms. It opened this summer.

The Filipino Society at Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont raised $5,000 through its first Shrimp Fest last month and donated $2,500 to the parish school and gave the remaining funds for the Sisters of Our Lady of Missions to build a new chapel in Davao, Philippines.

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Around the Schools

Students at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley went “Passionate for Pink” the week of Oct. 20 as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Students had a theme for each day and raised over $1,600 for breast cancer research.

Biology students at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School traveled to San Francisco on Oct. 28 to take part in a research project focusing on sand crabs at Ocean Beach. O’Dowd is one of 18 schools working with the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association, which is monitoring the numbers of sand crabs along the San Francisco coast.

The start of its community service program last year has had a profound impact at St. John School in San Lorenzo. In a recent school newsletter Liz Guneratne, principal, reported that students in every grade served their local or global community in some way. They completed more than 2,000 community service hours on such projects as serving meals to the homeless, cleaning parks and shorelines and baking cookies for military personnel overseas. “This program was implemented to give our students the opportunity to live the teachings of Christ to serve one another,” Guneratne said. “It’s good to hear those messages in class, but the lesson of service to others is truly learned by doing.”

Jim Otto, a former center for the Oakland Raiders and member of the Football Hall of Fame, paid a special visit to Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward last month and spoke to the Mariners football team.

Students from Carondelet High School and De La Salle High School in Concord participated in the 16th annual session of the Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference on Nov. 2 in San Ramon. Students from over a dozen high schools debated international issues in nine committees, including disarmament, trade and development, environmental concerns, and human rights.

The Knights of Columbus, Concord Council #6038, is sponsoring the annual California student essay contest in three grade groupings: grades 4 – 6, grades 7 – 8, and grades 9 – 12. Winners receive $50 to $100 savings bonds at council and regional levels of competition. State awards will be from $50 to $250. Essay subjects are: grades 4 – 6: “What does being a Catholic mean to me?”; grades 7 – 8: “How can I display charity in my daily life?”; and for high school students: “As a Catholic youth, how can I promote advocacy for the culture of life?” For more information, contact Claire Tryon, (925) 673-8564 or greyeototo@sbcglobal.net.

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Names, News, Notes

Congratulations to Paul Chen, who was ordained a transitional deacon by San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer on Nov. 4. He will be ordained a priest for the Oakland Diocese.

Many blessings and best wishes to Gloria and Mel Calegari, longtime members of Assumption Parish in San Leandro (44 years), who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Nov. 22. They were married on Thanksgiving Day at St. Charles de Borromeo Church in Monterey. Father Vince Scott, Assumption pastor, will preside at the renewal of their marriage vows during the 10 a.m. Mass on Thanksgiving Day.

Congratulations go to Juanita Cox, a member at St. Columba Parish in Oakland, who was given the Woman of the Year Award for the Western States District of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Peter Claver.

Got news? Send your school news, anniversaries, parish activities, individual achievements and other happenings in the Catholic community 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. The deadline for the Dec. 11 issue – the final issue for 2006 – is Nov. 29.

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