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January 8, 2007 VOL. 45, NO. 1Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

One hundred years of faith
Our Lady of the Rosary parishioners, from left, Gloria Pacheco, Pat Folger, Lila Verzola, Teresa Cummings and Judy Preciado, wearing authentic clothes from the 1907 era, stand in front of a covered wagon, marking the start of the parish’s year-long commemoration of the first Mass celebrated in the Decoto area in April 1907. The kick-off event is a Centennial Dinner Dance, Jan. 13. Information: Laura Manasala at (510) 471-1991.

Guardian Angels in Livermore
During their annual Guardian Angel Project, students at St. Michael School in Livermore donated, wrapped and distributed holiday gifts for 38 needy families in the Livermore area.

Choir seeks singers

When adults from throughout the diocese are confirmed on Jan. 28 at St. Augustine Church in Oakland, a diocesan-wide choir will provide the music for the 3 p.m. liturgy. Jim Gilman, director of music ministries at St. Augustine’s, is looking for singers to be part of that choir. There will be three rehearsals: Jan. 17 and 24 from 7:30 – 9 p.m. and a dress rehearsal on Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m. While sight-reading skills are helpful, they are not required. Instrumentalists are also welcome. For more information, call the parish at (510) 653-8631.

Celebrating MLK’s legacy

Divine Word Father Ken Hamilton, who resides at St. Lawrence O’Toole Parish in Oakland, will be the guest speaker at an interfaith celebration at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, commemorating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Jan. 12 service begins at 7:30 p.m. Three youth choirs including the Lighthouse Singers of Marin will provide the music.

Social Service Sister Eva Marie Lumas, assistant professor at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, will be the guest speaker at the 22nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Solidarity Mass at St. Paul of the Shipwreck Church, 1122 Jamestown Ave., San Francisco on Jan. 14 at 10:30 a.m. Music will be provided by The Inspirational Voices of Shipwreck Gospel Choir.

Food drive for Center

Eight 5th graders from Chabot Elementary School in north Oakland delivered 3,120 cans of groceries – and a spirit of giving – to the new home of St. Mary’s Center last month.
The student council organized a drive to help feed homeless seniors, children and families who visit the center, now located at 925 Brockhurst St., site of the former St. Andrew-St. Joseph Church.
Keenan Brekke, student council vice president, said student leaders made signs, announcements, and pulled a little red wagon through the halls each day for two weeks to keep everyone aware of their effort. “We’d give pep talks to help kids realize that every time they would put a can in the bag they are making someone else feel happy,” Brekke said.
No one was happier than the folks at St. Mary’s Center, which had given away all of their food prior to their recent move to their new home.


Around the Parishes

Members of St. Peter Martyr Parish in Pittsburg honored Our Lady of Guadalupe Dec. 10 with a procession that included some 500 people, four floats, low-rider cars, horses, music, and various parish groups with banners who walked through downtown Pittsburg. The celebration also featured five dance groups, a drama about the apparitions and an all-day festival.

St. Mary Parish in Walnut Creek will begin offering a monthly charismatic Mass starting Jan. 23. The liturgy will be held on the fourth Tuesday of the month with praise and worship beginning at 7 p.m. and Mass at 7:30 p.m. Father Paulson Mundanmani, parochial administrator, will preside.

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Around the Schools

Two thumbs raised way up for the students of St. John School in San Lorenzo who last month collected over 3,000 canned goods and non-perishable items to provide holiday baskets for distribution by the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The students continued their outreach efforts by collecting over 180 gifts for individuals who have no family or are elderly or disabled.

Salesian High School in Richmond became one of the first high schools in the country to stage a production of “High School Musical,” based on a hit movie that first aired on the Disney Channel. Fifty students made up the cast and crew of last month’s production. The musical tells the story of a male student, who is athletically inclined, and a female student, who is an academic whiz. Both try out for the high school play and discover some common ground.

Speaking of drama news … standing room only audiences enjoyed the gleefully gruesome musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” last month at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland. Hannah Schwadron, the school’s drama coach, directed, choreographed, and designed the costumes for this interdepartmental production. Art teacher David Burke and his students took charge of the set design, while Peter Menez, technology director, provided sound engineering and technical support.
Concord’s De La Salle High School football team fell short in its bid to become state champions last month with a 27-13 loss to the Canyon-Canyon Country Cowboys in the California Interscholastic Federation Division I state championship bowl game. The loss at the Home Depot Center in Carson ended the Spartans 41-game post-season winning streak.

A dozen faculty and staff at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland were recognized Dec. 16 for their contributions at the campus. Honorees included Tony Green (history teacher) and Debra Kolsrud (English teacher) on their 20-year service anniversaries; Genevieve Arechiga (library assistant), Trina Oliver (drama teacher), Tim Newman (science department chair), and Gerald Shovlin (foreign language teacher) for 15 years of service; and Rachel Pinette (foreign language teacher) who marked 10 years of service.

Robert Gardner, a veteran teacher at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, was recently named an “affiliated member” of The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the highest and rarest honor the Institute bestows. The affiliation ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 24 at the Moraga campus.

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Among the Religious

Though retired from active ministry, Father Matthias Lu , a priest for 64 years, is still making news as an author. Fujen University Press recently announced the publication of his latest work: “The Apostolic Fathers and The Apology to Rome in Chinese Translation.”

The Sisters of Mercy in Burlingame celebrated the founding of the Sisters of Mercy 175 years ago with a Nov. 12 celebration that included Mass, lunch, and a slide presentation by Mercy Sister Genemarie Beegan on the life of Catherine McAuley, who established the religious community in Dublin, Ireland to care for, shelter, and educate poor women and children. The Mercy Sisters founded seven hospitals in California and Arizona, including St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco. They now co-sponsor Catholic Healthcare West, Mercy Housing California and Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland.

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Names, News, Notes

Best Wishes go to Loretta and Malcolm Wimpress, members at St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek, who recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

The Oakland/Alameda County Chapter of the Family and Friends of Murder Victims held a memorial service to remember homicide victims in Oakland and other East Bay cities on Dec. 5 at St. Columba Church in Oakland. The group was founded by JoAnn Benford and Helene Davis, whose sons were murdered. Chapter meetings take place the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. on the 12th floor of Kaiser Hospital in Oakland.

Volunteer Alert #1: St. Vincent de Paul Society of Alameda County is looking for a few social butterflies to help plan the organization’s Spring 2007 Friends of the Society Breakfast. Volunteers are needed to obtain sponsors, publicize the event and welcome guests. No experience needed. For more information, contact Christine Comella at (510) 636-4255 or ccomella@svdp-alameda.org.

Volunteer Alert #2: Volunteers interested in helping older adults who have special needs are invited to attend a training Jan. 19 from 8:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek campus. Volunteers provide transportation to and from medical appointments, do some errands and grocery shopping, and offer companionship. An interview and pre-registration by Jan. 10 are required. For more information, contact Caring Hands Volunteer Caregivers Program at (925) 952-2999 or visit www.johnmuirhealth.com/caring_hands.


Next Voice: Jan. 22. Send submissions, by Jan. 11 to Carrie McClish, 3014 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, 94610; phone: (510) 419-1074; fax: (510) 893-4734; e-mail: cmcclish@oakdiocese.org.

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