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 February 5, 2007VOL. 45, NO. 3Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Earning their religious emblem
Second-grade Cub Scouts at St. Mary Parish in Walnut Creek pose with their parish’s parochial administrator, Father Paulson Mundanmani, after the priest reviewed their work to earn the first of five religious emblems available to Catholic scouts. Thirty-one scouts in the parish’s Scout Pack 529 completed work in the Light of Christ and Parvuli Dei programs. They were honored at Mass on Scout Sunday, Feb. 4. They each received the religious emblem square knot and appropriate emblem pin.

Eighth graders at St. Philip Neri School in Alameda enjoy reading each other’s books, written during their Young Authors project. The books range from children’s picture books, short novels and poetry to non-fiction books. Some will be selected to represent the school at the Oakland Diocese’s Young Authors Faire in May.

Attention boy singers

The Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers is recruiting new members – especially boys ages 10-14 with unchanged voices – for its regular choir school program. No experience is necessary. The choir, which includes boys from several Catholic schools and parishes in the Oakland Diocese, gives concerts locally throughout the year and has performed at the Vatican.

Those interested can call for an audition appointment or attend an open rehearsal on Tuesdays at 4:15 p.m. at St. Philip Neri Church, 3112 Van Buren in Alameda. Auditions are also held in Hayward (All Saints School Auditorium on Thursdays), Oakland (Our Lady of Lourdes Community Center on Wednesdays) and San Francisco (St. Mary’s Cathedral). For more information and an audition packet, call: (510) 887-4311, e-mail: ggbcbr@aol.comor visit: www.ggbc.org.

Icon painting retreat

Dominican Father Brendan McAnerney, who serves the Melkite-Greek Catholic community in Sacramento, is offering a unique Lenten retreat, March 11-17 at St. Albert Priory in Oakland. During the day, retreatants will be guided in the construction of an icon of St. Mary Madgalen and the First Easter Egg. In the evening, there will be slide lectures on the history, theology and tradition of holy icons. Participants will live at the priory, pray and attend Mass with the friars. Father McAnerney manages DominICON, a ministry of the Western Dominican Province, to expand appreciation of icons and traditions of the Eastern Church. Information at (916) 974-1134 or DominICON@aol.com


Around the Parishes

Members at Oakland’s Sacred Heart Parish embraced the family of Demetrio “Jim” Baltazar with prayer, hugs, and words of comfort during the 10 a.m. Mass on Jan. 28, one week after Baltazar, a security guard at the East Bay Municipal Utility District, was shot and fatally injured while on patrol at the West Oakland facility. Baltazar is survived by his wife, Elena, and three sons, ages 7, 9 and 11, who attend St. Martin de Porres School. The funeral Mass was Feb. 2.

Parishioners of the Church of the Assumption in San Leandro gathered Jan. 26 to celebrate the life of Joseph Henry Copeland who died Jan. 20 at the age of 89. Copeland and his wife Josephine were among the founding members of the parish.

A proposed parish center at St. Augustine Church in Pleasanton is one step closer to fruition following a meeting of the Pleasanton City Council last month. The council denied an appeal by neighbors who had argued that the church addition would increase traffic and parking in the area. Several conditions were placed on the expansion project, including the removal of suggested parking from Stoneridge Drive, a reduction in the height of the 34-foot building, and the selection of a liaison to interact with neighborhood homeowners.

The St. Gerard Women’s Club at St. John the Baptist Church in San Lorenzo held their 57th annual installation of officers on Jan. 13. Incoming officers were Cheryl Hoffman, president; Mary Gonzales, vice president; Ernestine Moir, secretary; and Teresa Abate, treasurer. The women’s club organizes activities throughout the year, including a Birthright shower in October, that raise funds for the parish, the school, St. Vincent de Paul and other worthy causes. Meetings, open to all area women, are held the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at St. John’s Community Center, E. 264 Lewelling Blvd., San Lorenzo.

St. Patrick Church in Rodeo recently served as the site of a bone marrow drive in an effort to help find donors for two individuals in need of marrow transplants – Harrison Leonard, 2, and Barry Foon, 46.

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Around the Schools

Catholic actor Martin Sheen, famous for his role as U.S. president on the popular TV show, “West Wing,” received the Tau Award from the Franciscan School of Theology on Feb. 3 during the Berkeley school’s Regents Gala at the Claremont Resort and Spa. The award, named after the T-Cross favored by St. Francis of Assisi, honored Sheen for his work in the peace movement and for his many charitable efforts. FST is one of the nine-member consortium of the Graduate Theological Union .

Congratulations to Taylor Reading and Willie Blades, 8th graders at Our Lady of Grace School in Castro Valley, who both won the Tri-Valley YMCA Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest. They read their winning entries at the 7th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Breakfast in Pleasanton on Jan. 22 where they also were awarded $100 Savings Bonds from Assemblymember Guy Houston. The contest was open to 6th through 12th graders in the Tri-Valley area.

Two thumbs way up for Claudia LaSola, 7, a student at St. Cornelius School in Richmond, whose artwork is featured in the 2007 West County Reads calendar. LaSola is one of eight students at the Richmond Art Center whose work was selected in the non-profit’s fifth annual poster contest.

Applause also goes to Connor Asercion, a 5th grader at St. Jerome School in El Cerrito, who captured an honorable mention in the California Department of Boating and Waterways Poster Contest. Asercion’s poster, which appears in the 2007 Safe and Wise Water Ways calendar, is a collage depicting a chorus of pond frogs who remind their neighbors not to dump toxics – like oil, gas and paint – in the waterways. The winning posters can be viewed at www.BoatSmarter.com.

No hurdle was too high for the Purvis Sisters at Oakland’s St. Elizabeth High School who competed in the Boise State Invitational Indoor Track meet in Idaho. Julian Purvis, a senior, finished second in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.63 – the fourth fastest prep time in the nation this year. Younger sister, Ashton Purvis, a freshman, is presently the defending state champion in the 100 meter hurdles. Ashton placed second in the 60 meter dash (running against older girls), with a time of 23.97, which is a national record for freshmen women.

Best wishes to Charles Guiam, a senior at Salesian High School in Richmond, who has entered the 2007 Quimby Competition for young organists held by the American Guild of Organists.

Speaking of Salesian High, the campus has spoken – the new mascot is Pride. Students, staff and alumni chose the new mascot after retiring the former mascot, the Chieftain, last year following a lengthy process of research and dialog. School administrators decided that the change was needed because the former mascot, while portrayed on campus as a positive symbol, had unintentionally offended people of native cultures.

Another honor for Gene Luen Yang, a faculty member at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School and creator of the acclaimed graphic novel, “American Born Chinese.” The American Library Association awarded the book its Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. Last fall Yang, director of the school’s information systems, was named a finalist for a National Book Award for his graphic novel.

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Among the Religious

Six regional communities of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas from California to Michigan – which numbers over 900 Mercy Sisters – will soon be one. On July 1, 2008, the Sisters of Mercy with administrative centers in Auburn and Burlingame, CA; Cedar Rapids, IA; Chicago; Detroit; and Omaha, NE will form one West Midwest Community. Omaha will be the primary administrative site for the consolidated community.

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Names, News, Notes

Many blessings and best wishes to Melba and Norman Evans, members of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Berkeley, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Feb. 1.

Congratulations also to Josephine and Edward Gregory, members at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary.

VOLUNTEER ALERT #1: Birthright in Concord, a non-profit pregnancy support agency, is planning to expand its office hours, and volunteers are needed to work in the counseling center 3-4 hours per week. Training sessions will be offered Feb. 9, 10, 16, and 17 at the Birthright office, 3043 Clayton Road in Concord from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Follow-up sessions will be provided as needed. For an application or additional information, call (925) 798-7227.

VOLUNTEER ALERT #2: Catholic Charities of the East Bay (CCEB) is seeking volunteers to help assist low-income wage earners through the agency’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Prospective volunteers should have a background in accounting, prior tax experience, or wish to learn tax preparation through a training provided by the IRS. The volunteers will work out of CCEB’s offices in Oakland and Concord. For more information, call (510) 768-3121 or wanica@cceb.org.

WHAT’S ON EWTN? Upcoming special programming on the Eternal Word Television Network includes “A Day with Mother Teresa,” on Feb. 15 at 3:30 p.m. The program features the Calcutta nun, who died in 1997, speaking at a 1981 Chicago conference on religious life. Another special, “Sudan: And You Do Not Cry with Us,” will be broadcast Feb. 17 at 5 and 11 p.m. This program examines the on-and-off relationship between Christianity and Islam in the Sudan. EWTN is carried 24 hours a day on Comcast Digital channel 229; DISH Satellite channel 261; and DirecTV channel 422; in Alameda on Comcast channel 30 and Alameda Power channel 26. For more programming information visit the website: www.ewtn.com.

Next Voice: Feb. 19. Send submissions for Around the Diocese by Feb. 7 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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