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 June 18, 2007 • VOL. 45, NO. 12 • Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Father Bill O’Donnell Award
Rosemary Brennan (right) receives the first annual Father Bill O’Donnell Memorial Award, given by the East Bay Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, for her decades of advocacy for worker and immigrant rights. Handing her the award is Father O’Donnell’s sister, Mary O’Donnell. The priest, who died in 2003, worked tirelessly for peace and justice. Brennan, a member of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Berkeley, has been active in numerous labor struggles, including support for workers at the Claremont Spa, employees at the Woodfin Suites Hotel in Emeryville and Doubletree Hotel in Berkeley, and guards at ABC Security.

Cards for soldiers in Iraq
Stevie Cano, Mary Nguyen, Kyle Lintao and Nancy Lopez, students at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro, hold some of the 325 cards they and their schoolmates made for soldiers in Iraq as part of a national project to collect 3 million cards. With the students is third grade teacher, Ken Kasalis.

Mourning a student

The school community at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda gathered June 11 at St. Joseph Basilica to mourn the sudden death of Ifeanyi Michael Ezeh, 16, who collapsed June 9 while playing soccer at the Bladium Sports and Fitness Club in Alameda. The exact cause of death was being investigated at press time.

Ezeh had just completed his junior year and was described as outgoing and personable. “He touched many lives here,” said Anthony Aiello, SJND principal. “His memory will live on as a wonderful student and friend to many here on campus.”

Father Jayson Landeza, pastor at Oakland’s St. Columba Parish, noted that Ezeh was a loyal and committed altar server who was “always more than willing to step up to the plate for all of our major holiday liturgies, as well as regular Sunday Masses.” The young man had received the Sacrament of Confirmation just a couple of weeks earlier, the priest added. “We’ve been quite proud and grateful of his many accomplishments over the years.”

Look who’s on MySpace

According to his MySpace profile, he is Catholic, single, and a native of north Africa, who describes himself as a “restless soul since birth.” He lists as his heroes Jesus Christ, St. Paul, and, of course, Saint Monica. That’s right, St. Augustine of Hippo, can now be found on the popular social networking website.

The Augustinians of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, who created the profile, hope to make contact with people interested in learning about the Augustinian tradition. Beginning on Aug. 28, the feast of St. Augustine, visitors to the site can read a blog containing a translation of Augustine’s “The Confessions,” published by New City Press in association with the Augustinian Heritage Institute.

“Augustine’s writings are as relevant today as they were in the 5th century,” said Michael Dolan, the Augustinians director of communications. “We hope his presence on MySpace will open up Augustine to a new audience … and new friends.”

To learn more, check out Saint Augustine’s profile at www.myspace.com/saintaugustineofhippo.

Seventy years of marriage

Imogene Martin can still remember exactly how she met her husband, Frank. Both were in high school in their native Tennessee. She was with a group of girls and as Frank walked by he uttered a word she objected to. She scowled and he immediately came over to apologize. She accepted his apology and their chance encounter turned into something special -- and lasting.

Imogene and Frank married in 1937, when they were both 19 and just out of high school. On June 23 they will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Catholic Parish of Christ the Light in Oakland with family and friends.

During World War II Frank enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in California. Imogene left Tennessee to join him in 1944. They later settled in Oakland and raised a daughter, Marilyn, now deceased. He retired from the Navy after 21 years and subsequently joined the U.S. Post Office, from which he is also now retired. Imogene became a realtor in 1957 and is still actively involved in real estate.

Their family now includes one grandson, one granddaughter, and one great-grandson.

The Martins, who attend Mass at St. Paschal Parish in Oakland, have been actively involved in church organizations. Imogene has belonged to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas since 1968 and has served as regent, vice-regent and district deputy. She is currently serving CDA, Court Our Lady of Good Counsel #1319 as vice-regent. Frank maintains his membership in the Knights of Columbus, Council #2730 Magella, which meets at St. Jarlath Parish in Oakland. He has been a Knight for 51 years.

Asked for the secret for their long union, the Martins say they just enjoy each other’s company, they seldom quarrel and work well together. It also helps that Imogene is a good cook, Frank said.

Around the Parishes

St. Clement Parish in Hayward, one of the founding members of the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition (FESCO), is sponsoring rides on a Niles Canyon Railway train to benefit the family shelter. On Sunday, June 24, the train will leave the historic Niles Canyon at 3 p.m. and return to the circa 1880s Sunol depot later in the afternoon. Ticket prices: adults (13-64 years) $25; children (4-12) $10; seniors (65+) $22; free for children three and under. Proceeds of each adult ticket will subsidize four days of nutritious meals for a parent or child at the family shelter. For tickets or for more information, contact FESCO’s main office at (510) 886-5473.

Participants at the Holy Ghost Festa and Parade, a traditional Portuguese celebration, gathered at St. Paul Church in San Pablo for Mass on June 10. The festivities also included a parade, folk dancing and traditional foods at sites around the city.

Noting the effectiveness of the power of prayer, St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek has added a prayer group to its parish outreach program. The group’s main purpose is to pray for anyone who asks to be remembered.
On June 16, St. Leander Parish in San Leandro honored and blessed members of the community who were celebrating wedding and ordination anniversaries.

Concord’s St. Bonaventure Parish recently sent a donation of $6,065 to the Parish of Santa Maria de America of Prados de Venecia, Soyapango in San Salvador. The Central American parish will use the funds to buy 15 computers, assist with teachers’ salaries, and help build a water tower for the high school.

Members of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton will join the fight against cancer one foot at a time by taking part in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, July 28-29, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Teams camp out at the site and arrange to have at least one member walking the track at all times, symbolizing how cancer never sleeps. The event raises both awareness of cancer in the community and funds for the fight against the disease.

Members of the Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) along with PICO National gathered June 8 at St. Anthony Church in Oakland to urge local, state, and federal officials to provide health insurance to all children in California. The event was part of an ongoing campaign to strengthen the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover millions of uninsured children.

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Around the Schools

Three cheers for three June graduates of St. John School in San Lorenzo who have earned special recognition: Kathreece Farrales, a recipient of the Moreau Catholic High School Mariner Leadership Award, given to two incoming freshmen for academic excellence and leadership skills; Kristopher Okialda, one of 10 recipients in the nation to receive the Catholic Digest Leadership Award for Christian leadership, service and academic excellence; and Terrence King, awarded the Bishop O’Dowd President’s Scholarship for academic achievement and excellence on the high school placement exam.

Philip Harris, a recent graduate at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley, was named a finalist at the Pacific Musical Society competition last month. He performed and received his award immediately following graduation. Harris also performed as a semi-finalist in the Classical Singers High School Competition May 24-26 in San Francisco with 200 other students from around the country.

Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School is now accepting nominations for inductees to the 2008 Hall of Fame. Every four years the hall of fame recognizes and honors former students, coaches, teachers, and community leaders for their contributions to athletics, performing arts, outstanding community service to the school and/or the community at large. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 1. For more information and for nomination forms, visit the website: http://www.bishopodowd.org/hall_of_fame.html.

Alumnae of St. Mary’s College are invited to “come back home” and relive their wonder years at the Moraga campus during Reunion Weekend July 20-22. Alums can attend one or all scheduled events or even elect to stay in the dorms. Dress is casual. For more information, visit the website: www.stmarys-ca.edu/reunion07.

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Among the Religious

Bishop Allen Vigneron recently appointed Dominican Father David Farrugia, pastor at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Berkeley, as Dean of Deanery 20; and Father Jay Matthews, pastor at St. Benedict Parish in Oakland, as Dean of Deanery 12.

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Names, News, Notes

Hazel and Tom Lynch, members at St. Raymond Parish in Dublin, celebrated the 63rd anniversary of their wedding this month. Maggir and Agripino Magurli recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows at Our Lady Queen of the World Parish in Bay Point.

Covenant House California, the Oakland-based program that serves homeless and at-risk youth, honored East Bay Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Michael Ghielmetti, local philanthropist and president of Signature Properties, with community hero awards.

Next Voice: July 2. Send submissions, by June 20, 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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