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 September 17, 2007   •   VOL. 45, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

30th annual SPRED retreat

Sixty-three SPRED participants and 36 catechists spent Labor Day Weekend at San Damiano Retreat Center, marking the 30th anniversary of the annual retreat. Two of the original four retreatants, Maggie Orozco of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Union City (far left) and Patricia Ready of St. John the Baptist Parish in El Cerrito (far right) join Franciscan Father Raymond Bucher, director at San Damiano; Holy Family Sister Aurora Perez, SPRED director, and Juanita Vigil, SPRED catechist for 20 years and a member of Queen of All Saints Parish in Concord (center), during the anniversary celebration. Bishop Allen Vigneron celebrated the liturgy. The first retreat for SPRED (Special Religious Education-Diocese of Oakland) was held at the motherhouse of the Holy Family Sisters in Fremont.

Three new novices

Three new novices have begun a year of intense study, work, prayer and discernment at the Christian Brothers notiviate in Napa. They are, from left, Brother John Luczkowski, 26, of Philadelphia, Brother Christopher Patino, 23, of Los Angeles, and Brother Peter Nguyen, 29, of Baltimore. All three men hold college degrees and have worked in secondary education.emont.

The Hail Mary pass

Now that football season has begun, Marianist Brother John Samaha, a retired religious educator in the Oakland Diocese, wants us to know a little of the background to the term “Hail Mary pass” used by sports announcers to describe a desperation throw by a quarterback hoping for a score. From football the term has passed to other sports and areas of life to describe an act that almost required divine intervention to succeed.

Brother Samaha says it was a Catholic football player, Roger Staubach, a Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer, who is believed to have coined the phrase. After his game-winning, last-minute touchdown pass in a December 1975 game, he explained to reporters what had happened — he threw the ball as hard as he could to receiver Drew Pearson downfield, then prayed a “Hail Mary.” Pearson caught the desperate pass and ran into the end zone for a touchdown.

March for solidarity
Religious congregations throughout the East Bay are invited to show their support for their Islamic brothers and sisters by participating in a march on Sept. 23 in Antioch where an arson fire gutted the Islamic Center of the East Bay, Aug. 12. The mosque had previously been targeted by vandals who broke in on three occasions this year. March participants are asked to meet at 1 p.m. outside Antioch City Hall at 3rd and H streets and walk to the burned mosque at 311 W. 18th St.

Pleasanton breaks ground
The Catholic Community of Pleasanton breaks ground for its new Pope John Paul II Activity Center at the facilities of St. Elizabeth Seton Church, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. Bishop Allen Vigneron will preside.

The facility will include a full gymnasium, extensive storage, and shower/bathroom facilities. Eventually there will be a large conference room, a youth room, meeting rooms, a kitchen, and a childcare facility for young children while their parents are attending church functions.

This is the first building of its kind to be constructed according to the sustainable design standards called LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in the city of Pleasanton.

It will be used by over 550 boys and girls in the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) basketball program as well as participants in the high school youth program and other groups. The showers will make the facility able to house people in the event of an emergency in the community.

Remembering a victim
Members of Alameda’s St. Joseph Notre Dame High School community gathered Sept. 12 at St. Joseph Basilica to honor and remember the life of Tomas Melero-Smith, 19, a graduate of SJND in June, who was murdered in Oakland on Sept. 1.

“The entire community of St. Joseph Notre Dame mourns the death of Tomas Melero-Smith. We extend our deepest condolences to his family,” said Principal Simon Chiu.

Melero-Smith played on the SJND basketball teams for three years and was remembered by Coach Don Lippi for his hard work and courageous play. “He was a gutsy kid,” Lippi said. “He was not afraid of anybody.”

Melero-Smith had been working as a youth recreation leader at the Carmen Flores Community Center in Oakland. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, he may have been wrongly identified as a gang member by his attackers.

Around the Parishes

Oakland’s St. Augustine Parish, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding on Sept. 9, received well wishes from local, state and world leaders. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums declared Sept. 9 as “St. Augustine Day” in the city, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger extended his congratulations, and Pope Benedict XVI sent his apostolic blessing to the community.

Father Raymond Sacca, pastor at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, and parishioner Barbara Mitchell, an art historian, will explore the history and artistic treasures of the Monastery of St. Catherine of Sinai, Egypt, in a slide-video presentation Oct. 1 in the parish hall, Third and Maple streets, at 7 p.m. The monastery is located where tradition holds that Moses met God. It houses an extraordinary collection of early icons that depict images of Christ and the saints. The program is open to all without charge.

Catholics from several Alameda County parishes helped fuel the success of the 10th annual Shelter Shuffle, the major fundraiser of FESCO (Family Emergency Shelter Coalition). All Saints Parish in Hayward and St. John Parish in San Lorenzo were among the half dozen churches that had a minimum of 25 “shufflers” who walked or ran in the May 12 event at the San Leandro Marina. Among those awarded trophies following the fundraiser were Olivia Wenzler of All Saints Parish in Hayward (6 and under); Sam Frye, St. John Parish in San Lorenzo (19 – 45 years); and St. John Parish in San Lorenzo for raising the most funds on the day of the Shuffle.

A Rosary Rally will be held at St. Patrick Parish in Rodeo, Oct. 13, the 90th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal. Participants will gather in front of the parish school at 907 Seventh St. at 11:30 a.m. The Rosary will be prayed at noon, followed by Mass at 12:30 p.m. with Father Larry Young, pastor, and Father Cezar De Leon, as co-celebrants. Our Lady of Fatima statues and rosaries will be blessed following the Mass. The day will conclude with a luncheon. For more information, contact Enry Tiangsing, (510) 245-0152 or the parish, (510) 799-4406.

The faith formation program at Assumption Parish in San Leandro will include a new social justice component for every grade level when the program resumes on Oct. 4. Classes will run every Thursday, except holidays, from 4 – 5 p.m. For more information or registration, call (510) 352-1537.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered on Sept. 12 at Christ the King Church in Pleasant Hill for Patrick Daniel Magnani, who died Sept. 3 while serving in the U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan. Magnani’s death near Bagram was the result of a non-combat-related incident and is under investigation, according to the Pentagon and his family. He will receive the Air Force’s Meritorious Service Medal posthumously.

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Around the Schools

Congratulations to Ellie Glenn, a 7th grader at St. Mary School in Walnut Creek, who won third place in the 2007 Bay Area Youth Sailing (BAYS) series, five two-day regattas held between May and September. Glenn has been sailing for the past 18 months.

Students, faculty and staff at De La Salle High School in Concord gathered around a cross on the campus courtyard, Sept. 11, to pray on the sixth anniversary of the terror attacks in the U.S.

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Among the Religious

Dominican Sister Glenn Anne McPhee, chancellor of the Oakland Diocese and a 1965 graduate of Holy Names University (HNU) in Oakland, will be the keynote speaker at the annual HNU Convocation on Sept. 19. Her speech is entitled, “Hope, Faith and Love Make a Difference.” The convocation is part of the ongoing celebration of the university’s 140 years in Oakland.

Two priests have received new pastoral assignments. Father Carl Arcosa, ordained to the priesthood on May 18, will serve as parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish in San Lorenzo, effective Aug. 15; Father Rosendo Delos Reyes Manalo, Jr., left St. John the Baptist Parish in San Lorenzo to become temporary parochial vicar at St. Catherine Parish in Martinez, also effective Aug. 15.

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Names, News, Notes

Best Wishes and Many Blessings to Eleanor and Jack Bollinger, longtime members at St. Felicitas Parish in San Leandro, who are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Married at St. Patrick Church in Oakland on Sept. 21, 1947, the Bollingers have known each other since they were 7th graders at Lafayette Elementary School. They have three children, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson will be the opening speaker at St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County’s fifth Harvest for the Hungry Breakfast, Oct. 3 at the organization’s Free Dining Room, 675-23rd St. in Oakland. The breakfast is held bi-annually to raise funds for the dining room, which serves 1,000 hot meals daily to homeless and low-income men, women and children. The dining room also provides bag lunches to seniors and those with medical referrals, and distributes meals to 17 satellite sites in Alameda County.

Next Voice: Oct. 8. Send submissions, by Sept. 26, 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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