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November 5, 2007   •   VOL. 45, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

A Living Rosary
Using balloons to represent each bead, students at Assumption School in San Leandro create a Living Rosary while the entire student body prayed the Luminous Mysteries. At the end of the rosary, the balloons were released into the sky.

Crew rows back at SJND
The newly revived rowing team at St. Joseph Notre Dame High in Alameda practices three times a week on the Oakland Estuary. The school’s athletic department brought crew back to campus this fall after a 26-year hiatus. The first team began in 1963 when a small group of students found a coach, a boat and fellow rowers. Crews continued to flourish until 1981 when the team merged with several other Bay Area high school crews to form the Oakland Strokes. This year’s rowing team plans to participate in at least two regattas.

Dia de los Muertos
Leticia Palazzo, a kindergarten student at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro, and Karina Myers, a seventh grader, work on altars honoring those who have died. The students worked together in their “faith families” for the project in preparation for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Around the Parishes

The social justice committee at St. Jerome Parish in El Cerrito is collecting new socks and underwear for the men, women and children staying at a shelter sponsored by GRIP (Greater Richmond Interfaith Program).
     They are also collecting new or slightly used jackets and coats for shelter residents and those who eat daily at GRIP’s Souper Center.
    GRIP is an interfaith coalition of 39 Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim congregations that work together to address justice issues in West Contra Costa County.

Members of St. Leo Parish in Oakland
are remembering founding pastor, Father Owen Lacey, through photos now on display in the church vestibule. The photos, provided by parishioner Ken Decrosta, depict Father Lacey as a young man, in his later years and at the opening of the parish school in 1948. The priest served as pastor from 1911 to 1951. Another display will soon be hung in the aptly named Lacey Room in the parish hall.

Christ the King Parish in Pleasant Hill launched a new program last month called H.E.L.P. (Hope, Encouragement, Love and Prayer) to provide emotional and compassionate support to individuals and families who have family members who are struggling with serious mental illness.

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Around the Schools

Students in the drama department at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School are staging a play based on the book, “Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust” by Immaculee Ilibagiza. A survivor of the 1994 genocide, she recalled her story of faith and forgiveness during a visit to the campus in September. The play, written and directed by 17-year-old senior Kyle Jackson in collaboration with eight female students in the cast, will be performed Dec. 7 – 8 at 8 p.m. and on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit the school website at www.bishopodowd.org.

Oakland’s St. Elizabeth Elementary School celebrated 114 years of ministry to the children of the Fruitvale area on Oct. 24. On that day the school community gathered for the opening of its new preschool, Mother Pia’s Children Center, which welcomed 15 children.

Speaking of celebrations, Alameda’s St. Joseph Notre Dame High School marked the opening of its new science center and gymnasium with a champagne toast and tour of the new facilities on Oct. 28.

Two SJND students were recently recog-nized by the National Achievement Scholarship program as semifinalists in the 44th Annual Achievement Scholarship competition. They are Martin Layton-Santos ’08 and Ifeanyi Ezeh ’08, who tragically collapsed and died following a soccer game in June. Both men were among 1,600 black high school seniors to receive the honor. Melinda McWilliams ’08 and Rocio Molina’08 have been honored as “scholars” by the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program.

Congratulations go to the staff of Clatter, the student literary magazine at Oakland’s St. Elizabeth High School, who received the second place award from the American Scholastic Press Association. The high school is also the grateful recipient of a $600,000 grant over a period of three years from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation; the funds will provide tuition assistance for students in need.

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Among the Religious

Mercy Sister Suzanne Toolan, teacher, composer, and founder of the Mercy Center in Burlingame, will appear at a special book signing for her new book, “I Am the Bread of Life,” on Nov. 11 at 12:15 p.m. at the Sisters Motherhouse, 2300 Adeline Dr. in Burlingame. For more information: edossa@mercyburl.org or (650) 340-7480.

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Names, News, Notes

Many Blessings and Best Wishes go to Agnes and John Mullarkey, who recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The Mullarkeys were married in the original St. Ambrose Church in Berkeley on Nov. 2nd, 1947. They are the proud parents of nine children, 19 grandchildren and three (soon to be five) great-grandchildren.

Congratulations to Ana Maria and Jorge Melendez, members at St. Joseph Parish in Pinole, who are celebrating 25 years of marriage.

The website, “All Roads Lead to Roma,” established by Stuardt-Mikhail Clarke, a member at St. Paul Parish in San Pablo, hit the eight million mark in August, boosted by a million visitors in less than three months. Clarke’s site, at www.stuardtclarkesrome.com, is both a resource for travelers to Rome and a tribute to the Eternal City.

The Hearst Art Gallery at St. Mary’s College in Moraga has partnered with the City of Piedmont to present a new exhibition of the city’s early artists and writers, including the Rev. Joseph Worchester, a Swedenborgian minister, who envisioned living in a structure that was harmonious with nature. Worchester influenced architects Bernard Maybeck and Willis Polk. Acclaimed writer Jack London moved into Worchester’s former cottage in 1902 and wrote “The Sea Wolf” and “The Call of the Wild.” The exhibit is open through Dec. 16 at St. Mary’s College. For more information: (925) 631-4379 or http://gallery.stmarys-ca.edu.

VOLUNTEER ALERT! With the income tax season rapidly approaching, Catholic Charities of the East Bay is seeking volunteers to assist low-income wage earners in claiming full tax benefits through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Services. Volunteers will be trained in tax law and the TaxWise program and will be certified prior to working with clients. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will provide the training free of charge, including materials, in a classroom setting or online. Most classes are on Saturdays and require approximately 24 hours of training. For more information, contact Chi Pham, (510) 768-3161 or cpham@cceb.org.

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