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 January 7, 2008   •   VOL. 46, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Outreach to South Africa
Dominican Sister Sheila Flynn, who works with families affected by AIDS in Kopanang, South Africa, receives a donation from second and third grade students at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro during her December visit to the school.

Fusion music
n Moraga
Saint Mary’s College in Moraga hosts Fireworks, an eight-member band that fuses classical, rock, jazz and world music traditions, on Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. in the college’s Soda Activity Center. For ticket reservations call (925) 631-4381.

Celebrating the dream

A Bay-Area-wide celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held, Jan. 11, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough Street in San Francisco, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The spirit-filled evening will include youth choirs and dance ensembles and the newly formed Combined Adult Gospel Choir of the Bay Area under the direction of Rawn Harbor, liturgy director and pastoral associate at Oakland’s St. Columba Parish.

Harbor will receive the MLK Spirit Award for his contributions to the field of gospel music and the development of youth and adult choirs throughout the U.S. A “love offering” will be taken in support of local youth choirs.

Christmas blessings

Through three special holiday programs run by Catholic Charities of the East Bay local volunteers and donors helped to brighten the lives of numerous families during the Christmas season. Joybells gave toys to 550 children. Through the Christmas Turkey Giveaway, 1571 turkeys were given to East Bay families and 45 families enjoyed a special Christmas celebration because of the Adopt-A-Family program.

Around the Parishes

Over 250 members at St. John Vianney Parish in Walnut Creek welcomed 38 homeless guests in the Winter Nights Shelter Program at the parish, Dec. 10 – 17. Parishioners helped their guests in a variety of ways including cooking and serving three meals a day, tutoring the children as they did their homework, washing clothes, and assisting with job searches. A project of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County the rotating shelter program is supported by congregations around the county, providing a safe and warm place for homeless families during the cold winter season.

Members from St. Ignatius Parish in Antioch showed their support for the hungry in their community by donning their walking shoes or pledging their financial support for participants in the 2007 Hunger Walk. They pledged more than $1,400 in support of two high-profile participants – Father Robert Rien, parochial administrator, and Passionist Father Thomas Bonacci, who lives at the parish. The parish raised a total of $3,200 for the walk.

Members of the Filipino communities of Antioch, Pittsburg, Clayton and Concord gathered at St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord last month to hang colorful Philippine Christmas lanterns in the church. This marked the first time that these delicate and handcrafted Christmas lanterns, known as “San Fernando, Pampanga lanterns” were exhibited in the church. They are often displayed in Filipino homes.

The Newman Nonviolent Peacemaking Group at Holy Spirit Parish/Newman Hall in Berkeley will present the film, “The Narrow Path,” at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28 as part of its commemoration of the birthday of the late civil rights leader, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The film, featuring Jesuit Father John Dear, celebrates the lives of Rev. King and other seekers of nonviolence including Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero, and Thomas Merton.

Oakland’s St. Margaret Mary Church, at 1219 Excelsior Ave., offers a Blessing of Expectant Mothers every first weekend of the month – at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

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Around the Schools

The 18-member squad of cheerleaders from Salesian High in Richmond were part of the half-time entertainment during the Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The cheerleaders earned their spot at the bowl game by winning three first-place awards during a national competition in Las Vegas. The Salesian boys basketball team was also in Orlando and won the KSA Holiday Tournament there.

Students at St. Joseph Elementary School in Alameda raised $1,088.80 in a coin drive for those who suffered losses in the recent southern California fires. The funds were sent to the Diocese of San Bernardino to be used by any Catholic elementary schools that may have been damaged in the fires.

At St. Patrick School in Rodeo students collect non-perishable food items for Share-Manna Basket in Pinole each week. This year they held a contest to see who could bring in the most canned food in one week. The kindergarten class won with the eighth grade class close behind. In all a total of 2,045 cans were brought in during the five-day contest.

Students at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro have also been making a difference by helping others in need. The third grade class recently went on a field trip to the Jones Convalescent Home in San Leandro and sang Christmas carols to the residents; the seventh grade boys basketball team prepared food and served clients at St. Mary’s Center in Oakland; the student council participated in the “adopt a family outreach” involving the school’s families; and the second and third grade classes donated their own money to a program in South Africa that helps children who have been orphaned by AIDS.

Students at St. Joseph School in Pinole commemorated Pearl Harbor Day last month by raising a U.S. flag that had flown over the U.S.S. Arizona, one of the ships sunk in the attack. The flag, which belonged to parishioner Jack Meehan, was unfurled after a brief lesson on the significance of the day and how the attack brought the U.S. into World War II.

Calling all Queen of All Saints Grammar School alumni!!! If you attended QAS at any time over the past 59 years, you are invited to join a group of alumni for pizza and beer on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. in the school hall. Come and visit with old friends, reminisce and help other alums begin planning for the 60th anniversary of the school’s opening. Bring your old pictures, newspaper clippings or anything associated with QAS to share. The Alumni Association would like to develop some ongoing alumni activities. RSVP by Jan. 12 to msw4@sbcglobal.net or call (925) 685-8700. Be sure to leave your name, a contact telephone and/or e-mail address and the year(s) you attended QAS.

Forty-two families affiliated with St. Vincent’s Day Home in Oakland enjoyed a special Christmas, thanks to the generosity of students at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School who collected hundreds of food and toy items during the annual food and toy drive, Dec. 3 – 11, sponsored by the school’s campus ministry program.

Congratulations to the powerhouse football team at Concord’s De La Salle High School which picked up its first state championship Dec. 17 at the Home Depot Center in Carson. The Spartans capped their undefeated season (13-0) by defeating the Centennial-Corona team 37-31 in the California Interscholastic Federation Division I state bowl game.

World AIDS Day Update from Oakland’s Holy Names High School: students raised more than $600 in cash and collected 200 bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for residents of Rita de Cascia, a residential program for women and children affected by HIV and operated by Catholic Charities in San Francisco.

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Names, News, Notes

The City of Hayward recently recognized Bernadette Attletweed, a longtime member of the diocesan St. Joseph Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, as an outstanding volunteer for her more than 30 years of service in the deaf community. She was among 43 volunteers honored during a special awards dinner at Centennial Hall.

Mark Your Calendars! The English-Speaking Cursillo of the Oakland Diocese will host two three-day weekends in 2008. The Men’s Cursillo Weekend will take place Feb. 15 – 18 at Holy Redeemer Center in Oakland and the Women’s Cursillo Weekend from March 6 – 9, also at Holy Redeemer. For more information contact Nita Volker, (925) 828-9442 or Carolyn Steele, (925) 648-4890.

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