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 February 4, 2008   •   VOL. 46, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Marty Mart Scholarship winner
Casandra Rodriguez, student council president at St. Elizabeth School in Oakland, is this year’s winner of the Marty Mart Scholarship given annually to a CYO girls’ volleyball player. Rodriquez has played on her school’s team since third grade and helped her sixth and seventh grade teams win the CYO championship.
    She is also on the school’s honor roll and active in campus clubs. “Playing volleyball has taught me many lessons like winning graciously, learning to lose without a bad attitude, facing pressure, working with others to achieve a goal, and being part of something very positive,” she wrote in her scholarship application.
    Pictured with Rodriguez in the gym at Moreau Catholic High in Hayward, where the award was presented Jan. 20, are, from left, Presentation Sister Denise Bourdet, athletic director at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Berkeley and a scholarship committee member; Grace House, administrative assistant of the diocesan CYO department; and Vickie Larsen, committee member of the scholarship which is named in memory of her father who was assistant director of the diocesan CYO.

A soul check

“What is in your Lenten tool box?” That is the theme at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Livermore where each Sunday during Lent the homily will introduce parishioners to various practices that can renew the soul and spirit — the rosary, Stations of the Cross, labyrinth walk, sacrament of reconciliation, acts of charity, almsgiving, and fasting. The parish will have a soup dinner on Ash Wednesday to symbolize the community’s unity in fasting.

As part of its lifelong learning program, the parish will host a three-day Lenten retreat, called “Restoration HEARTware: Honoring Our Souls,” Feb. 25-27 from 7:30-9 p.m. Vince Nims, nationally recognized for his work with youth and multigenerational communities, will lead the retreat. There will also be a retreat for children from five to 10 years of age on Feb. 27 from 3:30-5 p.m. “Retreats are not just for the adults, but are beneficial to all,” said Julie Gallagher, lifelong learning coordinator at the parish. “If we introduce the children to taking care of their spiritual selves now, then imagine how well they will take care of their adult souls later.”

Citizenship campaign

Some 300 community leaders, clergy, county supervisors, and immigration attorneys gathered Jan. 20 at St. Joachim Parish in Hayward to launch one of the first citizenship drives in the Bay Area PICO Citizenship and Civic Participation Campaign. The campaign is urging the 387,604 legal residents in the Bay Area to become citizens and will teach people how to participate in civic and political life. The coordinated campaign will include 25 citizenship drives in 12 Bay Area cities spearheaded by seven congregation-based community organizations.

As part of the campaign, trained volunteers, lawyers, and local non-profit organizations will join PICO to facilitate the citizenship application process to ensure free, quality service. Once the process is completed, applicants will be connected to local civic and ESL courses.

Bay Area PICO member organizations are: Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action (BOCA), Congregations Organizing for Renewal (COR), Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization (CCISCO), Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), People Acting in Community Together (PACT), Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA) and the San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP). Catholic Charities of the East Bay will also participate in the citizenship campaign.

Around the Parishes

On Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3) members of the youth ministry, Confirmation and Emmaus peer ministry groups at St. Anne Parish in Union City participated in the “Souper” Bowl of Caring, joining young people in churches across the country collecting funds for the hungry. The teens stood at the doors of the church holding soup pots to collect money from parishioners for the St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco.

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Around the Schools

As part of Catholic Schools Week, students at Berkeley’s School of the Madeleine treated their grandparents to a campus visit and special tea, Jan. 31.

Matthew Lindberg and Anthony Salvato, eighth graders at Our Lady of Grace School in Castro Valley, have completed the requirements for the Ad Altare Dei Scouting Award.

Andy Nguyen and Rocio Molina, seniors at Alameda’s St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, have been named Bank of America Award plaque winners. Nguyen was selected for science and mathematics and Molina was honored for liberal arts. They are eligible to participate on the program’s next level of competition, the selection of regional finalists.

Also at SJND, students Sophia Chaparro, Genora Givens, Gabi Lippi, Danielle Maddix, Teresa Mooney and Nneka Umeh have had their poetry accepted. for publication in Creative Communications upcoming anthology, “A Celebration of Young Poets.” In addition, two of Maddix’s Spanish poems have been published in the fall issue of Albricias, the Spanish Honor Society magazine. Maddix received a cash prize.

Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School recently announced its inductees for the Hall of Fame 2008. The honorees are: John Cecconi, ’71, athletics (football); Carl Danielson, ’79, arts and sciences; Jim Gardner, ’89, athletics (swimming); Bisa Grant, ’94, athletics (track and field); Daryl Hill, ‘80, athletics (football); Regina Jackson, ‘80, humanitarian; Miesha Marzell, ’93, athletics (track and field); David Rinetti, ‘82, athletics; Sammy Strong, ’89, athletics (swimming); Anthony (Tony) Vella, ’95, athletics (football, baseball, basketball); and Langston Walker, ’97, athletics (football). The induction ceremony will take place on May 3 at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension in Oakland.

St. Patrick School in Rodeo collaborated with Carquinez Middle School and Rodeo Hills Elementary in a student celebration of cultural diversity in their local communities. The Jan. 31 family event featured music and dance, art displays, essay readings and interactive exhibits. The event is sponsored by ConocoPhillips’ San Francisco Area Refinery and Carbon Plant.

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Among the Religious

The Sisters of the Holy Family in Fremont celebrated World Day of Consecrated Life on Feb. 2 with a Vespers Prayer Service in their motherhouse chapel. The late Pope John Paul II instituted the World Day in 1997. The Holy Family Sisters used the occasion as a day of prayer and as “an opportunity to also recommit themselves to their vocation,” said Sister Gladys Guenther, congregational president.

Father Ray Sacca, former pastor at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, began his new assignment as diocesan vicar for priests last month. He succeeded Father Ray Zielezienski, who completed a three-year term.

The Missionaries of the Precious Blood will hold a vocation discernment retreat at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio, March 7-9. The weekend retreat is for men completing high school, of college age, and older who are discerning a vocation to religious life as a priest or Brother. Retreatants will spend the weekend in prayer and conversation with the Missionaries, who work in parishes in the U.S. and abroad, in education, and in a wide range of other apostolates. In the Oakland Diocese they administer St. Edward Parish in Newark and operate a mission house in Berkeley. For more information, contact Father Ken Schnipke at (937) 228-6224 or vocation@cpps-preciousblood.org.

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Names, News, Notes

Congratulations to Perla and Jesus Ballesteros, members at St. Leander Parish in San Leandro, who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Speaking of special anniversaries, San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer will preside at a Mass and renewal of vows for all married couples of the San Francisco Archdiocese on Feb. 9 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. Special honor will be shown to those who are celebrating their 25th, 50th, and over 50th wedding anniversaries.

A Friendly Manor Auxiliary, which raises funds for A Friendly Manor, a daytime hospitality center for homeless women in Oakland operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph, will conduct its annual daffodil bulb sale, March 1-2, after all Masses at five parishes — St. Perpetua in Lafayette, St. Monica in Moraga, Santa Maria in Orinda, and St. Mary and St. Stephen in Walnut Creek. Each pot of daffodil bulbs is $12. A Friendly Manor provides women a place where they can shower, make phone calls, wash clothes or enjoy a cup of coffee in a safe refuge. For more information about the Auxiliary, contact Barbara Broach at (925) 934-6725.

Oakland’s St. Vincent’s Day Home will host its annual Children’s Choice Awards Dinner, Feb. 22 at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in Oakland, honoring three longtime friends: Kimberly Briggs, fundraiser and member of the Day Home’s board of directors; Lois Haight Herrington, Day Home donor; and Mary MacPherson, speech pathologist at the Day Home. Brian Copeland, comedian and KGO radio talk show host, will serve as master of ceremonies. Proceeds will support the Day Home, the oldest and largest child development center and childcare facility in Alameda County. For reservations contact: (510) 832-8324.

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