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 July 7, 2008   •   VOL. 46, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Headed to Beijing
Sayaka Matsumoto, a 2001 graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley, will compete at the Olympic Games in Beijing as a member of the U.S. Olympic Wrestling and Judo team. A resident of El Cerrito, she is a seven-time national champion and a four-time Pan Am medalist. “It’s been a dream ever since I was little. I wanted to make an Olympic team and I didn’t want to stop until I’d achieved that,” she said after qualifying for the team last month.

An outstanding volunteer
Tom Chin, a volunteer at the English Action Center in Richmond for 25 years, was honored last month by Catholic Charities of the East Bay, the center’s sponsor. Chin works with ESL students weekly and also functions as the center’s handyman. “Tom is truly wonderful,” said Lisa Raffel, project director.
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Pastoral plan welcomed

In parishes throughout the Oakland Diocese, June 28-29, Catholics prayed for the success of the new five-year pastoral plan developed by the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Bishop Allen Vigneron said in a letter to parishioners that the plan “sets the steps by which all of us can know Christ better and make Him better known.”

The plan focuses on sacramental renewal, faith formation and catechesis, pastoral leadership, youth and young adults, and stewardship. These priorities surfaced during a series of parish listening sessions and reflect what parishioners said should be emphasized and supported by the diocese.

Another soldier laid to rest

The family and friends of U.S. Army Sgt. John Aragon gathered at Holy Rosary Church in Antioch June 23 for his funeral liturgy. The 22-year-old graduate of Antioch High School died June 12 in Kadamiyah, Iraq, from wounds suffered when his Humvee struck an improvised explosive device. He is survived by his parents, John Aragon Sr. and Denise Aragon, and his sisters Christina and Brianna.

Around the Parishes

Building Futures with Women and Children, which began as a homeless shelter for women and children at St. Leander Parish in San Leandro, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Originally run by parishioners and pastoral staff, the outreach group incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1988 and now provides services at four facilities, two in San Leandro and two in Alameda. The organization also sponsors violence prevention services throughout Alameda County.

Portuguese Catholics in west Contra Costa County celebrated their heritage earlier this month with the traditional Holy Ghost Festival. On June 8, there was a parade, sponsored by the San Pablo Holy Ghost Association. It left the civic center, passed by St. Paul Church where some participants stopped to attend Mass, then proceeded back to the civic center. Two weeks later, the 101st Annual Holy Ghost Festa was held in El Cerrito. Organized by the St. John’s Society brotherhood, it included a parade to St. John the Baptist Church where Mass was celebrated. There was also an auction, traditional foods, a dance and the coronation of a festival Queen.

Genevia Gee Fulbright, a former member of Oakland’s St. Louis Bertrand Parish and a graduate of the parish school, has been awarded the 2008 Presidential Service Award by the National Association of Black Accountants. The award was issued in recognition of Fulbright’s “behind-the-scenes” contributions of time and talent to the accounting profession and for the advancement of the NABA mission, “Lifting As We Climb.”

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Around the Schools

Concord’s Carondelet High School was recently named national role model high school by the Jefferson Awards Youth Services Initiative (YSI). The school was cited for its track record in volunteerism and culture of service within the community.

Calling all St. Felicitas School alumni and their families! The San Leandro school is organizing a 50th year anniversary celebration and organizers are searching for all alumni. A number of special events and activities will be held throughout the 2008-09 school year including a golf tournament, pancake breakfast, homecoming Mass and BBQ celebration, and a Red and White Ball. Contact the school at 1650 Manor Blvd., San Leandro, CA94579; e-mail: st_felicitas@csdo.org; phone (after Aug. 1) at (510) 357-2530; or visit the website: www.stfelicitas-school.org.

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Among the Religious

Three recently ordained priests have been appointed parochial vicars: Father Rolando Bartolay, to Church of the Good Shepherd Parish in Pittsburg; Father Juan Franco, to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Fremont; and Father Kenneth Nobrega to St. Joseph Parish in Pinole. All of these assignments were effective July 1.

Also recently appointed as parochial vicars, effective July 15: Father William Rozario to Catholic Community of Pleasanton; Father Jim Sullivan to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Fremont; Father Mark Amaral to Catholic Community of Pleasanton. Father Fernando Cortez, who is completing a sabbatical, will go to St. Leander in San Leandro as parochial vicar, effective Aug. 1.

Deacon Bill Gall, who is based at St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord, assumed the role of president-elect of the diocesan deacon community, beginning July 1.

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Names, News, Notes

Congratulations to three couples at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, who are celebrating wedding anniversaries: Mr. and Mrs. Tuan Nguyen on the 65th year of their marriage; and Maclyn and Jack Pons and Donna and Stan Paxiao, who have been wed for 50 years.

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