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 September 8, 2008   •   VOL. 46, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

CYO and more
Before school closed for summer vacation, the dads of fifth graders at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro played basketball for a school fundraiser. Now their children and students throughout the diocese are gearing up for another CYO season of boys basketball and girls volleyball.
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Around the Parishes
Around the Schools
Among the Religious
Names, News, Notes



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Bible study can be fun
CSome of the 150 youth who participated in Vacation Bible School at Assumption Parish in San Leandro show off their tee-shirts during a week of activities that combined Bible study with crafts, games, singing and dance. To conclude the week, parents, grandparents and friends joined in the Faith Fusion Finale.

Sponsoring a child
During a June visit to Guatemala with Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, Father Larry D’Anjou, director of vocations for the Oakland Diocese, holds a child he sponsors through CFCA. Maria, who turns four next month, lives with her widowed mother (left) and her 16-month-old sister. CFCA is a lay Catholic organization that coordinates one-to-one sponsorship of children, youth and elders who are living in extreme poverty.

Women explore faith

Each month women from Moraga’s St. Monica Parish come together to share their life journeys and inspire one another along the way. They listen to engaging speakers, discuss key issues, work on charitable projects, and socialize.

This fall, Redemptorist Father Brendan Carr, sacramental assistant at St. Augustine Parish in Oakland, will open the fall sessions on Sept. 23 with “Women and Faith.” On Oct. 28 Linda Thaxter, a professional clown and cancer survivor, will talk about “Humor and Faith.”

Among their planned outreach projects are the making of fleece scarves to pair with donated coats for the annual One Warm Coat service project. In the spring they will host a gift fair to raise money for Moment by Moment, a non-profit organization that provides professional photography portraits for families of terminally ill children.

Guests are welcome to join the monthly gatherings in the parish center, 1001 Camino Pablo, from 9:30–11:30 a.m. Regi-stration is encouraged. Membership dues are $25 per year. For more information, contact Denise Cain at (925) 282-3398 or go to www.stmonicamoraga.com.

What does a bishop do?

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton will launch the 2008-2009 season of the Catholics @ Work breakfast series with a presentation on the bishop’s job as “Shepherd and CEO.” Bishop Blaire, bishop of Stockton since 1999 and chaplain to the Catholic Professional and Business Clubs, will speak Sept. 9 at the Crow Canyon County Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr. in Danville. Mass will be offered at 6:30 a.m. A full buffet breakfast follows at 7 a.m. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. To register or for information, (925) 683-5263 or www.catholicsatwork.org.

Around the Parishes

The John Muir/Health Care for the Homeless medical van will be parked at St. Mark Church in Richmond each Friday morning to provide on-site medical services for the area’s homeless, uninsured and working poor. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is one of the sponsoring groups for the program. The services will be provided by a bilingual nursing staff.

Columbian Squires Circle 4413 of St Michael Parish in Livermore was awarded Circle of the Year for 2007-2008 at the Squires State Convention in July. Circle 4413 was selected out of 60 active circles for the most quality activities and achievements in the categories of spiritual, service, membership, civic, athletic, social, and circle activities. Also honored was Tony Lucero who received Counselor of the Year award and squire, Manny Smith, who was elected to the position of State Circle Marshall.

Three parishes — St. Joan of Arc in San Ramon, St. Bonaventure in Concord, and St. Raymond in Dublin — along with St. Mary’s College in Moraga, were among donors that contributed $2,500 or more to the East Bay Habitat for Humanity.

As part of his nationwide tour, “No to Torture: The Nonviolent Response to Terrorism,” Franciscan Father Louis Vitale visited Our Lady of Grace Parish in Castro Valley on Sept. 5 to discuss his journey in peace activism. Father Vitale recently spent five months in prison for committing civil disobedience at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

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Around the Schools

A standing ovation to Janay Byrd and Ashli Fisher, both seniors at Oakland’s Holy Names High School, who performed in a professional production of “The Wiz” presented by the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts in downtown Oakland this summer.

The very old track and field at Berkeley’s St. Mary’s High School is being replaced with the new Thomas M. Brady Park. The project, which is well underway, will be completed in December. In the meantime football practice for the Panther team began last month at nearby Ohlone Park and is switching this month to Cedar-Rose Park. The athletes welcomed a new coach this fall, Dan Ferrigno, former longtime coach at Cal.

Congratulations to Wood Rose Academy in Concord, which has just been accredited by he Western Association of Schools and Colleges for a full 6-year term. The non-profit private school’s Catholic religion program has also been approved by the Diocese of Oakland, including an integrated virtues program and monthly Eucharistic Adoration.

A study group that will explore Cardinal John Henry Newman’s ideal of the Oratory is forming this fall at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. The 19th century British theologian was an Oratorian who founded the first Oratory in the English-speaking world. The group, which held its first meeting on Sept. 7, will meet on Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m. on the Moraga campus. All are welcome, especially priests who might be interested in exploring the Oratorian way of life. For more information, contact David Gentry-Akin at dgentry@stmarys-ca.edu or (925) 631-4790.

The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley at 2301 Vine St. is hosting a series of monthly programs entitled, “The Emmaus Road Initiative,” beginning Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. Each session will be led by Gil Bailie, Catholic layman and author of “Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads.” Bailie lectures widely on the integration of theology and anthropology. Rene Girard, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, will accompany Bailie and offer his reflections on the September theme, “The Present Time — It’s Peril and It’s Promise.” Presentations are free and open to the public. For information on the rest of the series, phone (707) 996-4704.

Christian Brother Stan Sobczyk has been selected as the next president of the School of Applied Theology (SAT Sabbatical Program) in Oakland. He will succeed Christian Brother Bernard LoCoco, who is retiring after nearly 10 years of service. Brother Sobczyk is currently vice president at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and is a former president of Christian Brothers University in Memphis. His appointment becomes effective Jan. 1, 2009.

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Among the Religious

Father Vince Cotter, who stepped down as pastor at St. Philip Neri Parish and St. Albert Parish in Alameda in July, began his sabbatical year with a visit to the parish’s sister parish in Asuchillo, El Salvador. The faith communities have had close bonds for over a dozen years. The priest also visited family members and friends in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The 11th annual gathering of the Western States Conference of Associates and Religious (WSAR) will be held Oct. 25 at Notre Dame High School in Belmont. Notre Dame Sister Janice Bohn will facilitate the day with the theme, “Association: A New Call to Prayer and Service.” Conference cost is $30; a box lunch can be purchased for an additional $10. Coffee and snacks will be provided. For more information or to register, contact Kathy Noether at (408) 267-1958 or knoether@aol.com.

The Capuchin Franciscan Friars of Western America met in their chapter June 16-20 at Santa Ynez, California, to discuss their life and ministry and elect a new provisional council for the next three years. Father Matthew Elshoff was elected the new minister provincial, Father Jesus Vela was elected as vicar provincial, and Father Peter Banks was elected as definitor. Fathers Michael Mahoney and Robert Barbato were also elected to the council. Fathers Elshoff, Vela, and Barbato are graduates of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

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Names, News, Notes

Congratulations to Bonnie and Lionel Avila, members at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, on the occasion of their 48th wedding anniversary.

Casa Vincentia, which provides a residence and resources for at-risk pregnant women, will wrap up its 19th Annual Gold Key Sponsorship Campaign this month. Each $50 donation affords the donor an opportunity to win the grand prize of $1,500 as well as other prizes. The drawing will be held Sept. 21 at the Casa, 3210 62nd Ave. in Oakland. For tickets or information, call Barbara Jackson at (510) 729-0316.

VOLUNTEER ALERT #1: Mercy Brown Bag Program, sponsored by Oakland’s Mercy Retirement and Care Center and the Sisters of Mercy, is in need of volunteers to help distribute bags of groceries to low-income seniors at the program’s Ashland Community Center food distribution site on the second and fourth Mondays between 8 and 9:30 a.m. Ashland Community Center is located at 1530 167th Ave. in San Leandro. Volunteers are also needed to help unload the delivery and be part of the assembly line. Contact Krista Lucchesi at (510) 534-8547, ext. 369 for more information.

VOLUNTEER ALERT #2: Kaiser Hospice which serves San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Castro Valley, Newark, Union City and Fremont, is seeking volunteers who can provide companionship and support for the terminally ill as well as relief for caregivers — not medical assistance. Volunteers are also needed to provide bereavement calls or office support. Training is provided and schedules are flexible. For more information, contact Marlene, the volunteer coordinator, at (510) 675-5791 or Marlene.M.DeNardo@kp.org.

Alzheimer’s Association, a national volunteer health organization with sites in the East Bay, provides assistance and guidance for those who are living with Alzheimer’s. Support groups and educational programs are available this fall for individuals diagnosed with the disease as well as family members of individuals with Alzheimer’s. Visit www.alz.org/norcal for this and other Alzheimer’s support groups and seminars or phone the toll-free helpline at (800) 272-3900.

What’s on EWTN? Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to France Sept. 12-15 will highlight EWTN’s special programming for September. Scheduled events include a welcome ceremony with President Nicolas Sarkozy in the Elysee Palace, followed by a meeting with French leaders whom the pope will address. For dates and times of key moments of the papal visit, viewers should access the website, www.ewtn.com and then select Television, Program Schedules and September Specials. EWTN is carried on Comcast Ch. 229; DISH Satellite Ch. 261; DirecTV Ch. 370 and in Alameda on Comcast Ch. 30 and Alameda Power Ch. 26.

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