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 January 19, 2009   •   VOL. 47, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

New Franciscan provincial
Franciscan Father John Hardin, executive director of the St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco, has been elected provincial of the Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Barbara. He will lead the friars in five Western states for the next six years while continuing his involvement with the foundation as president of its board of trustees. He holds a master’s degree in non-profit administration from the University of Notre Dame.
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Names, News, Notes



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Helping Santa
St. Raymond School students stand among some of the new toys they collected last month for the Dublin firefighters program for needy children. The gifts were blessed at a morning assembly and delivered to the local fire station. 

Visiting California history
These fourth graders at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro gather outside St. Juan Bautista Mission during a recent field trip. They and their classmates visited the mission as part of their study of California history.

A lesson in international relations
These members of the 2008 Model U.N. team at Concord’s De La Salle High School joined more than 340 high school students for last fall’s 18th annual Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference in San Ramon. Each student team represented a nation and negotiated on that country’s behalf.

Walking for life

Local Catholics can take part in three pro-life events this week in observance of Sanctity of Life Month. Standing Up 4Life will be held Jan. 23 from noon to 2 p.m. in downtown Oakland. Participants will gather at Oakland City Hall. Guest speakers include Dr. Clenard H. Childress, assistant to the national director of Life Education and Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the nation’s largest African American pro-life organization, and Craig Deluz, a community activist and candidate for California State Assembly, District 5. For more information about this event visit www.issues4life.org.

Also on Jan. 23, Bishop Allen Vigneron will join other religious leaders at the First Annual Interfaith Respect Life East Bay Prayer Service at Shiloh Christian Fellowship, 3295 School St. in Oakland at 7:30 p.m.
The 5th Annual Walk for Life West Coast will take place in San Francisco on Jan. 24, beginning at 11 a.m. at Justin Herman Plaza and conclude at Marina Greens where a Silent No More gathering will be held along with an information faire. Prior to the walk, an 8 a.m. Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. For additional information, visit www.walkforlifewc.com.

The Eternal Word Television Network will provide coverage of several pro-life events marking the 36th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

There will be live coverage of the Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. (21⁄2 hours) and the Mass for Life for “March for Life” participants, Jan. 22 at 4:30 a.m. (90 minutes).

EWTN will also broadcast the “Walk for Life West Coast” in San Francisco, focusing on the pre-walk “Rally for Life” at Justin Herman Plaza, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. An encore broadcast will air on Jan. 25 at 6:30 a.m. (2 hours).

EWTN is carried 24 hours a day on Comcast channel 229, DISH Satellite channel 261, and DirecTV channel 370; in Alameda on Comcast channel 30 and Alameda Power chanel 26. Visit www.ewtn.com for more information.

Foundling homecoming

Thousands of adoptees, foster children and those who cared for them are invited to come together for a “homecoming” organized by the New York Foundling, one of the oldest and largest child welfare organizations in the U.S., established by the Sisters of Charity in 1869.

In observance of its 140th year the organization, also known as The Foundling, is asking that anyone with a connection to the agency visit the website (www.nyfoundling.org,) and join their online network.
The homecoming is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 8 – 12 in New York City.

Liturgical calendar online

A new online calendar that also provides liturgical resources for Catholics is now available through the Catholic News Agency (CNA). The calendar includes the full daily readings, the saint of the day, the week of the Psalter for those praying the Liturgy of the Hours, and the liturgical colors for each day. The calendar can be found at http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/calendar.php. It is free of charge.

Around the Parishes

Fremont’s Holy Spirit Parish will celebrate the completion of their new religious education and social activities center Feb. 8. Following the 5 p.m. Mass there will be a “house blessing” by Bishop Emeritus John Cummins and Father Mathew Vellankal, pastor.

All Saints Parish in Hayward is beginning the year-long observance of the 100th anniversary of their church with a special Mass on Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. They are inviting all couples who were married at All Saints to return for the liturgy and a renewal of their marriage vows.

Leaders representing several Christian denominations came together at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland on Jan. 18 for an ecumenical prayer service observing the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. “That they may become one in your hand” was this year’s theme.

St. Patrick Parish in Rodeo
hosted a Santo Nino Novena, a popular devotion in the Philippines, earlier this month. Participants gathered for a special 5 p.m. Mass on Jan. 17 where members of the congregation had their Santo Nino statues blessed.

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Baking for the Eucharist
Natalia Villegas, left, and Meredith Ratto, juniors at St. Joseph Notre Dame High in Alameda, learn the art of making Eucharistic bread from Spanish teacher Betsy Norris in the faculty lounge. The lesson was in preparation for a school liturgy.

Around the Schools

St. Felicitas School in San Leandro adopted 21 local families through an “Adopt a Family” program and donated 389 gifts to these families as a result of this Christmas Outreach campaign. It was coordinated by the school’s student council with the help of the local St. Vincent de Paul Society.

The 7th grade girls’ volleyball team at Assumption School in San Leandro worked with the Davis Street Family Resource Center to help a needy family at Christmas. Team members and their parents donated toys, clothes and cash contributions for gift cards. Team members wrapped their donated gifts and made cards for their adopted family at the end of their annual parent-player volleyball game, Dec. 19.

To observe Catholic Schools Week, students at St. Agnes School in Concord donated warm clothing and shoes for families living along the city’s Monument Corridor. During the week, students in the upper grades shared stories about their involvement in volunteer projects such as teaching CCD classes and visiting a nursing home.

Two dozen 7th and 8th grade students from All Saints School in Hayward earned awards for their innovative ideas in a future city competition sponsored by BART. The students, who formed five teams, won the following awards: People’s Choice Award for Most Environmentally Friendly, (Stephanie Siri, Samantha Tracq, Matthew De Los Santos, Colin De Guzman, Daniel Loza, Matthew Leli); Best Teamwork, (James Arechiga, Rui Okada, Cristian Padilla, Darien Rivera); Best Use of Recyclables, (Blake Ramos, Kim Ly, Sydney Cariel, Jason Mageria, Jose Montes, Courtney Brockman); Most Futuristic City, (Andrew Uy, Jonathan Tonel, Chris Canchola); and Most Environmentally Conscious, (Colin Goswell, Dhanika Halili, Lauren Bellow, Kevin Tilli, Natalie Chen).

St. Catherine of Siena School in Martinez will host “Helping Hands Day” on Jan. 29, an event for students and their parents to perform service in their community. Students currently help a variety of organizations including the “Get on the Bus” program, Mt. View Shelter, Monument Crisis Center, Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Chop and Chat, Heritage House Senior Center, Martinez Convalescent Homes and the Boys and Girls Club.

Local youth are invited to display their skills on the basketball court on Jan. 22 during the annual Free Throw Championship held at St. Mary School gymnasium in Walnut Creek. The event, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council #8207, is open to all boys and girls ages 10 – 14. There is no cost to participate. All participants are required to provide a parent’s signature and a copy of their birth certificate. The top free throwers will be eligible to move on to the next free throw competitions that will also be held at St. Mary School. For more information, contact Joe Rodriguez at (925) 495-0422.

Congratulations to Rachel Stier, a junior at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School, who was named to the All-East Bay Girls Volleyball Team. Recognized as a skilled libero, Stier completed the season with 333 digs and 475 serves received.

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Names, News, Notes

Barbara Hoblitzell, the wife of retired Deacon Ross Hoblitzell, died in Pleasanton on Dec. 28 after a long illness. A native of Concord, Hoblitzell, 82, lived in the Livermore area for most of her life before moving with her husband to Modesto eight years ago.

She was a co-owner of the Livermore Mortuary from 1978 – 1994. In addition to her husband, who was a member of the first class of permanent deacons ordained in the Oakland Diocese, survivors include seven children and nine grandchildren.

The funeral Mass was held Jan. 2 at St. Michael Church in Livermore and burial was at St. Michael Cemetery.

Best wishes and many blessings to Joseph Paul Riccio, a member at St. Felicitas Parish in San Leandro for 55 years, who celebrated his 90th birthday on Jan. 9. Father Alexander Snyder, a retired diocesan priest, presided at a Mass of celebration on Jan. 11 for Riccio who has volunteered many hours over the years as groundskeeper and gardener at the parish and rectory. A widower who has four children and four grandchildren, Riccio continues to tend the flowers and plants at the parish as weather permits.

Congratulations to Jo and Len Gregory, members at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, on the occasion of their 62nd wedding anniversary.

Through its VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, Catholic Charities of the East Bay (CCEB) will once again help local residents prepare their taxes free of charge. Taxpayers must have earned $45,000 or less in 2008 to be eligible for this program, which includes free e-files services. VITA is operated mainly by volunteers who are trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For more information or to make an appointment, contact one of these CCEB centers: 3540 Chestnut Ave. in Concord, (925) 825-3099, ext. 302; or 433 Jefferson St. Oakland, (510) 768-3113 or (510) 768-3128.

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