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 February 9, 2009   •   VOL. 47, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Religious emblem earned
Ten Cub Scouts from St. Mary Parish in Walnut Creek recently earned their National Catholic Committee on Scouting religious emblem, which they received at a special ceremony during Mass on Feb. 1, Scout Sunday in the parish. The awardees, seen here with Deacon Tony Reyes, are from left, Cole Taft, James Alsterlind, Beau Mendala, JP Walsh, Shamal Perera, Ricky Cademartori, Connor Logan and Colin Ernst. Not pictured, Bobby Seabury and Lemmy Vargas. Walsh and Vargas completed the Parvuli Dei program, the second of five religious emblems available to Catholic scouts. The others completed the first program, Light of Christ.
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‘House on Mango Street’
Ana Maria Jomolca, an actress with American Place Theatre, will perform Sandra Ciscernos’ acclaimed novel, “The House on Mango Street,” at the LeFevre Theatre at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. The play is a production of APT’s Literature to Life arts education program, led by Artistic Director Wynn Handman. Told in a series of vignettes, this is a coming-of-age story of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. There will be a post-show discussion following the hour-long performance. TICKETS: $25 general; $20 seniors; $12 SMC faculty, staff and non-SMC students; $2 SMC students. Call (925) 631-4381 or visit www.stmarys-ca.edu.

Celebrating Santo Ninog
Jonathan Rafael and Narcilito Guito of Oakland’s St. Elizabeth Elementary School hold homemade lumpia and a statue of the Child Jesus used in the school’s celebration of Santo Nino, a devotion observed in the Philippines, especially in Cebu, in January. During the school’s observance, the students watched the classical Filipino Tinkling dance through a YouTube presentation.

100 years for All Saints

Hayward’s All Saints Church is turning 100 this year and members of the parish are launching a year-long celebration of the building on Feb. 14. All couples who were married at All Saints Church are invited to return for Mass and a renewal of vows. The liturgy, which begins at 5 p.m., could draw up to 100 couples, said Steve Mullin, parish life director.

Other events are still in the planning process, Mullin said, including a lecture series on the church in collaboration with the Hayward Historical Society. The parish is also planning to offer parishioner-led tours of the building.

Its oral history project is asking long-time members to join in a video recording of their memories and reflections of parish life. Former parishioners who would like to participate in the project — or to have their names put on a mailing list for future events — are invited to contact the parish at (510) 581-2570.
The anniversary observances will culminate on Nov. 1, All Saints Day.

Sister Thea lives on

Although cancer silenced her prophetic voice in 1990, the words of Franciscan Sister Thea Bowman live on in a new book, “Thea Bowman: In My Own Words.”

Compiled and edited by Redemptorist Father Maurice J. Nutt, the 128-page book highlights the reflections, writings, and interviews of the charismatic African American woman, a convert to Catholicism, who shared her cultural and spiritual gifts, encouraged people from different cultures and backgrounds to celebrate their gifts, and promoted cross-cultural bridges between all people. The book is available through Liguori Publications (www.liguori.org), Amazon.com and other online outlets.

School shows heart

Community outreach is second nature for the students, staff and families at Concord’s St. Agnes School.

When a 7th grader suffered a serious head injury in an accident last fall, the school community immediately mobilized with snacks and lunches for his siblings and meals for the entire family. There were posters and cards to the student and a video that included the school’s Christmas concert, which was dedicated to the injured boy.

One parent organized a continuous 24-hour prayer group for his recovery, with families taking on a 30-minute time slot to pray. The school prays for the youth daily. He has made significant progress in his recovery and visited the school during its Jan. 25 open house.

At its Christmas concert, the school raised $9,000 for a Concord father of four who was suffering from cancer and had lost his job because he could no longer work. The money was enough to cover 16 chemotherapy treatments and other expenses. One student’s grandparents provided an apartment for the family that had been living in a one-bedroom unit and the seventh grade class adopted the family for Christmas.

Other outreach projects include care packages collected by the 4th grade class for the infantry unit of a classmate’s father in Iraq, an Africa water project supported by the first grade, and adoption of needy families.

More kudos for the cathedral

Its “one-of-a-kind” sanctuary and innovative construction recently earned Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light a 2008 “Best of” Award by California Construction magazine. The publication crowned the new cathedral with the title of “Overall Top Project, Outstanding Architectural Design.”

Designed by Craig Hartman of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the cathedral was dedicated on Sept. 25, 2008.

Around the Parishes

More than 400 young people gathered at Our Lady Queen of the World Parish in Bay Point for the Youth 2000 Retreat last month, featuring talks, music, Eucharistic Adoration, group workshops and faith sharing sessions. The retreat drew young people, ages 13 to 30, from parishes in the diocese as well as Grass Valley, Modesto and Fairfield. Bishop Allen Vigneron presided at the Jan. 10 Mass and Father George Mockel, diocesan moderator of the curia, presided at the closing Mass the following evening.

Members of Christ the King Parish in Pleasant Hill bring Centering Prayer to incarcerated women and men through the Pacific/West Coast region of Contemplative Outreach. The organization is hosting a fundraiser on Feb. 22 featuring Franciscan Father Richard Rohr, internationally known teacher. The event takes place at St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Suggested donation: $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Scholarships are available. Students free with student ID. Checks payable to Contemplative Outreach of San Francisco should be sent to Mary Wyman, 202 Roosevelt Way, San Francisco, CA 94114. For more information contact Wyman at (415) 431-8590 or mary.wyman@yahoo.com.

Oakland’s St. Columba Parish began its annual African American Celebrations the weekend of Jan. 18 with Bishop Martin Holley, auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C. Other guest speakers included Deacon Royce Winters, Office of African American Catholic Ministries, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, OH (Jan. 25) and Deacon Harry Guess, Christ the King Church, San Diego (Feb. 8). Sister Anita Baird, founding director of the Office for Racial Justice, Archdiocese of Chicago, will speak on Feb. 15 and Father Jay Matthews, pastor at Oakland’s St. Benedict Parish, will speak on Feb. 22.

Oakland’s St. Patrick Parish will continue to celebrate its 130 years as a community of faith with a good old Catholic Revival with Josephite Father Anthony Bozeman, a pastor in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The revival begins with 10 a.m. Mass on Feb. 15 and continues Feb. 16 through Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. The choirs of St. Patrick and St. Benedict parishes will participate in the revival services.

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Around the Schools

Assumption School in San Leandro has reason to be proud — eight members of the Class of 2006 participated in the Close Up Inauguration Trip to Washington, D.C. Elizabeth Hodgins (now at Holy Names High, Oakland), Megan Kehoe (Bishop O’Dowd High, Oakland), Ryan Behme (Bishop O’Dowd), Jack Werfal (Bishop O’Dowd), Laurel Fuji (Moreau Catholic High, Hayward), Steven Munoz (St. Joseph Notre Dame, Alameda), Chris McClintock (St. Joseph Notre Dame) and Audrey Magwili (Castro Valley High) experienced first hand the inauguration of the nation’s 44th president.

Salesian High School in Richmond joined in the worldwide celebration of Don Bosco Day on Jan. 30 with Mass and festivities that embraced the philosophy of St. John Bosco, the high school’s patron saint, that every Salesian should include elements of church, school, home and playground in their daily life.

Berkeley’s St. Mary’s High School will hold its annual “Locks of Love” event on the school campus on Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m. At last year’s event the high school collected 27 donations of braids and pony tails for Locks of Love which provides hair pieces to children in the U.S. and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss. For more information, donation requirements, and registration, contact Clare McCormick at (510) 559-6217.

The Oakland City Council Planning Commission recently gave unanimous approval to Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School to erect 70-foot-tall light towers that will provide practice and game lighting to both athletic fields on campus. “This is the culmination of three years of planning, vision and hard work,” said Al Carrasco, president of the Dragon Athletic Boosters. The group has raised over $200,000 for the project and hopes to complete its fundraising before June. The light towers will allow practices and games to continue up to 9 p.m.

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Among the Religious

Father Patrick Keane, a retired priest of the San Francisco Archdiocese who also helped in many parishes in the Oakland Diocese, died Jan. 20 in San Mateo at the age of 83. Born and raised in Oakland, he attended Sacred Heart Elementary School in Oakland and St. Joseph’s High School in Alameda before completing his education at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. Ordained to the priesthood in 1951, he served 58 years as a Catholic priest before he retired in March 1987. The funeral Mass was held Jan. 26 at St. Isidore Church in Danville. Burial was at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.

Derrick K. Oliveira, a member of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Castro Valley, is one of 57 seminarians at the Pontifical North American College, known as “America’s seminary in Rome.” Oliveira, who was instituted into the Ministry of Reader at the Vatican last month, is in his first year of theological studies for the priesthood.

Sister Mary Elizabeth Ingham, a Sister of St. Joseph of Orange and the Kenan Osborne OFM Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, will speak on “A Franciscan Perspective on the Earth Charter” Feb. 19 at FST, 1712 Euclid Ave., from 5:10 – 6:10 p.m. A soup supper will follow. To reserve a place or further information, contact Clare Ronzani at cronzani@fst.edu or (510) 848-5232, ext. 14.

The California Province of the Jesuits are hosting a vocation information event on Feb. 21 at the Jesuit School of Theology, 2621 Ridge Road in Berkeley. The event, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., is for single men ages 18 to 45 who are interested in learning more about the Jesuits. It will include prayer, Mass, a panel discussion, and opportunities to speak with Jesuit priests and Brothers. There is no cost, but RSVP is requested to Jesuit Father Radmar Jao, rjao@calprov.org or (510) 225-6137.

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Names, News, Notes

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

VOLUNTEER ALERT #1! Birthright of Concord will conduct a training session Feb. 27 (7 – 9 p.m.) and Feb. 28 (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) at its office at 3106 Clayton Road for those who are interested in supporting Birthright’s mission of offering alternatives to abortion to pregnant women. Areas of need include: client counselor, office assistance, outreach to schools and agencies, public relations, organizing maternity and baby clothing closets, board member, and fund raising.

VOLUNTEER ALERT #2! As a result of the economic downturn, more individuals are seeking food and assistance for basic needs at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room in Oakland. Volunteers and donors are needed to help meet these needs, especially with .food preparation and serving meals. Contact: Jonas Williams at (510) 877-9213 or e-mail: jwilliams@svdp-alameda.org.

Help is also needed at the Champion Men’s Center to assist clients in filling out forms, monitoring showers, and supervising clothes, washer and dryer schedules. Contact: J. Ratti or Reuben Garza at (510) 877-9238 or rgarza@svdp-alameda.org.

At the Women’s Visitation Center volunteers are needed to help with the center’s maintenance, do intake of clients, develop a children’s activity program, and assist with the ESL program. Contact: Carmen Edstrom, (510) 444-3790 or cedstrom@svdp-alameda.org. School and parish groups that would like to help are urged to contact Kate Nauer, SVDP’s volunteer coordinator, (510) 877-9237.

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