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CURRENT ISSUE:  February 9 , 2009
VOL. 47, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Pope strongly rejects Holocaust denial
Father Danielson elected administrator of Oakland Diocese
Parishes offer support groups for
people who have lost their jobs

Father Padraig Greene and Mike Machi were expecting 40 people to show up for their recent job support workshop at St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Pleasanton.

Their estimates were way off. “We had more than 130,” said the priest. “I was aghast.” While presenters are usually heartened by large attendance numbers, this turnout was upsetting to Father Greene and Machi because it was indicative of the high numbers of women and men who are suffering from job losses.

Father Greene, parochial administrator of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, counsels families on grief issues — death, sickness, and divorce. He said that unemployment is number eight in a list of 43 life crisis events. During the workshop he addressed the emotional stresses of job loss. Machi provided practical information on hunting for new employment.

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange react as U.S. stocks continue to lose ground. The ongoing economic crisis has led to massive layoffs around the country.
Machi is volunteer coordinator of St. Elizabeth Seton’s Employment Connections, a group which meets the first and third Wednesday of every month from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the church, 4001 Stoneridge Road, one of the two CCOP sites. He reports that attendance has doubled in the last two weeks.

Employment Connections is now part of a job website (www.linkedin.com) where employers can link to Employment Connections’ participants seeking work.

At least two other parishes in the Oakland Diocese currently offer emotional support and practical counseling to people affected by the current economic downturn.

St. Isidore Parish in Danville is sponsoring a group every Monday night in its ministry center. The St. Isidore Networking Group (SING) meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m., said Tom Loarie, coordinator. When it began in 2001 during the dot com bust, the group had between 14 and 28 participants. It became inactive in 2005 and was revived in January to help unemployed adults learn how to network and develop other job-hunting skills. So far, the numbers already exceed the 2001 participation with up to 34 attending.

He said several parishioners have also attended to offer their professional skills to the unemployed.

Another group, which also began in January, is Joblink, which meets at St. Raymond Parish’s Moran Hall in Dublin from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Monday evening. Coordinated by parishioner Gene Nokes, the group uses job hunting methods based on the well-known New York employment search company, The Five O’Clock Club.

All three groups are open to anyone who wishes to attend.

For further information contact:

• Mike Machi at Job Connections, (925) 462-9765.

• Tom Loarie at SING, (925) 525-0272.

• Gene Nokes at Joblink, (925) 833-7168; email g_nokes@att.net.

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