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 March 30 , 2009   •   VOL. 47, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Essay winner
Antonio Pablo, a third grader at St. John School in San Lorenzo, holds the award he earned as one of nine winners in an essay context sponsored by Catholic Telemedia Network in Menlo Park that drew more than 2,500 entries from Catholic school students in the dioceses of Oakland and San Jose and the Archdiocese of San Francisco. With him are Ron Loiacono, CTN’s executive director, and his teacher Katie O’Toole.
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Cheering on local athletes!

A big round of applause goes to athletes and teams from several Catholic high schools in the diocese who turned in championship performances in recent weeks. Congratulations go to Salesian High School in Richmond, which won its first state championship in the school’s history with a nail-biter on March 21 at Sacramento’s Arco Arena. The boys basketball team defeated Bishop Montgomery-Torrance 65-64 at the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division IV final.

Kudos for a good run go to Alameda’s St. Joseph Notre Dame High School boys basketball team which fell 69-53 to Windward-Los Angeles at the CIF Division V title game on March 20; and to Concord’s Carondelet High School which lost the CIF Division II girls basketball state championship to Brea Olina, 68-45. Both games also took place at the Arco Arena.

The girls basketball team at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School captured the North Coast Section Division II title on March 6, defeating Dublin High, 72-35. However the squad fell to St. Mary’s of Stockton in the CIF Division semi-finals the following week.

The men’s basketball team at St. Mary’s College in Moraga extended their regular season with an appearance at the National Invitational Tournament, defeating Washington State 68-57 on March 17 and Davidson 80-68 on March 23.

Around the Schools

Congratulations to Jarek Jankowski, a 6th-grade student at St. Joseph School in Fremont and winner in the Fremont Symphony Orchestra’s 2009 Young Composers Contest. Jankowski’s composition was chosen first by his music teacher, Francine Zeppa, as a school-wide winner from a music composition assignment and then submitted to the Fremont Young Composer’s Contest. Jankowski’s composition, “Perilous Waves,” was arranged and performed by the Fremont Symphony Orchestra, March 26, at Ohlone College as part of the symphony’s Children’s Concerts.

Sidney Ragland, a senior at Oakland’s St. Elizabeth High School and an accomplished tenor, recently completed a round of auditions at a number of the nation’s most prestigious music schools. So far he has been accepted at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Ragland has performed with the Young Musicians Program at the University of California, Berkeley.

St. John School in San Lorenzo has a new science laboratory that was dedicated and blessed by Father Michael Lacey, pastor, on March 17.

The 5th-grade boys basketball team at Oakland’s St. Leo Parish are the diocesan Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) champions for their division. The 6th grade boys basketball team at St. Agnes School in Concord took first place in the recent Tournament of Champions sponsored by Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood and Heritage High School.

This month the 5th-grade class at St. Francis of Assisi School in Concord collected over 375 books for patients at Oakland Children’s Hospital.

Assumption School in San Leandro was recently recognized by KRON-4 as one of the best Private Elementary Schools in Alameda County. The TV station’s Best of the Bay segment on the school aired Feb. 22, highlighting various student activities.

The seventh-graders at Our Lady of Grace School in Castro Valley have raised $2,755 for Heifer International, a non-profit organization that battles world hunger by offering gifts of livestock to financially challenged communities. With their funds the class ordered one heifer, four water buffalo, two llamas, three goats, six flocks of chicks, and several other farm animals.

Congratulations to Lia Rivers-Burt and Damajeria Dubose of Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School who turned in impressive performances at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships (NSIC) at New York’s Armory Track and Field Center. Dubose came in fourth in the mile, and Rivers-Burt finished sixth in the 800-meter run. Both were named to the NSIC Indoor All-American team for their efforts.

Sixty students from St. Mary’s High School Advanced Symphonic Band, Intermediate Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Chorus traveled with Music Director Matt Ferreira to southern California to participate in the Heritage Music Festival, March 19 – 22. In the past three years, St. Mary’s bands and chorus have earned several honors for performances at area California Music Education Association festivals.

Debra Pryor (Class of 1979) recently returned to her alma mater, Oakland’s Holy Names High School, to speak at an assembly on Black History Month. Pryor, who took her place in history by becoming Berkeley’s first woman fire chief in 2004, is just one of three female fire chiefs in California and the second African American fire chief in the country.

Another Holy Names High alumna, Charlotte Bremond (Class of 1967), was recently recognized as a “local hero” by the San Francisco Chronicle and received the prestigious Jefferson Award for community service. A longtime educator in the Oakland public schools, she is the creator of the Oakland Math Olympics and coordinator of the Bay Area Regional School Scrabble Championship.

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Names, News, Notes

Joe Murray is the diocese’s new coordinator of youth ministry. Murray was the youth minister at Our Lady Queen of the World Parish in Bay Point for 11 years as well as coordinator of the Dead Theologians Society, a course of study and prayer on the lives of the saints. He has a degree in management from St. Mary’s College in Moraga and served as an advertising supervisor for over 10 years at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Redemptorist Father Robert Schreiter from the Chicago Theological Union delivered the keynote address at a conference on multiculturalism held March 19 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

The West Contra Costa County Salesian Boys & Girls Club in Richmond presented Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf with its 21st annual Don Bosco Award on March 25 in recognition of his work on behalf of young people. The award is named for St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians.

The Nevada Desert Experience will host its annual “Sacred Peace Walk,” April 6 – 13, to draw attention to the dangers of nuclear weapons. The pilgrimage from Las Vegas to the Nevada Test Site includes a Good Friday “No More Victims” Stations of the Cross, a Passover Seder and Easter Sunday vigil at the test site gates. Information: NevadaDesertExperience.orgor (702) 646-4814 or info@NevadaDesertExperience.org.

VOLUNTEER ALERT! St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County is seeking volunteers for their free dining room, women’s center, social enterprise, etc. Training is available as are options for internships and fulfillment of community service hours. Contact Kate Nauer, volunteer coordinator, (510) 877-9237 or visit the website: svdp-alameda.org.

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