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 April 27, 2009   •   VOL. 47, NO. 8   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Theatre honors for Moreau
The cast of “Little Me” earned the first place award in the musical theatre category at Ohlone College’s annual high school theatre festival. The students are members of the Honors Theatre Arts II class at Hayward’s Moreau Catholic High School. Other Moreau winners were Joe Rivera, a senior, who placed first in the men’s contemporary dramatic monologue category, and Rivera and senior Bren Evangelista who received the first place award in the contemporary dramatic ensemble category. More than 600 students from 26 high schools in northern California participated in the competition.
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Passion Play in Fremont
More than 40 members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Fremont dramatized Christ’s Passion on Good Friday on the parish grounds. The portrayal began with Jesus’ condemnation to death and concluded with the Crucifixion. Martin Amezquita portrayed Christ. Carlos Rodriguez, Andres Miranda, Juan Martinez and Ricardo Mendez assumed the role of Roman soldiers. Most of the actors are members of the parish’s youth groups.

Scholarship awards
Four recipients of scholarships from the Seminarian Education Foundation of the Young Men’s Institute stand with YMI Grand President Frank DiMaggio (far left) and David Zarri, foundation board member. They are Father Juan Franco, Deacon Ian (Paul ) Mendoza, Father Rolando Bartolay, and Deacon Giopre Prado. The YMI provides the funds to help defray the $30,000 annual cost of tuition, books and other expenses incurred while studying for ordination. Most of the cost is borne by the seminarian and his family. The YMI, founded in 1883, has councils in California, Hawaii and Indiana.

A Polish celebration

Students of the John Paul II School of Polish Language, based in Walnut Creek, will be performing at the annual celebration of The Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, on May 3 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, beginning at 1 p.m.

The 3rd of May Constitution is a symbol of the Polish people and of their struggle for liberty, justice, and honor, according to event planners. The program will begin with the playing of the national anthems of the United States and Poland by the Golden Gate Park Band, with Michael Wirgler, director. Preschool and kindergarten students from the language school will perform a small dance entitled “Blueberries.” Older children will perform the famous “Krakowiak” dance in authentic period costumes. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

Children as young as three years old are enrolled in the Polish language, history, culture and religion classes at the Walnut Creek campus. Classes meet every other Saturday from September to June. The curriculum also includes music, theater, dance and poetry. Information: www.polishschool.org.

An Ignatian experience

Alameda’s St. Joseph Basilica, which has offered an experience of Ignatian spirituality to local Catholics since 1998, will present a new session of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, May 15-17, on the theme, “Our Life With Jesus: Compassion and Consolation.”

St. Ignatius of Loyola created the Spiritual Exercises over 400 years ago as a 30-day retreat to enable people to deepen their prayer lives. The exercises included a “Nineteeneth Annotation” to permit adaptations for those unable to participate in the month-long process.

St. Joseph’s Spiritual Exercises Team, led by Holy Names Sister Barbara Williams, has offered various adaptations. The current format consists of three intensive weekends over a period of several months. While the “commuter” retreat allows for attendees to go home each night, those who travel a distance stay at a local hotel. Each weekend is free-standing (people can attend one or more) and focuses on a different aspect of the Spiritual Exercises.

Like the more traditional format, the weekend includes input, guided meditation, journaling, sharing and tools for discernment. Suggested donation is $75; advance donation is required by May 8. Register at www.st-joseph-community.org or by contacting Anne Marie at (510) 995-9409 or afourre@st-joseph-community.org.

Around the Parishes

A new senior choir, comprised of 15 parishioners, recently made its debut at All Saints Parish in Hayward. The choir sings once a month at the Saturday Vigil Mass, mostly traditional hymns they sang while growing up. The singers have had a “very positive response,” reports Steve Mullins, parish life director. The parish is looking into bringing together the new choir and the parish’s various ethnic choirs for a liturgy “to see what new sounds we can make.”

The Our Lady of Fatima Society of St. Leander Parish in San Leandro organized the parish’s annual Holy Ghost Festival, April 13-17. The event included novenas in the church during the week, music and dancing on April 18, and a procession, Mass and parade on April 19.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, members at St. Ignatius Parish in Antioch are once again supporting The Mary Project, the parish’s annual baby shower to assist Birthright of Brentwood, which in turn helps young mothers and their babies. In 2008 the parish donated enough items for the Brentwood facility to distribute for the entire year. The parish is collecting diapers, baby wipes, bottles, formula, baby food in plastic containers, pacifiers, receiving blankets and clothing up to size 2T. If you would like to help, contact the parish office at (925) 778-0768.

A funeral Mass was held April 14 at Oakland’s St. Columba Parish for Clemmie Martin, who served as the parish’s office administrator from 1994-95. Martin died on April 3.

Members of St. John Vianney Parish in Walnut Creek are planning to perform projects of spring cleaning on May 2. On that date parishioners will gather to spruce up the parish campus.

Corpus Christi Parish in Piedmont has a Care Connections Ministry that reaches out to parishioners in need of support after the loss of a loved one, provides meals during an illness, and offers a ride to Mass to parishioners unable to drive.

The Catholic Community of Pleasanton is hosting a vacation bible school for children in grades K -5, June 22-26 at St. Augustine Hall. Youth in grades 6-12 will volunteer as camper aides.

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Around the Schools

Look out Tiger Woods! Carlos Briones, a freshman at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward and a member of the varsity golf team, took his place among the “Faces in the Crowd” feature in the April 13 issue of Sports Illustrated. Briones recently became the youngest winner of the San Francisco City Golf Championship at age 14.

Raquel Zepeda, a junior at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School, has been selected to participate in the University of Notre Dame’s Latino Community Leadership Seminar, July 12-18. She is one of 40 high school students nationwide to take part in the seminar, which explores the role of Latinos in U.S. society. The seminar is hosted by the university’s Institute for Latino Studies and Office of Pre-College Programs.

Briana Bryne, a junior at Holy Names High School in Oakland, has been selected by a faculty review committee to participate in a summer Earthwatch Expedition. She will travel to the west coast of Vancouver Island where she will help researchers explore better ways to protect grey whales. Byrne’s participation is supported by a scholarship from Dr. Linda Serna, a HNHS alumna (Class of 1968).

Comedian, author and local Catholic school product Brian Copeland will be headlining an evening of comedy on May 2 to benefit the tuition assistance fund at Assumption School in San Leandro. Joining Copeland for the 8 p.m. show at Villa Cereja Restaurant in San Leandro are Steve Barkley ($10,000 winner on “America’s Funniest People”) and Albert Vallejo (Bay Area comedy club favorite). The program also includes live jazz and dancing with the Frank Sumares Trio. For tickets or more information, call (510) 562-3916.

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Names, News, Notes

Many Blessings and Best Wishes to Jean and Howard Bettencourt of St. Michael Parish in Livermore who recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary.

Congratulations also go to Maria and Wallis Curtis, members of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Berkeley, who marked their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows on April 19 at the parish church.

It’s time to once again lace up your sneakers or shake your pom-poms for the Annual Shelter Shuffle fundraiser for FESCO (Family Emergency Shelter Coalition) May 16 at the San Leandro Marina. Individuals and teams can walk the marina or cheer on the walkers as they put in miles to raise money so FESCO can continue to provide emergency shelter, comprehensive support services, aftercare, and transitional housing for families. To register or make a pledge online go to www.firstgiving.com/fesco, send an e-mail to adsilva@fescofamilyshelter.org, or call (510) 886-5473.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County is hosting a breakfast, May 6, at its Free Dining Room in Oakland to acquaint supporters with its services and its development programs. The Dining Room serves nearly 1,000 hot meals daily to the homeless and the hungry. Its other programs also provide practical help to people in need. RSVP by May 1 to (510) 636-4261.

The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will broadcast Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Middle East where he will visit Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, May 8 - 15. He will meet with Muslim religious leaders in Jordan, visit the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem, and celebrate Mass at Manger’s Square in Bethlehem. Schedule: www.ewtn.comor phone EWTN at (205) 271-2900 and ask for viewer services.

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