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 May 11, 2009   •   VOL. 47, NO. 9   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

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Sections on this page:

Around the Parishes
Around the Schools
Among the Religious
Names, News, Notes



To submit news from your parish for Around the Diocese, email:
SEND PHOTOS TO cathvoice@gmail.com

New vocations website

Just in time for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on May 1, the diocesan vocations office launched a new revamped website at www.oaklandvocations.org. Visitors can view videos about the priesthood, read about the diocese’s current group of seminarians, learn about religious Brothers and Sisters, examine the role of permanent deacons, and find a recommended reading list and diocesan vocations prayers .

The site also provides a look at the process of discernment, a link to resources, and a news section with messages on vocations from Pope Benedict XVI as well as articles from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Around the Parishes

St. Paul Parish in San Pablo hosted its fifth annual Cinco de Mayo Festival on May 2 with food, games, live music and dancing. The event was sponsored by the parish, the San Pablo Soccer Association and the San Pablo Police Department.

All Saints Parish in Hayward will celebrate its Portuguese origins as it observes the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima with a multicultural event, May 13. The parish was founded by Portuguese Catholics, and Portuguese culture continues to be an important part of the community’s identity. The event will include a multi-lingual Rosary at 6:30 p.m., followed by a tri-lingual (English, Spanish, Portuguese) Mass at 7 p.m. The liturgy will conclude with a candlelight procession, followed by a potluck in the parish gym. The All Saints Festival Choir will sing in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog and Tongan.

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Around the Schools

Marisela Ezparza, a senior at Oakland’s Holy Names High School, has been selected to receive a Gates Millennium Scholarship. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program was established in 1999 and funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This year 1,000 students were selected from 20,000 applicants. Ezparza will attend the University of San Francisco to study biology. She wants to enter the medical field.

Toby Michael Gay, a senior at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts highest honor. For his final project Gay designed and constructed an arbor and bench at the Alameda Point Collaborative that provides housing and other services for low-income families at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

The 22nd annual Belles of Saint Mary’s Scholarship Brunch was held at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley on April 18 with 60 women in attendance. Event speakers were Amanda Bruun and Johanna Bolling, Class of 2003 alumnae who own A&J Jewels, an El Cerrito-based business they began as a senior class project. Since its founding in 1987, the Belles have raised thousands of dollars through annual dues to provide scholarship funds for the school.

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Among the Religious

Father Denis Des Rosiers, pastor at St. Stephen Parish in Walnut Creek, is observing his 40th year as a priest and parishioners and friends will gather for a celebration on May 16 in the parish hall.

Father Robert Rien, parochial administrator at St. Ignatius Parish in Antioch, celebrated the 35th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on May 3 with Evening Prayer at the church, attended by parishioners, family and friends.

New parochial vicar assignments: Father Christopher Berbena will leave Christ the King Parish in Pleasant Hill and move to the Church of the Assumption Parish in San Leandro; Father Declan Deane moves from All Saints Parish in Hayward to Christ the King Parish in Pleasant Hill. Both assignments are effective June 1.

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Names, News, Notes

Congratulations to Marjorie Spedowfski who celebrated her 90th birthday last month. The Oakland native moved to Oakland’s St. Lawrence O’Toole Parish at age eight and has been a parishioner there ever since. Spedowfski has three children, 12 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

Pamela Shay has been named assistant principal for academics at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School, beginning July 1. She succeeds Lisa Tortorich who will be the new assistant principal at Mercy High School in Burlingame.

The John Paul II School of Polish Language, a language and culture school for children and adults in Walnut Creek, has awarded Oskar Operacz, a 7th grader in Walnut Creek, the grand prize in a poetry festival held on April 26. One of more than 50 students who participated in the recital, he received a $500 scholarship from the Polam Federal Credit Union.

Liturgists, music ministers, clergy and others wanting a deeper liturgical experience may be interested in attending “More Than One Road Home: Multicultural Liturgical Arts Intensive,” June 9-12 at the Mercy Center in Auburn. Co-sponsored by Oregon Catholic Press, the workshop will explore liturgy from intercultural perspectives featuring hands-on workshops in all areas of liturgical arts. For more information, call (530) 887-2019 or register online at www.mercycenter.org.

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