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 October 5, 2009   •   VOL. 47, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

BBQ fest at Mercy Center
John Christian, president of the Oakland location of the Order of Malta-Western Association, sits with Peggy Fink during the 15th annual Knights of Malta barbeque for residents of Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland. The Knights and Dames joined residents for Mass prior to the outdoor feast Sept. 19 in the Bishop Cummins courtyard.
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Rally for peace
More than 60 people gathered at St. Mary’s Center in Oakland, Sept. 21, to observe International Day of Peace with prayers, songs and the planting of a peace pole in St. Andrew’s Park on San Pablo Avenue. Father John Maxwell, pastor of St. John Parish in El Cerrito, led the opening prayer. St. Mary’s Center, located at the former site of St. Andrew-St. Joseph Church, provides outreach services to homeless and low-income seniors, children and families.

Prayer shawl ministry

The Catholic Community of Pleasanton has begun a Prayer Shawl Ministry at its St. Elizabeth Seton Church location. Each month, knitters and crocheters create warm, comforting shawls for individuals who are suffering from cancer, the death of a loved one, or other grief-filled life events.

As the artisans engage in their work, they offer prayers for the future recipients, said Rickie Murphey, co-founder of the new group. “It’s like giving a person a big hug or an angel’s wings.” The next session will be held on Oct. 8 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is open to all interested needle workers. The completed shawls will be given out at a later date.

The Prayer Shawl Ministry has spread nationwide to churches since 1998, when Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo, graduates of the Hartford Seminary of Applied Feminist Spirituality, combined their love of knitting/crocheting with a spiritual practice which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace. Medical Missionary Sister Miriam Therese Winter, author and musician, heads the spirituality program at the seminary.

Diocesan science fair

St. Joseph/Notre Dame High School in Alameda will sponsor the first-ever diocesan-wide science fair for seventh and eighth graders in early February 2010. Open to students in the diocese’s 40 elementary schools, the fair will be held in SJND’s Anthony V. Aiello Science Center.

Initiated by SJND principal Simon Chiu, the day-long event will feature science presentations and demonstrations, lunch and an awards ceremony. Local college and university science educators will serve as judges. Winners will move on to complete in the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair competition in March.

In explaining his reasons for proposing the fair, Chiu noted that the U.S. is currently importing scientific talent from other countries instead of cultivating its own. “With all of our educational resources available today, there is no excuse for that,” he said.

The Science Fair will join two already established diocesan venues for students — the Lillian Black Festival of the Arts and the Young Authors’ Faire.

Around the Parishes

St. Albert the Great Parish in Alameda will have a living Rosary in the Grotto of the Blessed Mother on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. A potluck reception will follow in the parish hall.

“Finding Our Voices: Women, Wisdom and Faith” by Patricia O’Connell Killen is the topic of a book series at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Livermore. The eight-week series, facilitated by Betty Levin, began Sept. 29 and continues each Tuesday through Nov. 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Contact Betty at lvnlvm@comcast.net for more information.

Footage from the 20th anniversary celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass at Oakland’s St. Margaret Mary Parish held Sept. 20 has been uploaded at www.sanctamargaritamaria.blogspot.com. Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone was the celebrant at the Pontifical High Mass.

To honor the Year of the Priest, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Fremont hosted an ice cream social for its youth on Oct. 4. The gathering included vocation stories.

St. Charles Parish in Livermore
has added a Sunday evening Mass to its weekend schedule. The 5:30 pm. Liturgy began Oct. 4. On the last Sunday of each month, the evening Mass will focus on youth.

Members of the St. Leander Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society participated in the Sept. 26 Walk for the Poor at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward. The San Leandro parish asked parishioners to support the walkers by making pledges after Mass on Sept. 20.

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Around the Schools

Congratulations to Bishop O’Dowd High School seniors Cary Appeldorn, Kate Kelly and Raquel Zepeda. The Oakland students are among 16,000 semifinalists in the 55th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Bishop O’Dowd is hosting an information night about the school at the Alameda home of some O’Dowd parents, Oct. 8, from 7 p.m. — 8:30 p.m. For details, contact Tyler Kreitz, tkreitz@bishopodowd.org. Call: (510) 577-9100, ext. 312.

A new memorial scholarship in honor of Holy Names Sister Rita Caulfield has been created at Holy Names High School in Oakland to help finance the education of students interested in business careers. Alum Barbara Lacher, class of 1959, explaining the reason for starting the scholarship, recalled that the nun taught business classes and directed students into practical skills leading successfully to jobs. Sister Caulfield would have been 90 years old on Sept. 23, the day the scholarship was announced. To donate, contact Kathryn Moir at (510) 450-1110, ext. 118 or kmoir@hnhsoakland.org.

St. Mary’s College in Moraga is hosting an Oct. 17 conference on leadership and social justice that will help Bay Area college students become agents of positive social change. Wayne Meisel, president of the Bonner Foundation, and Raj Jayadev, founder of Silicon Valley De-Bug, are the keynote speakers.

St. Clement School in Hayward
kicked off its 50th anniversary celebrations with an open house during the parish’s annual festival, Sept. 26, that included an alumni reception and an opportunity to create ceramic tiles for the school’s legacy wall. The next anniversary event is Nov. 5, the 50th day of school this year. Teachers and students are planning a 1950s’ dress-up day and an experience of the classrooms as they were in 1959.

“The Wounded Body of Christ and the Modern Social Conscience” is the topic of the Graduate Theological Union’s annual Dillenberger Lecture Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. Jesuit Father Terrence Dempsey, director of the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at St. Louis University, and May O’Rourke, Jay Professor of Art History and Religion at St. Louis University, will be the speakers. The lecture takes place at the GTU library in Berkeley.

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Names, News, Notes

The Diocese of San Jose formally initiated its new Catholic Green Initiative of Santa Clara County, on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis, to promote environmental stewardship throughout the diocese. The coalition, which consists of Catholic Charities, Santa Clara University and the Presentation Retreat and Conference Center, joins a growing list of Catholic groups taking the St. Francis Pledge to care for God’s creation and the poor.

Msgr. John McCracken, former pastor of St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek, was honored at a special Mass at St. Isidore Parish in Danville. The happy occasion marked Msgr. McCracken’s 65 years as a priest.

Augustinian Father Paul Quante, parochial vicar of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Castro Valley, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination on Oct. 17 at the 11 a.m. Mass.

Congratulations to St. Michael, Livermore, parishioners Dick and Peggy Boerger who celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary on Sept. 17, and Tom and Jackie Heise who celebrated their 46th anniversary on Sept. 21.

Ann Richnavsky, cantor at St. Mary Parish in Walnut Creek, recently won a radio contest sponsored by KDFC. Her reward? Singing the Star Spangled Banner Sept. 19 at A T&T Park in San Francisco for the opening of the San Francisco Opera’s virtual presentation of “Il Trovatore.”

A weekend for Widowed, Separated and Divorced Catholics will be held Oct. 23-25 at Vallombrosa Retreat Center in Menlo Park. Contact La Verne at (650) 355-3978. or e-mail: SJBeginExp@aol.com.

Married couples are invited to attend a weekend session of Worldwide Marriage Encounter, Nov. 20-22, at the Sheraton Hotel in Pleasanton. Contact Joe and Sue Talarico at (925) 680-7767 or register online by Oct. 28 at www.rekindleyourmarriage.org.

Interested in an introduction to the charismatic experience for Catholics? The diocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office is hosting a Charismatic Healing Mass, Oct. 17, at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 4001 Stoneridge Drive in Pleasanton from 7:30 – 10 p.m.

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