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 January 11, 2010   •   VOL. 48, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

A gift of life
A Red Cross volunteer watches over Greg Hickel of St. Raymond Parish in Dublin during the annual blood drive organized by the John C. Murphy Council #7987 of the Knights of Columbus at St. Raymond Parish in November. Sixty pints of blood were collected during the drive, named in memory of Tom Grywczynski, a fellow Knight who died of cancer last August. The Knights have been conducting the blood drive for the past 12 years. It will now be held in Grywczynski’s memory.
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Catholics help build homes

Catholics from at least five East Bay parishes were among the volunteers and donors who helped to complete 20 new, green and affordable homes on Oakland’s Edes Avenue for Habitat for Humanity East Bay. A celebration of the project, which is transforming a blighted auto salvage yard into a thriving neighborhood, took place on Dec. 12. The new homeowners received the keys to their residences during the celebration.

Parishes participating in the Edes Avenue project were the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, St. Joan of Arc in San Ramon, St. John Vianney in Walnut Creek, St. Charles Borromeo in Livermore, and St. Raymond in Dublin.

The homeowners worked with the Build-A-Thon volunteers at the site. They had also put in 500 hours of sweat equity in the construction process as part of their partnership with the Habitat program. Revitalizing neighborhoods and providing ownership opportunities for families with limited incomes is the mission of Habitat for Humanity East Bay.

Refs spread Christmas cheer

A total of 35 CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) referees for boys basketball in Southern Alameda County raised money for the homeless through a campaign called One Game, Many Meals (OGMM). The referees, known as the Zebra Crew, voluntarily donated one game’s pay toward the campaign as did about a dozen “friends” of the Zebra Crew.

The referees include high school students, coaches, and adults from several Catholic schools including Moreau High in Hayward, Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland, De La Salle in Concord, as well as several public high schools. Parishes in San Leandro, Hayward, Castro Valley, Union City, San Lorenzo, Dublin and Oakland also contributed to the OGMM campaign.

Students experience Dickens

Over 150 7th and 8th grade students from three inner-city elementary schools in the Oakland Diocese, accompanied by their teachers, traveled to San Francisco last month to attend a performance of “A Christmas Carol” at the American Conservatory Theatre. The students from St. Cornelius School in Richmond and St. Elizabeth, St. Martin de Porres School in Oakland, had studied the Charles Dickens’ novel in their language arts classes. The generosity of several individuals, a corporate foundation and a local family foundation made the cultural field trip possible.

Around the Parishes

St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Concord will host a memorial Mass on Jan. 21 for the late Father William Macchi, a beloved former pastor who died in October. Bishop Emeritus John Cummins will preside at the 7 p.m. liturgy. All are welcome.

The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland rang in the New Year with a series of three events. On Jan. 6 the choirs from the San Francisco Archdiocese, Sacramento Diocese and the San Jose Diocese provided a choral concert. On Jan. 7, Christian Brother William Woeger, artistic consultant to the cathedral, lectured on the art inside the building and on Jan. 8 architect Craig Hartman discussed his design of the cathedral.

Volunteers came to the cathedral’s Legal Justice Center to serve at a Dec. 19 soup kitchen for the hungry in the parish hall. Besides meals for the seated guests, the volunteers delivered food to homeless shelters. The Legal Justice Center, founded by attorney Jayne Fleming of Reed Smith LLP, provides advice and legal clinics to indigent and low-income individuals.

Richmond’s St. Mark Parish brought joy to the city’s “Iron Triangle” neighborhood by distributing toy gifts for some 235 low-income families last month.

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Around the Schools

Students at Christ the King School (CTK) in Pleasant Hill continued the community’s 20-year tradition of participating in the “Giving Tree” project for St. Boniface Parish in San Francisco. For the past three years the San Francisco Police Department has partnered with the school for this Christmas outreach. On Dec. 17, Capt. Dan McDonagh and other members of the police department arrived with lights and sirens at the school to pick up the donated gifts that were loaded into cars, vans and even a bomb squad truck for the trip back to St. Boniface.

Three of the four middle school students at Oakland’s St. Martin de Porres School who participated in the Young Musicians Program (YMP) at U.C. Berkeley last summer are now continuing in the yearlong program, thanks to support from Frederica Von Stade, the well known mezzo-soprano, and Daisy Newman, YMP director.

For the 10th year in a row, the third grade class at St. Philip Neri School in Alameda has worked to support UNICEF. Under the supervision of teacher Brooke Turner, the 27 students helped bake cookies and cupcakes for sale. They had also asked for UNICEF donations during their Halloween Trick or Treat. All of their work netted $950 for the UN agency.

Students at Queen of All Saints School in Concord recently donated $500 to the John Muir Cancer Institute in Concord. They raised the money by having Jean Day Fridays in which students were allowed to wear jeans to school in exchange for a $1 donation. Fourth grade students presented the funds and the class was treated to a tour of the cancer facility and viewed a CT scan machine up close.

Andrew David King, a student at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, is one of two students who took second place in the 2009 “Freedom in Academia” high school essay contest sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. King won a $2,500 scholarship for his essay, “In Clear and Present Danger: The State of Personal Liberty in America,” in which he investigates the threat to free thought and human dignity posed by censorship at universities.

Also at Moreau, faculty, staff and students donated 420 gifts and gift cards, and 50 items of clothing to the 2009 Salvation Army Toy Drive.

Concord’s De La Salle High School football team defeated Crenshaw-Los Angeles 28-14 in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) state championship Open Division Bowl on Dec. 19 at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

Salesian High School in Richmond has a new online photo album on Flickr (www.flickr.com) called “Picture This, Salesian!” Recent photos include a peek at the work of students in an art class and a group shot of the varsity basketball team.

The Knights of Columbus at St. Raymond Parish in Dublin shared the proceeds from the sales of fireworks with St. Raymond School. Grand Knight Matt Troiano presented a check for $7,000 to principal Madeleine de la Fontaine at a recent meeting of the school board. Father Bob McCann, St. Raymond pastor, was present at the meeting and thanked the Knights for their generosity.

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Names, News, Notes

Congratulations to Myrna and Richard Barnes, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Point Richmond on Dec. 12. They wed at the same church in 1959.

Richard Lane, an African American Catholic evangelist, spoke to students at the School for Pastoral Ministry in November about the need of the laity to evangelize and bring the Gospel to all people.

Over the past 20 years, A Friendly Place/Manor, a transitional housing and day shelter for homeless women in downtown Oakland, recently summarized some of the services provided at the site. These included: 364,000 cups of coffee served, 46,800 showers taken, and 37,500 loads of laundry done. The program is run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Catholic Charities of the East Bay (CCEB) distributed 1,400 turkeys during its seventh annual Christmas give-away. The turkeys were given to local organizations in the East Bay which, in turn, gave them to those in need. John McMahon spearheaded the give-away, a joint project of his employer, Merrill Lynch, and CCEB. Over the last six years, CCEB has distributed an average of 1,584 turkeys annually to over 35 organizations.

Attention married couples!!! Are you interested in experiencing new romance, deeper communication, and feeling closer to your spouse? Consider participating in a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. The next weekend in the Oakland Diocese is Feb. 19 – 22. For more information, contact Ray and Roberta Montes at (510) 351-2649 evenings after 6 p.m., or visit www.lovemoredeeply.org.

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