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 February 8, 2010   •   VOL. 48, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

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Around the Parishes
Around the Schools
Names, News, Notes



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Shoes for Haiti
Students at All Saints School in Hayward show some of the shoes they collected for Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity seeking one million pairs of shoes during its Project: Haiti drive.
Memorial prayer ribbons
White prayer ribbons hang on the fence at St. John the Baptist School in El Cerrito in memory of Terry Barber, school principal, who died Jan. 16. Based on Tibetan and Native American traditions, the ribbons symbolize the prayers for the deceased being lifted up to heaven.
lisa lee photo
  60th anniversary
Vanessa Marquez, left, and Christine St. Germain carry their school banner into St. Peter Martyr Church in Pittsburg, Jan. 31, for the school’s 60th anniversary Mass. The procession included graduates of every class since 1955 holding a banner with their graduation year. An estimated 1,000 people attended.

Helping Haiti

Catholics throughout the Oakland Diocese have been reaching out to victims of last month’s devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Students and families at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro donated over 200 pairs of new or slightly worn shows to Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity that collects and distributes shoes to people in need. The charity set a goal to collect one million pairs of shoes through its Project: Haiti drive.

Students at Assumption School in San Leandro also added shoes for Soles4Souls and they collected $1,000 through their “Hats Off for Haiti” fundraiser for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) which is providing massive assistance to the quake’s survivors.

The student council at St. Joseph Elementary School in Alameda raised over $1,000 in one week by asking each school family to donate money equivalent to the price of a case of bottled water. A check for that amount was sent to the Red Cross of America.

Students, faculty and staff Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward raised more than $3,000 to help support the work of the Congregation of the Holy Cross which has been working in Haiti since 1944. The school collection took place during the campus’ annual feast day celebration of Blessed Basil Moreau, founder of the Holy Cross order.

The kindergarten class at St. John the Baptist School in El Cerrito presented their pastor, Father John Maxwell, with a check for $2000 for aid to their sister parish in Haiti.

Employees at the diocesan chancery offices raised $2,632.75 with a potluck luncheon Jan. 21 for CRS.

The diocesan CYO added $300 to the CRS Haiti fund through a collection held during the Jim Negri Girls CYO Volleyball Tournament. The diocesan School for Pastoral Ministry also raised $180.

Report from Haiti

The Newman Nonviolent Peacemaking Group at Holy Spirit/Newman Hall Parish in Berkeley will host a fundraiser on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the parish to benefit the Little Sisters of St. Therese’s Missions in Haiti.

Barbara Wander, a member of Holy Spirit who was in Haiti at the time of the earthquake, will share her photos and stories concerning the devastation of Riviere Froide Campus, where the orphanage and nine other buildings were destroyed. For more information: (510) 848-7812.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

Wilson Fellow to visit

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and eldest daughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, will present a lecture titled, “The Dream Shall Never Die: Hope and Action for Today,” on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Soda Activity Center at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. The lecture is free and open to the public.

As a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, Town-send will be spending a week at St. Mary’s speaking with student groups and visiting classes to discuss such topics as volunteerism and service, women in power and the intersection of faith and politics. She is the author of the 2007 book “Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way.”

Around the Parishes

Two Contra Costa County parishes — St. Bonaventure in Concord and St. John Vianney in Walnut Creek — joined forces to shelter and feed homeless families through the Winter Nights Program the week of Jan. 25 — Feb. 1.

In conjunction with the International Year for Priests, St. Edward Parish in Newark will host special celebrations of priesthood Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. — 9 p.m., and Feb. 20, 2 p.m. — 3 p.m. in the parish hall. They will honor the priests who have served at the parish over the years and view two short films, including one on the life and work of Jesuit Father Walter Cizlek in Russia. Admission is free. Products from Ignatius Press will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefitting the parish’s adult faith formation program.

Seeking time for quiet prayer in North Oakland? St. Augustine Church at 400 Alcatraz Ave. is open every Saturday afternoon from 4 p.m. until the start of Mass at 5 p.m. for those seeking a place for peaceful reflection, meditation and personal prayer.

Deacon Rigoberto Cabezas has been transferred from St. Joachim Parish in Hayward to St. Michael Parish in Livermore.

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Around the Schools

Some schools talk about being a reading school, but St. Isidore School in Danville has proof. It literally read its way into the 2010 Book of World Records, placing sixth overall out of 8,725 schools participating in the World Record for Reading. Students kept a daily log of minutes they spent reading last summer. Fifth grader Christine DeMartini was the top reader with 8952 minutes, which breaks down to approximately 150 hours or six days of non-stop reading. Just behind her was Peter Tagliaferri, an 8th grader, with 8095 minutes. California had the highest volume of participating schools and St. Isidore was the only one that placed in the top 20 out of 1156 schools in California.

A double shot of good news from St. Francis of Assisi School in Concord, which not only hosted the National Geographic Geography Bee in December, but swept away the competition. The first-place winner was Rachel Millena, 8th grade; second place went to Celina Dioso, 6th grade; third place: Sneha Bentley, 8th grade; and fourth place: Kevin Bentley, 6th grade. Additionally, the 7th-grade class participated in the Lions International Peace Poster Contest and also enjoyed winning results. Grace Sytkowski won first place and Victoria Petty was first runner-up. Honorable mentions went to Ashley Ceguera, Ryan Cheng, Gabriella De Guzman, and Haley Seeno.

Rugby has debuted this semester at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School. Ray Lehner, the school’s rugby director, is overseeing a group of 70 boys and girls who are learning about the sport and are taking part in conditioning workshops ahead of official practice which begins this week.

Ten juniors and seniors at Oakland’s Holy Names High School spent their midsession as volunteers in local non-profit organizations. Six students served as pre-school classroom assistants at St. Vincent’s Day Home in West Oakland; two students used their bilingual skills to help immigrants and refugees seeking legal assistance at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant in Berkeley; and two others did a variety of jobs, from distributing clothing and food to performing office tasks, at the Davis Street Family Resource Center in San Leandro.

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Names, News, Notes

Volunteers are needed! Birthright of Concord, a crisis pregnancy center, will conduct a two-day training session on Feb. 19 from 7 — 9 p.m. and Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. at its office at 3106 Clayton Road in Concord. Areas of need for volunteers include client counselor, office assistant, outreach to schools and agencies, public relations, organizing maternity and baby clothing closets, board member and fund raising. For applications: (925) 798-7227.

Married couples in Northern California are invited to celebrate their union at a noon Mass and renew their vows on Feb. 27 at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 1111 Gough St. in San Francisco. Special recognition will be shown those who are celebrating their 25th, 50th or 50-plus wedding anniversaries. San Francisco Auxiliary Bishop William Justice will preside at the liturgy. For more information or to register online go to www.sffamilylife.com or send an e-mail to sfcath@gmail.com.

What’s on EWTN? The Eternal Word Television Network, the 24/7 Catholic TV network, will broadcast the Ash Wednesday Mass with Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 17 at 7:30 a.m. in the Basilica of St. Sabina in Rome. A repeat broadcast will be shown on Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. EWTN is carried on Comcast Ch. 229, AT and T Ch. 562, Astound Ch. 116, DISH Satellite Ch. 261 and DirecTV Ch. 370; and in Alameda, Comcast airs EWTN on Ch. 30. Visit www.ewtn.com for more special programs.

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