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 May 24, 2010   •   VOL. 48, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Safety officers honored
California Highway Patrol Office Nate Coker receives his “Officer of the Year” award from Grand Knight Matt Triano of the Dublin Council of the Knights of Columbus during the 17th annual Red Blue & Gold Banquet of the Tri-Valley Knights 4th Degree Holy Spirit Assembly. The other honorees are: Deputy Fire Marshall Darrell Jones of the Alameda County Fire Dept., Deputy John White of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept., Corporal Nathan Behrmann of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, Danville Police Detective Antony Maldonado, Dublin Police Sergeant George Lytle, Firefighter Matt Thau of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Dept., Livermore Police Detective Brian Geiger, Pleasanton Police Office Eric Fredgren, San Roman Police Officer Steven Brinkley and Firefighter Brian Morales of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.
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Touched by adoption?

All parents who have adopted children, whether the children are young or grown, and all adoptees who have either found their biological parents or are in the process of searching are invited to an Adoption Seminar on June 5 at St. Stephen Church, 1101 Keaveny Court in Walnut Creek. The gathering will be held in the parish hall from 9 a.m. to noon.

The idea for organizing the seminar arose from a discussion Annette Roux, pastoral associate at St. Stephen, had with an adoptive parent in her parish who came to her and asked if adopted children had problems connecting with their adoptive parents. Roux said that she knew of some who did. Both Roux and that parent felt that a support group might be beneficial for others dealing with the same issue.

“Many couples enter into adoption without realizing the length of the journey and sometimes the disappointments along the way,” Roux said. “Adoption is such a unique situation (both closed and open adoptions) that we have found many parents and adopted children who felt they had no one that understands their mixed emotions, feelings of abandonment, etc.”

In addition to providing the beginnings of a support group, the seminar will serve as an informational resource for those touched by adoption. Judy Luft, a former social worker and adoption special, will be the guest speaker.

There is no admission or registration fee for the seminar, but a “free will” basket will be available at the door.
For more information, contact Annette Roux at (925) 210-0732.

Celebration at Mission

All are welcome to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the restoration of Mission San Jose in Fremont, the East Bay’s only California mission, on June 5. The day will begin at 10 a.m. with Bishop Emeritus John Cummins presiding at Mass, followed by a Eucharistic procession. The festivities conclude with a multicultural reception in the parish hall.

Founded on June 11, 1797, Mission San Jose is the 14th of the 21 Franciscan missions. The original adobe church and most other mission buildings were destroyed by an earthquake in 1868. The church was rebuilt in 1985. Mission San Jose is located at 43148 Mission Blvd. For more information, visit www.saintjosephmsj.org.

Prayers for priests

The “Adopt a Priest with Prayer” program, which began at St. Mary Parish in Walnut Creek in 1996, currently has 350 adults representing every parish in the Oakland Diocese enrolled in this ministry of daily prayer for priests.

Alice Osterman maintains a list of active and retired priests in the diocese along with seminarians and assigns volunteers who agree to pray for a priest for one year. Two hundred classes of Catholic school children are also participating in this prayerful outreach.

During this Year of the Priest, new volunteers are especially welcome. To join this ministry, contact Alice Osterman at (925) 935-0461 or send your name and address to her at 10 Pueblo Court, Alamo, CA, 94507, and she will mail the name of a priest to you.

Around the Parishes

Members of Holy Spirit/Newman Hall Parish in Berkeley came together May 16 to honor Paulist Father Al Moser on his 50th anniversary of priestly ordination. A special Mass at 10 a.m. temporarily replaced the parish’s usual 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. liturgies. Parishioners presented the priest with a special tribute album containing reflections, photos and expressions of thanks to the longtime parochial vicar.

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone joined members of St. Isidore Parish in Danville on May 15 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the parish’s founding. The bishop presided at the liturgy. The Centennial Celebration Weekend also included a parish family feast on May 15 and a family brunch after Masses on May 16.

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Around the Schools

Our Lady of Grace School in Castro Valley came in as a big winner at the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade May 8-9. OLG won third place for their float in the “student” category. And four students of the 6th grade class swept the rodeo’s art and essay contest, sponsored by the Castro Valley Rotary Club. The essay winners were: Mike Williams, first place; Alia Turner, second place; art contest winners were America Morales, first place; Lindsey Wong, second place. Their works are on display at www.castrovalleyrotary.com and www.mycastrovalley.com.

The Diversity Club at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley hosted the school’s annual Diversity Fair May 13. About 25 countries and various U.S. states were represented at the fair that included 15 student performances and two dozen booths featuring historical, geographical and cultural information hosted by students in their native dress.

Speaking of St. Mary’s High, much applause goes to sophomore Trinity Wilson who took the lead in the girls’ 100-meter high hurdles and broke the national sophomore and age 15 records at the Sacramento Meet of Champions on May 1. Her winning wind-legal time was 13.49 seconds. The national sophomore record had stood for 34 years.

Four Bishop O’Dowd High School students recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor of the Boy Scouts. Alfred Joseph Rosen, ’11, a member of Troop 73 and Venture Crew 512 received his award at a Court of Honor at Trinity Lutheran Church. Rosen’s service project was the modification of Paden School’s loading/unloading zone to allow two lanes of through traffic, enhancing the safety of students and reducing the traffic burden on Central Avenue in Alameda; Alexander William Finch, ’10, was honored during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony and reception held by the Presbyterian District Boy Scouts of America Troop 271 at Park Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Oakland. For his project, Finch drafted the blueprint and built two redwood planter boxes (4 ft. x 8 ft.) for the Chabot Space Center in Oakland. These planter boxes are now being used by the environmental education program at the Center to teach organic gardening to children; Adarious Payton, ’10, a member of Troop 386, was honored by Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel. For his project Payton installed new carpet in the GED classroom at the East Oakland Youth Development Center, a non-profit organization that offers after school programs to inner city youth at no cost; Collier Smith, ’10, a member of Troop 305, Peralta District, San Francisco Bay Area Council, will be honored at his Court of Honor on June 17 at East Hills Community Church in Oakland. For his project, Smith designed and constructed an edible plant garden for large mammals at the Oakland Zoo. The structure is a terraced planter (6 ft. x 20 ft.) which transformed an otherwise unusable hillside.

The California State Senate and Assembly recognized the 2009-10 men’s basketball team at St. Mary’s College in Moraga for reaching the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) and State Assembly member Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) presented Coach Randy Bennett and several players with state resolutions that recognized the team’s athletic accomplishments.

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Names, News, Notes

Jesuit Father Tom Lucas, a professor of art and architecture at the University of San Francisco (USF) who has been assisting at St. Joan of Arc Parish in San Ramon for more than two decades, was recognized earlier this month by USF for “on-going and extraordinary achievements in the areas of teaching, research and service.” At the beginning of the next academic year he will be installed as “University Professor” at the faculty/staff convocation. This is a new distinction created by USF’s provost and deans.

Holy Names Sister Miriam Malone has been named interim coordinator of the pastoral ministries program at Holy Names University (HNU) in Oakland. Sister Malone, who holds a Master’s degree in pastoral studies, a certificate in pastoral counseling from Loyola University of Chicago, and a doctorate degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary, served as director of Christian Initiation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles prior to spending two years as an itinerant minister in Alaska. She succeeds Bob Lasalle-Klein, associate professor of religious studies/pastoral ministries, who was awarded a Bannan Research Fellowship from the Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University.

H2Onews, a Catholic news service that creates and distributes multimedia news in nine languages, has produced a documentary film, “A Jesuit in the Kingdom of the Dragon,” for the 400th anniversary of the death of Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), an Italian Jesuit missionary who introduced Christianity to China. The 60-minute film, directed by Gjon Kolndrekaj, was sponsored by the General Curia of the Society of Jesus and by the Diocese of Macerata-Tolentino-Recanati Cingoli-Treia. The DVD is available in Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Information at: www.h2onews.org.

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