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 October 4, 2010   •   VOL. 48, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Honoring catechists
Polly Russell of St. Paul Parish in San Pablo smiles after receiving recognition from Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone for 30 years of service as a catechist. The recognition event took place after the Sept. 12 Mass for catechists at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
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‘Yes I Can’
An enthusiastic group of students at St. Leander School in San Leandro kick off the “Yes I Can!” metal can recycling program to raise funds for musical instruments for the school. They are, back row from left, Lois Largoza, Dane Delaney, Axel Cabato, Nina Daluz, Camille Santiago, Ivana Santos and MaryJane Pediguerra. Front row from left, Saia Lorenzo, Mia Lorenzo and Leo Lorenzo.

International Peace Day
RIGHT: Seventh-graders at St. Jerome School in El Cerrito (from left), Lexi Driscoll, Olivia Lozano, Haley McDermott, Lily Driscoll and Devin Whigham declare their belief in peace during the school’s observance of International Peace Day, Sept. 21. Students grouped into “school families” made peace wreaths (above) that will be on display in the corridors for the school year.
International Day of Peace
St. Ignatius Parish in Antioch observed International Day of Peace, Sept. 19, with 14 ecumenical and interfaith traditions participating in a variety of activities including the planting of a peace pole (left) and the Dances of Universal Peace, led by the Rev. Brian Rouse (above) of Concord. Antioch Mayor James Davis presented a proclamation to Father Tom Bonacci of the parish.

Unusual classic
Jayne Archer, staff member at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Livermore, holds the first place trophy for most unusual car won by this 1968 hearse during the St. Charles Festival and Classic Car Show. The hearse publicized the services of Holy Angels Mortuary Services at the cemetery.

Composer’s first Mass to debut

October 17 will be a day that Frank La Rocca won’t soon forget. On that date the composer’s first Mass, “Missa Cordi Sacro,” will debut at his parish church, St. Margaret Mary in Oakland, during 12:30 p.m. Extraordinary Form High Mass.

His new composition has deep meaning for La Rocca, who returned to the Catholic Church during Lent 2009 after a lengthy absence. “The composition and debut of this work is an occasion of tremendous personal and spiritual satisfaction to me,” he told The Voice.

“My musical style is focused on reconciling tradition with modernity, and a Mass is in many ways the perfect vehicle for that sort of effort,” he said.

The parish’s Chorus Magnificat, a mixed schola for the singing of Gregorian Chant under the direction of Brenda Bonhomme, will sing the Mass. David Sundahl will play the organ.

The Mass is dedicated to Father Jean Marie Moreau, the Episcopal Delegate for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Oakland Diocese. The priest, in residence at St. Margaret Mary, served as spiritual advisor to La Rocca’s wife, Lucia, when she converted to Catholicism about the same time La Rocca returned to the Church.

“We both feel profound love and gratitude for all he has done and continues to do and I wanted to honor him in some way that reflects his unique mission in our parish,” said La Rocca

A longtime music professor at California State University East Bay, La Rocca was recently awarded second prize in the 2010 International Sacred Arts Composer Competition for his a capella composition, “Credo.”

Thanks for the memories

StoryCorps, a national oral history project, will be at the heart of the “Sharing the Stories of Elders” celebration at Oakland’s Salem Lutheran Home, Oct. 24. While StoryCorps records the stories of several elders, family members and friends will have an opportunity to learn how to ask questions and record conversations that can become invaluable stores of memories and information.

The celebration, which marks Salem Lutheran Home’s 86th anniversary, will include entertainment, refreshment and tours of Salem’s five-acre campus at 2361 East 29th St. Salem Lutheran Home is part of the Elder Care Alliance, a faith-based, non profit that includes six communities in the Bay Area, including Mercy Retirement and Care Center, also in Oakland.

RSVP: (510) 534-3637.

SPRED retreat

Community-wide support from 45 participants and 35 volunteer catechists from across the diocese helped to make the 33rd SPRED (Special Religious Education) Labor Day retreat at San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville an event to remember, said Holy Family Sister Aurora Perez, SPRED director. Father Paul Minnihan, pastor at St. Paschal Parish in Oakland, presided at the Mass. Katie Harding and her family from St. Michael Parish in Livermore were the music ministers.

Around the Parishes

Holy Rosary Parish in Antioch will host Immaculee Ilibagiza, who survived 91 days in a small room with seven other women to escape the tragic Rwandan genocide, on Oct. 30 at 6:45 p.m. All are invited to hear her story of faith, hope and forgiveness. Tickets are $25. Information: (925) 757-4020 or www.holyrosaryca.org.

The Legion of Mary at St. Edward Parish in Newark organized a Rosary Rally on Oct. 2 that included Mass, followed by an outdoor procession around the church.

Members at Fremont’s Holy Spirit Parish brought their family pets to the school’s parking lot yesterday (Oct. 3) for the Blessing of the Animals in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Catholic women of all ages are invited to join WINGS (Women in God’s Spirit) at St. Raymond Parish in Dublin. The group, which encourages spiritual growth through prayer, Scripture study and faith sharing, meets every Wednesday from 9 – 11:20 a.m. in the parish’s Moran Hall. The theme for the fall season, which begins Oct. 6, is “Our Relationship to God, Self, and Others.” Information: Cora at (925) 829-7593.

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Around the Schools

Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School (BOD) recently hosted two cousins of the school’s namesake last month. Katherine O’Dowd Alexander and Kieran O’Dowd had a tour of the campus, Sept. 1. Bishop O’Dowd, who served as superintendent of schools while auxiliary bishop in the San Francisco Archdiocese, helped plan and establish more than two dozen Catholic schools. At the time of his death in 1950 at the age of 42 in a car accident, he was making plans to establish a Catholic high school in the East Bay. The Oakland school was named in his honor.

Speaking of O’Dowd, William Du (’13) spent four weeks at UC Davis in July working on projects in computational bio-physics and robotics.

O’Dowd senior Jesse Harder is one of some 16,000 high school seniors across the country named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship program. Tamara Savage, a senior at Oakland’s Holy Names High School, is also a semifinalist as well as an AP Scholar based on her outstanding academic performance on the Advanced Placement Exams.

Four members of the varsity cross country team at Alameda’s St. Joseph Notre Dame High School volunteered as pacers for the San Francisco Marathon to benefit AIDS research. Louis Rodrigues (’13), Nick Ratto (’12), Brendan Chai (’11) and Mitchell Mein (’11) signed on to be pacers at the last minute when The West Valley Track Club, a running group that normally provides pace runners for the marathon, were not able to do so because of injuries to many of its runners.

A record 630 runners launched the start of the diocesan Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Cross Country season at the first meet on Sept. 1 at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland. The teams, made up of four age groups of boys and girls from third to eighth grade, have been running at meets each week since. Their season will culminate at the diocesan meet at Joaquin Miller Park on Oct. 15.

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Among the Religious

Deacon Jeffrey Burns, who is assigned to St. Lawrence O’Toole Parish in Oakland and is archivist for the San Francisco Archdiocese, delivered an address, “Turmoil and Triumph: The Era of Constructing St. Mary’s Cathedral,” at the Festival of Flowers, Sept. 30 – Oct. 3, St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco.

The late Father William Macchi, who served as vicar general and financial secretary of the Oakland Diocese during the administration of Bishop John Cummins, will be remembered on the first anniversary of his death, Oct. 9, during the 5:30 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

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Names, News, Notes

As part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of its Care Center, the Mercy Care and Retirement Center in Oakland will honor five individuals with its Heart of Mercy Awards, Oct. 9 at St. Elizabeth Church in Oakland. The awardees are: Else Kiefer, the first lay administrator of Mercy Retirement and Care Center who started the effort to build a skilled nursing facility that promoted a healing atmosphere; Dr. Gordon Lake, the current medical director at Mercy who is known for his attention to the residents’ “whole being”; James McCloud, who as chair of the capital campaign to build the Care Center solicited hundreds of donations from individuals, corporations and foundations; Dr. Rod Perry, a doctor of internal medicine, who was a physician to some residents when the Care Center opened and served as a teacher for the nurses and staff; and the late Mercy Sister Mary Jean Meier, the beloved development director who used her compassion and financial acumen to help launch the $2.5 million capital campaign to build the Care Center on 34th Avenue. Sister Meier died on Aug. 8.

Congratulations to Dick and Peggy Boerger, members at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, who are celebrating 55 years of marriage.

Roll up your sleeves and save a life! American Red Cross, Northern California Region, will have mobile blood drives at St. Joachim Parish hall, 21250 Hesperian Blvd. in Hayward, Oct. 12 from 2 – 7 p.m. and at St. Michael Parish hall, 326 Maple St. in Livermore, Oct. 30 from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-733-2767 or go to redcrossblood.org. The sponsor code for St. Joachim is HAYWARD and for St. Michael is KNIGHTS4588, sponsors of the Livermore blood drive.

A new television series “God in America,” examining the historical role of religion in the public life of the U.S., will air on public television’s KQED 9 on Oct. 11, 12 and 13 at 9 p.m. The six-hour series will examine the complex interaction between religion and democracy and the American concept of religious liberty. It will also explore the spiritual experiences of several key figures in American history including Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, Reform Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, evangelist Billy Graham, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Moral Majority’s Jerry Falwell.

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