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 November 22, 2010   •   VOL. 48, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

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Around the Parishes
Around the Schools
Names, News, Notes
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Bishops meet in Baltimore
Oakland’s Bishop Salvatore Cordileone works on a laptop during the annual fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 15-18 in Baltimore. The bishops discussed health care reform, donations by U.S. Catholics for Haiti reconstrucation, preparations for World Youth Day in Spain, and the need to embrace social media.
CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec

Around the Parishes

The Father Bill O’Donnell Social Justice Committee at Berkeley’s St. Joseph the Worker Parish held a candlelight vigil Nov. 21 on the front steps of the church to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the “Jesuit massacre” in El Salvador. The murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter by the Salvadoran military took place Nov. 16, 1989, at the University of Central America in El Salvador. Some of soldiers who participated in the murders had been trained at the former School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Ga.

Jesuit Father Gregory Boyle, founder and director of Homeboy Industries, an outreach program for at-risk youth and gang members in Los Angeles, will read from his new book, “Tattoos on the Heart,” on Dec. 11 at St. John Vianney Church, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek. Father Boyle will also sign the book, which will be on sale during the program, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Free will offerings will also accepted for Homeboy Industries. For more information, contact Meg Bowerman at lmjtbow@pacbell.net or (510) 531-7139.

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Around the Schools

The third-grade students at Alameda’s St. Philip Neri School worked to raise money for UNICEF during the month of October. The students began by learning how UNICEF helps provide the basic needs for children around the world. Then to raise funds the third -graders sponsored a schoolwide Rice Krispy treat sale – more than 500 homemade treats were ordered. On Halloween the class also “trick or treated” for UNICEF. Overall it raised $1,300 with the support of their school and local community.

The students of Queen of All Saints School in Concord celebrated Red Ribbon Week, held to address drug awareness. During one event Ali Omran, a student who serves as community outreach commissioner, and the campus’ Commissioners of Spirit taught family groups to make origami favors for Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Favors were not only different colors, shapes and sizes, but they included personalized positive messages from the students themselves. The QAS Student Government plans to deliver the favors to the hospital in the coming weeks.

Eighth-graders at Assumption School in San Leandro are focusing on diabetes awareness as their service learning project. Under the guidance of their teacher, Kristy Lomando, the students recently sponsored “mission munchies,” in which they provided sugar-free snacks for sale to fellow students.

As a reward for reading a collective 100,000 minutes during the school’s Book Fair event, students at Our Lady of Grace School in Castro Valley earned the reward of “sliming” principal Ryan Brusco during their Halloween Parade.

The pre-kindergarten class at St. John School in San Lorenzo welcomed members of the Alameda Country Fire Department to their classroom last month for Fire Prevention Month.

Stewardship is a vital aspect of life at St. Bede School in Hayward. Students have displayed their concern for others in various ways. First-graders, for example, visit ParkView Health Care Center once a month. During their visits they read and sing to the residents. Last month students raised $366 for breast cancer research. Students have also raised $487 to benefit the children at St. Martin’s Orphanage in the Philippines. Earlier this month students made cards for veterans that were delivered to the local VA hospital. The school is also sponsoring a Thanksgiving canned food drive which will be given to those in need in the community.

The volleyball team at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School recently celebrated another winning season by capturing a 10th consecutive Hayward Area Athletic League title. The team was selected as the No. 1 seed for the North Coast Section Division II playoffs, earning a first round bye. Meanwhile, the football team edged San Leandro High on Nov. 5 to win its first HAAL title since 1999.

Speaking of special athletic news: Brendan Keane, a senior at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for the University of Northern Colorado. Three Bishop O’Dowd student-athletes, Jordan Tomimatsu, Joe Ross and Lindsey Parrott, signed national letters of intent. Tomimatsu has committed to swim at Fordham University, Ross has signed with UCLA to play baseball, and Parrott has signed with UC-Berkeley where she will play volleyball.

Students at Holy Names High School in Oakland are taking part in a schoolwide food drive in partnership with the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

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Names, News, Notes

The diocesan Special Religious Education Department (SPRED) recently remembered Denise Merrill, a participant since 1991, who died on Oct. 22. In her e-mail to the SPRED community, Holy Family Sister Aurora Perez, SPRED director, noted that Merrill “loved to stand at the podium with her catechist and speak to her parish of St. Joseph at Old Mission San Jose, about SPRED.” After the Nov. 20 funeral Mass at the Fremont church, friends and family gathered for a celebration of her life.

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