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 January 10, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

‘Miracle’ piano arrives
Christmas came early for the Music Department at St. John Catholic School in San Lorenzo. For 10 years, Music Teacher Samara L. Olivier wanted a better piano, preferably a baby grand; however the funds were never there. Last year some partial funds were set aside to purchase a piano. Russell Kassman, owner of R. Kassman Piano in Berkeley and a firm believer in music education, wanted to help. Kassman helped the school acquire a restored, cherrywood Baldwin with the original ivory keys. A new piano of this caliber could run about $30,000, Olivier said, “yet we were able to make this dream come true for much, much less.” The piano, which Olivier named “Miracle,” arrived Dec. 3.
Courtesy photo
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St. Felicitas School active in December
ABOVE RIGHT: St. Felicitas Catholic School in San Leandro was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Joseph R. McMicking Foundation to purchase instruments for its new instrumental music program. Students had the opportunity to preview all of the new instruments, including trumpets, clarinets, flutes and drum kits prior to the start of music class, which began in October. Under the direction of the band instructor, Peter Cornell, the new school band plans on performing at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland and Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward in the spring.
BELOW RIGHT: St. Felicitas School teamed-up with Our Future Tots Preschool to assist 23 families participating in the “Adopt-a-Family” program. More than $2,300 in Target gift cards were donated by St. Felicitas students to purchase food and clothing for needy families. Our Future Tots Preschool purchased new toys for every child on the list. All of these gifts were delivered by volunteers from St. Vincent de Paul just in time for Christmas.
courtesy photo

Lay ministers meet

Lay leaders and ministers around the Oakland Diocese will gather for a day of enrichment, information and camaraderie at the annual Lay Ecclesial Ministers Annual Convocation and Blessing on Jan. 14 at St. Joan of Arc Parish in San Ramon.

Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will bless all who serve as lay ecclesial ministers at the event, which will be from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The day includes a morning session, “Celebrating Sabbath: The Pause That Refreshes,” with Sister Maria Elena Martinez, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, who is active in lay ecclesial minister leadership formation throughout the U.S. and in Chiapas, Mexico. Christian Brother William Woeger, executive director of the Archdiocese of Omaha Office of Worship, will lead the afternoon session, “Celebrating Liturgy: Welcoming the New Roman Missal.” Brother Woeger will offer insights to the implementation of the New Roman Missal in the Oakland Diocese, and practical tools to assist in the effort.

Late registrations, which includes morning hospitality and lunch, will be accepted at the door at a cost of $25. For more information go to the website, www.oakdiocese.org/lemc, or phone Sandra Martinez at (510) 267-8371.

Help for Haiti

The Nonviolent Peacekeeping Group at Holy Spirit/Newman Hall Parish in Berkeley is sponsoring its second annual fundraiser on Jan. 21 to help in the recovery of Haiti through the work of The Little Sisters of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. The fundraiser, which includes a PowerPoint presentation by Barbara Wander, will be from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the lounge at Newman Hall.

Last year’s fundraiser resulted in more than $12,000 being sent to Haiti. The devastating earthquake in January 2010 affected 18 of their missions, resulting in the deaths of 150 students, four nuns, four teachers and four young women. The current cholera epidemic has claimed the lives of more students and their parents. For those who cannot attend the fundraiser but wish to contribute can make their donations (tax deductible), payable to the Sisters of Loretto and mail or drop them off at Holy Spirit/Newman Church, 2700 Dwight Way, Berkeley 94707, from Jan. 15 through Feb. 1. For more information, contact Kara at (510) 594-2401.

Around the Parishes

The Respect Life Ministry at St. Joseph Parish in Pinole will be showing a film, “The Biology of Prenatal Development,” in English and Spanish at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in the church at 837 Tennent Ave. The acclaimed DVD shows life at all stages of prenatal development through the eyes of an intrauterine camera. All are invited.

The St. Felicitas CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) Fifth-Grade National Boys Basketball team collected over 140 items of warm clothing and 190 pairs of socks and distributed them to the homeless at the Portuguese Centennial Park in Hayward last month. Dale Burdick, outreach coordinator of Beans and Rice and Jesus Christ, worked on the outreach effort with the boys’ coach, Mike Carvalho, to serve beans and rice to about 40 homeless people.

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Around the Schools

The student council at Carondelet High School in Concord organized a schoolwide drive for toys, books and warm clothing during Advent for the benefit of seven different agencies. Representatives from the agencies attended an Advent prayer service at the campus on Dec. 13, where they received the donations. The agencies are Lincoln Elementary School in Richmond; George Mark House in San Leandro, which serves terminally and critically ill children; Camp Enea, which serves mentally and physically challenged adults and children; Dorothy’s Place, which serves the homeless in the Central Valley; Monument Crisis Center
in Concord
and the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, also in Concord; and St. Martin de Porres School in Oakland.

Students at St. Francis of Assisi School in Concord helped make Christmas a magical time for a number of youths in their community. The students raised money for the Contra Costa firefighters to buy unassembled bicycles. The students joined the fire fighters in assembling the bikes at the school. The firehouse delivered the bikes to the youths a week before Christmas.

The holiday spirit was also thriving at Assumption School in San Leandro. The kindergarten class collected blankets and coats for the homeless as their service learning project. The school also held its annual St. Nick’s Boutique in which parents donated used and new items that were purchased by the students as holiday gifts. The fundraiser raised $3,825 and proceeds were donated to the Davis Street Family Resource Center, which serves many families in need in the community. The second- and fifth-grade classes visited Salem Lutheran Convalescent Home in Oakland to deliver Christmas decorations and provide entertainment for the residents. School families also supported the service learning project of the third grade class by donating close to 300 items for Toys for Tots, which were distributed to children in need in Alameda County.

Students at St. Jerome School in El Cerrito recently raised $710 to support the Sisters of the Holy Names’ Community Education Center in Tutwiler, Mississippi. The Sisters had appealed for funds to provide Christmas festivities for the children of Tutwiler, a small, impoverished community. Although there is no Catholic parish community in the town, the Sisters of the Holy Names operate Tutwiler Community Education Center, which provides outreach to children and seniors as well as the operation of a health clinic. When she returns from Mississippi, Sister Diane Nixon, SNJM, plans to visit St. Jerome School to share pictures and stories.

The acclaimed football team at Concord’s De La Salle High School, capped off a 14-0 season by capturing the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) Open Division Championship on Dec. 18. The Spartans defeated the team from Servite-Anaheim, 48-8, on a rain-soaked field at the Home Depot Center in Carson. The win is the third state title in four years for the Spartans.

The Salesian High School football team (Richmond) is the North Coast Section (NCS) Division Four champion, with an overtime win (28-21) against Middletown at Alhambra High School in Martinez.

The varsity football team at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley received the North Coast Section (NCS) Scholastic Football Championship Team Award for fall 2010 last month. Out of 168 schools in the NCS the Panthers were recognized for combining outstanding academic performance with interscholastic athletic participation. The team has a grade-point average of 3.14. A pennant marking the honor will be added to the many athletic awards on display in the school auditorium.

Nicholas Sterzinger, Kevin Dito and Kevin Wark, members of Boy Scout Troop 364 in Clayton and graduates of De La Salle High School in Concord, all earned their Eagle Scout Rank this past summer. Sterzinger and Wark are currently attending Diablo Valley College, while Dito recently completed boot camp and is serving his country as a U.S. Marine.

The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley has launched a new program, the master of theological studies for working professionals who intend to remain in their current profession and integrate theology into their profession. The program is suitable for professionals with a minimum of two years of experience in a specialized field, such as business, law, health care, education and other related fields who are interested in exploring how their professional experience interfaced with the life and mission of the Church. Applications for 2011 will be accepted until Feb. 15. For more information, go to www.dspt.edu/mts or dial (510) 883-2073.

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Among the Religious

The Congregation of the Holy Cross moved a step closer in concluding the planned merger of two of its U.S. provinces. At a joint meeting last month leaders from the current Eastern and Indiana provinces agreed that the merger will take effect July 1. More than 410 priests and Brothers and 80 seminarians will make up the new province, called the United States Province of Priests and Brothers, which will be based in South Bend, Indiana. The Holy Cross congregation operates six colleges and universities throughout the country, the most famous of which is the University of Notre Dame, as well as 17 parishes from Vermont to Oregon and numerous ministries. In the Oakland Diocese, five Holy Cross Fathers currently part of the Indiana Province, are based in Berkeley. Holy Cross Brothers sponsor Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward.

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Names, News, Notes

A new website seeks to educate Catholics about the death penalty in California and to actively promote the repeal of the state’s death penalty law. The website, which can be found at www.ccladp.org, is designed to be a resource for Catholics who have questions about participation in enforcing the death penalty. The website developed in response to a public opinion poll showing that, contrary to Church teaching, Catholics registered the highest support for the continuation of the death penalty among all religious groups in California. The website is sponsored by Santa Clara University and California Catholic Lawyers Against the Death Penalty.

Volunteer alert! The American Red Cross Blood Donation Center, at 6230 Claremont Ave. in Oakland, is seeking volunteers. Learn more by attending the Center’s volunteer orientations from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 11 and 18 or by contacting Anne at (510) 594-5165 or BlackstoneA@usa.redcross.org.

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