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 April 25, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 8   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

St. Perpetua Bay Area Science Fair winners
Four junior high students from St. Perpetua School in Lafayette traveled to Golden Gate Park for the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair on March 30, where they competed against 360 other students from grades 7-12. From left, Cannon Armistead, Bella Penza, Science Teacher Natalie Deininger, Hayley Miller and Grace Southwick. Hayley received a fourth-place award for her project, In the Mind of the Beholder (behavioral science); Grace placed third and won a special award from the American Meteorological Society for her project, Please Pass the Salt (biology); Bella received a second-place award and a special award from the American Chemistry Society for her project, UnbeLEAFable Chromatography (biology); Cannon Armistead placed first with his project, Blade Design: Energy for Generations (engineering). Bella and Cannon will compete in the California State Science Fair May 2 and 3. St. Philip Neri Elementary School in Alameda will also be represented at the state level, for the first time. See story below under "Around the Schools."
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Lenten project at St. Joseph’s
After finishing the book, “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, sixth-graders at St. Joseph elementary in Alameda made a quilt to be raffled off May 6 at Town Hall, a weekly school meeting. Proceeds will be donated to Pennies for Peace, an organization that builds schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Above, sixth-graders and the quilt: from left, front row: Samantha Obligacion, Stephanie Sanchez, Siobhan Solis, Nicole Langford, Diego Sanchez, Lea Akima, Diego Fernandez, Travis Ha, Willie Mein, Dominic Moore, Amry Carmen Reid, Madison O’Connor, Hannah Green, Catherine Bither; second row: Meagan Riordan, Jake Nations; top row:  Maddie Reyno, Cairo DerDevanis, Nina Kitapan, Fiona Miller, Chloe Hampton, Lily Reynier, Megan Tran.

Special visitor to St. Felicitas
The second grade class at St. Felicitas Elementary School in San Leandro has been praying for a very special visitor, Chris Whitsitt, who is training to become a paramedic. Whitsitt is a former student of St. Felicitas and soon to be a paramedic. He came by to thank the 2nd graders for all their prayers and support.

Wheelchairs donated
The Knights of Columbus, who operate an international wheelchair distribution program, partnered locally with Catholic Charities of the East Bay to provide wheelchairs for two Catholic Charities clients, both from Concord. One, Ignacio Cruz, a parishioner from Queen of All Saints and a construction worker, lost part of his right leg to diabetes. While he awaits an orthopedic foot so he can return to work, the wheelchair will help him stay involved in daily activity. The wheelchair will aid the other recipient, Emma Gaspar of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, in keeping her chemotherapy and dialysis appointments.
Family math at St. Cornelius
To strengthen the school’s home-school partnership in the area of math, the faculty at St. Cornelius School in Richmond sponsored a family math night on April 6. Teachers guided parents and pupils through various activities, including small group math games in each classroom and each family was given resources and activities to follow-up with at home.

Around the Parishes

Sister Christine Hawkins, a Sister of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, is leaving St. Jerome Parish in El Cerrito to return to her native Ireland. After a career as a teacher in northern and central California elementary and high schools, Sister Hawkins, now 80, retired and moved to the Bay Area and began another career of caring and service. She became a volunteer for AIDS Services in Oakland. At St. Jerome she has been a lay minister, greeter, lector, leader of the Renew prayer group and teacher of first Communion classes. In 2001, Bishop John Cummins appointed her spiritual adviser to the West Contra Costa County Serra Club. A farewell dinner for Sister Hawkins, sponsored by the Serra Club, drew 60 people and included close friends, St. Jerome parishioners and members of Serra.

Members of St. Leo the Great Parish will gather May 14 at a Mass of Thanksgiving for their pastor, Father Timothy K. Johnson, who will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. After the Mass the celebration will continue with a dinner ($30/ticket) at the Colombo Club.

St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Martinez will host a day-long spiritual conference, featuring Father Wade Menezes, on May 14. The priest, a member of the Fathers of Mercy, a missionary preaching religious congregation, will give a three-talk presentation on “Sin, Conversion and the Call to Holiness,” beginning at 9 a.m. For more information, dial (510) 228-2230.

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Around the Schools

St. Philip Neri Elementary School in Alameda will be represented at the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles for the first time. Alexander James (A.J.) Elfar was invited after placing first in the environmental science category at the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair last month. Other students who took home awards were Matthew Murphy, third place, engineering and computer applications, and Daniel Ratto, third place, mathematics.

St. Clement School in Hayward, led by its Christian Action Club, raised $1,115 (in 111,500 pennies) for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients Campaign. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s School and Youth Programs give students an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Its mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Sofia Segura, eighth-grader and Christian Action Club President, summed up the school’s experience by saying, “I know God is proud of us!”

Julian Corpus, an eighth-grader at St. Isidore School in Danville, recently won the 2011 California State Free Throw championship on March 19 in Fresno. The first participant to shoot in his age range, 14-year-old boys, Corpus hit 25 out of 25 free throws. The competition is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

More than 105 people participated in the annual Blood Drive hosted by Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley on April 5. Blood Centers of the Pacific staff were on campus to handle the largest-ever participation. A special challenge by Saint Mary’s senior class drew numerous seniors and their parents to the event, coordinated by school faculty members Carla Harkness and Melissa Graviss. Alumni, neighbors, and friends donated, as well, and all were treated to continental breakfast afterward.

And speaking of Saint Mary’s High: 80 women, which included the moms, grandmas, alumnae, faculty and staff, enjoyed a buffet luncheon and entertaining presentations at the 24th annual Belles of Saint Mary’s social on the school campus April 2. The annual dues of The Belle’s, founded in 1987, help fund a scholarship for a Saint Mary’s student each year.

Kelsey Johnson, a senior at Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda (SJND), was presented earlier this month with the Women Who Dare Award for 2011 by Girl’s Inc. In response to the national conversation on bullying, Johnson led efforts on campus to create a “safe zone” in every classroom and school office. Pink triangles representing a “safe zone,” were hung in the school’s classrooms, offices and public areas make sure that students who feel they don’t fit in find support.

Also from SJND is news that five students are winners in the Chaparral Poets contest. They are: Jared Alokozia, a senior, won first prize in the category for senior poems, any style, any subject, with his work, “Icarus”; Amanda Matoon, a junior won second prize for junior poems, any subject, any style with “Do You Remember?”; Rachel Falkner, sophomore, won first prize for humorous poems for “Tiger on the Hunt.” In the Aileen Jaffa Memorial Award contest for poetry with a youth’s view of humanity: Jeronimo Mora, a senior won third prize for “Wasteland,” and Tia Gangopadhyay, senior, took honorable mention with “Our Generation of Soldiers.”

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Names, News, Notes

Nearly 50 alumni, parents and friends participated in the annual Saint Mary’s High Career Day classroom discussions and Career Fair on March 25. California Supreme Court Associate Justice Carol Corrigan (right) was the keynote speaker for the event.

Congratulations and Many Blessings to Lewis and Mary Louise Gregory, members at Saint Michael Parish in Livermore, who celebrated the 60th anniversary of their wedding on April 14.

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