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 July 5, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Thank you, Sisters
Third-graders at St. Edward School serenade Sister Diana Aruda with a medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” during a celebration at the school June 2. Each class performed a tribute to the sister, who is the last of 10 Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose to serve as principal of the Newark school. The St. Edward Parish and School communities will celebrate and thank the sisters who served at the school, which opened in 1963, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at the parish, 5788 Thornton Ave. For additional information, contact Sharon Bradley, sbradley@stedwardnewark.org.
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Saintly visit
A relic of the martyr, Saint Toribio Romo, a patron of immigrants, visited parishes in five Northern California dioceses in June and July. The statue, about four-feet tall, contains two pieces of foot bone enclosed in a reliquary in the location of the statue’s heart. It was brought from Mexico and a pilgrimage of northern California residents is accompanying the relic on its return. There were two days of activities at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Fremont. About 200 gathered for a procession, to hear about the saint and pray the rosary, above. In an appeal for immigration reform, Father Ismael Gutierrez told the crowd many undocumented people here are unable to return to Mexico, so bringing the relic to the US was a way of helping restore faith and bring hope to them.
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Around the Parishes

More than 150 men and women — many of whom had been taught or touched by her in some way — returned to the grounds of their elementary school last month to say one last good-bye to their second grade teacher, Elsie Bernice Horton. But to most who gathered in Oakland’s Sacred Heart Church she was simply “Mrs. Horton.” The New York native had spent more than 40 years at what had been the parish school and is now a campus of St. Martin de Porres Regional School.

Maurice Harper, principal at the regional school, led the assembly in celebrating the life of the educator, who died June 4 after a brief illness at age 79. Harper noted that Mrs. Horton had been a mentor and mother figure to students and teachers alike. While acknowledging that some students recalled her as strict or stern, Harper said that she brought tough love, discipline and guidance to her classroom. Online guest books, where many former students expressed their sympathies to her family, also recalled a woman who had a smile that could brighten up a room and a vibrant wardrobe that matched her equally vibrant hair styles. In her tribute Sister Barbara Dawson, the outgoing president of the school, called her one of the best Catholic school teachers she knew — even though she was not a Catholic. Mrs. Horton was a faithful and caring Christian who left a living legacy through a ministry that spanned four decades. Said a former student in an online guestbook: “We all have lost an icon.”

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Around the Schools

A Lenten “Change for a Change” drive led by the fourth graders at Queen of All Saints School in Concord was extended to the end of the school year. Students found loose change and did extra chores to earn money to donate to the Happy Hearts Fund, a charitable organization that rebuilds schools for communities after natural disasters. Thanks to their marvelous efforts the class collected $101.71 to help children in need.

— Carrie McClish

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