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 December 12, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 21   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Filling the pantry
Jim Noe, left, president of the board of directors of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Contra Costa County, receives a $12,500 check from Rudeen Monte, director of community benefit and grants for Sutter Delta Medical Center and Gary Rapaport, CEO of the medical center. The check will help support the St. Vincent de Paul Free Dining Room and Free Emergency Food Pantries at 2210 Gladstone Drive, Pittsburg. Noe, who joined the board in 2008, has been re-elected president.
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Mission to Santa Clara
Fourth Graders at Holy Spirit School in Fremont ventured out of the Oakland diocese and visited neighboring San Jose diocese for their California Mission field trip on Dec. 1. Mission Santa Clara de Asis at Santa Clara University was the mission chosen by fourth grade teacher, Teresa Baker, to help the students learn about the California Missions. It served a dual purpose, visit a mission and a college all at the same time.

Mary Ramos feted
More than 120 family and friends joined to wish Mary Ramos, a graduate of St. Leander School and member of St. Leander Parish in San Leandro, a happy 100th birthday on Nov. 13, two days before her Nov. 15 birth date. Great niece Joi Poole reported that Father Paul Vassar attended and spoke. Letters from the mayor of San Leandro, Gov, Jerry Brown, President and Mrs. Obama and Bishop Cordileone were read congratulating her on her reaching the century mark.
Lacrosse team contributes 150 food baskets
For the second year, the lacrosse team of De La Salle High School in Concord pitched in to help the St. Vincent de Paul Society distribute turkeys and all the trimmings to their Concord neighbors. Spartan lacrosse players and their families and coaches contributed more than $2,500 and, on Nov. 19, players — including, from left, Kyle Price, Andrew Whiteman, Connor Lafayette and Owen User — helped to prepare and distribute food bags at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at St. Francis of Assisi Parish.

Tourney winners
The third-grade Red Team at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro won the Thanksgiving Tournament, which took place at the school last month over the holiday weekend. Basketball teams from several schools participated in the tournament.
Anh Le photo

Birthday party for Jesus a first for Bay Point Parish

Staff report

Children in the religious education program at Our Lady Queen of the World Parish in Bay Point are being encouraged to think of themselves as the Magi this Christmas.

“It’s His birthday, not ours,” said Brenda Dueñas, director of religious education.

The 180 students, from pre-kindergarten to Confirmation class teens, have been invited to bring a new, unwrapped baby item to the parish hall on Dec. 17, during their religious education classes. At 10 a.m., students will leave their religious education classes and process to the parish hall to lay their gifts at the crèche.

Gifts received at the baby shower for the Blessed Mother and a birthday party for baby Jesus will go to Project Gabriel in Concord, to assist mothers and babies in crisis pregnancies.

This is a first for the Bay Point parish, Dueñas said. In years past, there were gift exchanges, with students bringing a gift for a girl or a boy, then selecting a gift to take home. “We wanted to get away from gifts for each other,” Dueñas said.

With a performance by Holy Grail planned for the students instead of a parish Christmas pageant, Dueñas said she and the teachers were asking, “What can we do in the spirit of Christmas and Advent?”

She said students would also bring cookies to share with one another, and that the parish community had been invited.

Around the Parishes

The St. Philip Neri-St. Albert Parish community in Alameda gathered Nov. 27 in the parish hall to say goodbye and best wishes to a good friend, parochial vicar Father Jojo Puthussery. A member of the Missionaries of Faith, Father Puthussery was assigned to the Alameda parish in 2008.

In case you missed it, St. Michael Church in Livermore will screen all 10 episodes of Father Robert Barron’s much talked about, “Catholicism series,” on 10 consecutives Mondays, Jan. 9 to March 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. Suzanne Slupesky, a Catholic theology scholar, will lead a question and answer session after each session. Admission is free. The screenings will take place in St. Michael Parish Hall, which is located on the 300 block of Maple Street in Livermore.

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Around the Schools

Bryce Fong, a senior at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Fong was recognized at an Eagle Court of Honor on Sept. 11. Fong planned and directed his fellow troop-mates in the construction and landscaping of the patio area outside the school cafeteria for his Eagle service project.

The Spanish Honor Society (Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica) at Alameda’s St. Joseph Notre Dame High School collected 179 pounds of beans and 214 pounds of rice at help families who are a part of Oakland Catholic Worker Community Center. The food will be shared with poor refugees from Latin America.

SJND students will continue the school’s tradition of Christmas caroling on Park Street on Dec. 17. Singing will begin at 11 a.m. and continue to 2 p.m.

Nearly 40 students took part in the 24-Hour Read-a-Thon at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley on Dec. 2 to raise money for its “twin” school, St. Mary’s Boys’ School and Child Rescue Center in Nyeri, Kenya. Both schools are conducted by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Teams of two readers earned pledges to sponsor a Kenyan child for one year. Christian Brother Dominic Jordan from the Nyeri school made his yearly visit to the Berkeley campus in November to update St. Mary’s High on the progress of its twin school in Nyeri. Students presented him with $2,240 that had been raised for the Nyeri school during the past year.

Cross country teams from Catholic high schools in the East Bay won big at the North Coast Section Team Championships last month in Hayward. De La Salle High in Concord took the Division I title, St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley found similar success in the Division IV title and St. Joseph Notre Dame High in Alameda won the Division V crown. Just a week later, the SJND cross country team took third place at the California CIF championships in Fresno.

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Among the Religious

Father E. Donald Osuna, rector at the former St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Oakland, held court at The Cathedral Book Store Dec. 4 to sign copies of his new book, “How Awesome Is This Place,” a memoir chronicling his years at the cathedral.

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Names, News, Notes

WHAT’S ON EWTN? The Eternal Word Television Network, the 24-hour Catholic TV network, will air Christmas programs from Rome and Washington, D.C. These events include the Christmas Eve Mass, celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI from St. Peter’s Square, at 1 p.m. Dec. 24. It will be re-broadcast at 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 25. The Pope’s “Urbi Et Orbi” message from Rome will be broadcast at 3 a.m. Dec. 25, with encores at 7 p.m. Dec. 25, at 6 a.m. Dec. 28 and at 8 p.m. Dec. 31. The Christmas Eve Mass from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, with Bishop Carlo Vigano, the new apostolic nuncio as celebrant, will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 24. All times are Pacific Times.

For more Christmas programming, visit www.ewtn.com. EWTN is carried on Comcast Channel 229, AT&T Channel 562, Astound Channel 116, DISH Satellite Channel 261 and DirecTV Channel 370. In Alameda, Comcast is carried on EWTN Channel 30.

Still looking for an organization to help this Christmas season? St. Vincent’s Day Home in Oakland, Alameda County’s oldest and largest child care center, is accepting donations. Donors who wish to “Adopt A Family” by providing gifts for children (books, toys — no war toys please) and parents. Gift certificates and new warm clothing will also be appreciated. Contact the development director at 510-832-8324 or 4thechildren@svdp.org, www.svdh.org.

The Golden Key Piano School will be having a public recital to benefit the Berkeley Food Pantry at 5 p.m. Dec. 17. Some of the school’s best students will play duets by Glinka, Schumann, Debussy and others. Canned or dry food can be brought to: Golden Key Piano School, 1809 University Ave., Berkeley. School hours are: 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

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