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 January 9, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Study of St. John Bosco

The Institute of Salesian Spirituality is offering a free three-night study and reflection series in both Northern and Southern California on “Exploring Don Bosco,” the 19th century educator and founder of the Salesian order.

In Northern California, the series runs from 7-9 p.m. Jan. 9-11 at Don Bosco Hall, 1831 Arch St., Berkeley. Seating is limited. Contact Rev. John Roche, SDB, at 510-204-0801 or via e-mail at johnrochesdb@gmail.com for more information or to reserve a seat.

Father Roche will lead the series, and Rev. Arthur Lenti, SDB, who teaches two courses on Don Bosco’s life and work and who is the author of a seven-volume work entitled “Don Bosco, History and Spirit,” will also be present to answer questions. Both are adjunct professors at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley.

The saint was a follower of the philosophy of St. Francis de Sales, and founded the Society of St. Francis de Sales (the Salesian Society), a teaching order. The series will be offered Jan. 17-19 in Los Angeles.

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Christmas in words and music
Pupils at Holy Spirit School in Fremont celebrated the birth of Jesus through words and music at their annual Advent prayer service on Dec. 13. 
Jennifer Dutrow photo/Special to The Catholic Voice

Around the Parishes

Santa Maria Church in Orinda has invited all diocesan youth ministers and their high school youth groups to hear Jason Evert talk about the virtue of chastity. The talk, “Romance Without Regret,” will take place from 7-9 p.m. Jan. 18 in the church at 40 Santa Maria Way. Parents of teens are also welcome to attend. A suggested donation of $10 is requested. Contact Heather Hodges to RSVP or for more information: heather@smparish.org or 925-254-2426, ext. 308. To learn more about Jason Evert, visit www.Chastity.com.

A new Men’s Ministry has formed at St. Anne Church in Walnut Creek. Its Nov. 29 inaugural meeting was proclaimed a success and provides another means for the parishioners to grow in faith and build community.

Members of St. Leo Parish in Oakland gathered Jan 1. for Mass and bring to an end a year of events celebrating the parish’s 100th birthday.

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Around the Schools

The kindergarten and fifth-grade classes of Queen of All Saints School in Concord visited the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland on Dec. 8 to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The students toured the Cathedral and learned about the symbols used throughout the cathedral. At noon they joined the community for Mass. According to their teacher, Brenda Duenas, the “fish” shape of the cathedral and the baptismal font especially caught the attention of the kindergarten class. The students also expressed their amazement upon learning that the water from the font flowed down to the mausoleum. They knelt at the entrance to the cathedral to trace the Scripture embedded in the floor.

Eric Baskett, a junior at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, was invited to a black-tie dinner with Nobel Prize winners Nov. 16 at the California Academy of Sciences. There he presented his scientific research on an obscure star cluster and rubbed shoulders with members of this internationally exclusive group. Eric had the opportunity to speak to Douglas Osheroff, the 1996 Nobel Prize winner in physics and Samuel Perlmutter, the 2011 Noble laureate in physics. Eric was one of only 12 students out of 700 exceptional science and math high school students who participated last summer in the Cosmos science program at the University of California at Berkeley to attend the event.

About 120 parents and community members attended a showing of the film, “Race to Nowhere,” Nov. 19 at Assumption School in San Leandro. The film, much of it shot in the Bay Area, highlights the increasing pressure placed on children and teenagers to achieve at every turn. After the film, a panel of educators discussed how local schools are responding to the increased expectations placed on children and how parents can be prepared and aware of these issues. The panel included Michael Aquino, assistant principal of instruction, Moreau Catholic High School, Hayward; John Gunty, director of guidance and counseling, St Joseph Notre Dame High School, Alameda; Janet Huff, college coordinator, Bishop O’Dowd High School, Oakland; Pam Lyons, principal, Assumption school; and Morgan Mack-Rose, San Leandro Unified School District trustee.

At Carondelet High School in Concord, the Spiritual Life Council and the Jefferson Awards, Students in Action Team came together to celebrate a Thanksgiving Prayer Service for the school community on Nov. 22. The theme was, “From Handshakes to Hugs” and the experience of giving help to those in need was the focus of the prayer. Students who had taken the trip to the Salinas Valley to serve with and for the migrant workers in the Ven a Ver Program presented their experiences and the effect it has had on them. Alyse Cronin, who participated in the Ven a Ver Program was presented with a Jefferson Award for establishing a nonprofit organization called “Running With Love,” which provides food, clothing and educational support to the people of Gonzales. Courtney Robone and Jacquelyn Torretta received a Jefferson Award for initiating a program that provided backpacks and school supplies for the children of St. Anthony’s School in Oakland. Corinne Abele, Sarah D’Souza and Kate Fountain, received Jefferson Awards for Continuous Service for their service to various agencies throughout Contra Costa County and beyond.

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Names, News, Notes

The Dec. 16 Christmas party hosted by the Knights of Columbus Magellan Council No. 2730 also celebrated the contributions of a number of members in the Knights of Columbus community. Arvid Edsen was named Knight of the Year, while David and Eileen Mendez were named Knight Family of the Year. Past Grand Knights Frank Martin and Melvin Goulart were commended for their many years of outstanding service. Past Grand Knight Joseph Milton was commended for his work within the council and in the community. The Grand Knight thanked all the people who have supported their events this year and through the years. He noted that without this support the council could not succeed.

Birthright of Concord, a crisis pregnancy center, will conduct a four-day training session for volunteers beginning Feb. 4 (7-9 p.m.). A second session will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 5. Two follow-up sessions will be Feb. 11 and 12. Persons interested in supporting the work of Birthright and offering alternatives to abortion to pregnant women are welcome. Areas of need include: client counselor, office assistance, outreach to schools and agencies, public relations, organizing maternity and baby clothing closets, board member and fund-raising. No previous experience is needed, only a non-judgmental and loving attitude. For an application dial 925-798-7227.

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