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 July 16, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Walk-a-thon aids parish
St. John Catholic School supported the St. John Parish Capital Campaign by sponsoring a Walk-a-thon in which St. John pupils raised $5,143 to go toward a new fence for the San Lorenzo parish's parking lot.
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Car wash aids classmate's family
St. Isidore School eighth-graders held a car wash on the campus courtyard in May, seeking to help the family of a classmate. The parents of one of their own was in a horrible bus accident while visiting family in Colombia, and the mother has undergone numerous surgeries and still has more to come. She will not be able to return to Danville for three more months. The 72 eighth-graders washed more than 150 cars and raised more than $4,000.

Scholarship fund begins at Our Lady of the Rosary

From left, Principal Gloria Galarsa, Michael Sasser (middle school math and PE), Geralyn Joy Marcelino (kindergarten and transitional kindergarten), Alex Herrera, Dee Casquiero and Dr. Rod Ballelos.
Courtesy photo

Our Lady of the Rosary School Principal Gloria Galarsa received a $1,000 donation from alum Dr. Rod Ballelos ('92) to establish "In Darkness, Light — the Dr. R. Ballelos Scholarship Fund."

Ballelos, an emergency room physician in Las Vegas, presented the check to Galarsa on June 24, at the first OLR School-sponsored scholarship breakfast.

Ballelos said he has such fond memories of OLR. "It is such a tight knit community. I still keep in touch with people I went to grade school with and try to come home every year for Midnight Mass," he said. "I wanted to do something more."

The idea for "In Darkness, Light," which Ballelos established in memoriam to his grandmother, Luz Del Rosario, evolved from his motivation to give back to OLR School. Ballelos has kept in touch with a former classmate, Alex Herrera, through social media and originally asked if the school could use a donation of some physical education equipment. Herrera, who is the sixth- and seventh-grade teacher, had a better idea — start a scholarship fund to benefit students who need tuition assistance. Said Ballelos, happily, "And all I really wanted to do was donate some kickballs."

Donations to Our Lady of the Rosary School can be made through its website: www.olrschool.org

Around the Parishes

St. Bernard Parish, 1620-62nd Ave., Oakland, will host a three-day celebration next month to mark the faith community's 100th anniversary. The celebration will begin on Aug. 17 when the community comes together in prayer from 6-8 p.m. and Holy Adoration all night. On Aug. 18 a social gathering is planned from 7-11 p.m. with finger foods and beverages. A bilingual Mass celebration will take place at 10 a.m. Aug. 19 with the Most Rev. John Cummins, the diocese's emeritus bishop, as the main celebrant. Rev. Msgr. Antonio Valdivia, a retired priest of the diocese, will be the homilist. A festival celebration will follow the Mass.

The Grief Support Ministry of the Livermore parishes — St. Michael Parish and St. Charles Borromeo — is sponsoring a bilingual Mass to celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones at 7 p.m. July 17 at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 1315 Lomitas Ave., Livermore. Participants are invited to bring photos of their loved ones and place them on a table in front of the altar before Mass. During a Ritual of Remembrance, all will have a chance to come forward with a rose (provided at the Mass), light a candle, and speak about the ones being remembered. The Mass is open to all people without charge.

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Around the Schools

Holy Names University, Oakland, has signed Joshua Crum, a senior from Bishop O'Dowd High School, Oakland, as its newest addition to the HNU Men's basketball team. Last season Crum helped lead his team to California's state championship where they won their first two rounds of the playoffs. Bishop O'Dowd finished the season with a record of 27-6 and ranked No. 18 of California's top 25 teams. Crum averaged 9 points, 3 assist, and 3.5 steals per game last season and received a conference Honorable Mention award. Crum also contributes to his community as a volunteer tutor at REACH Academy in Oakland.

Santa Catalina School in Monterey announced recipients of its spring 2012 semester academic honors, Gold Cord and Honor Roll from the Diocese of Oakland. Junior Szu-Yu Liu of San Lorenzo and sophomores Karen Ko of Fremont and Kylie Moses of Lafayette received the Gold Cord Honor by earning a GPA of 3.8 or above with no grade below C+. Junior Whitney Perez of Pittsburg; sophomores Sukari Hill and Nia Jacobs of Oakland and Hakela Felton of Orinda; and freshman Cecily Donovan of Danville made the Honor Roll by earning GPAs above 3.30 with no grade below C+.

Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School hosted a "cultural exchange" for a group of nearly two dozen Austrian students from Graz International Bilingual School. For most of the teenagers, this was their first visit to the United States. Families at O'Dowd opened their homes to the exchange students, ensuring them a warm welcome from O'Dowd students, teachers and administrators. Austrian guests "shadowed" their O'Dowd student hosts during the week. In return, their student hosts have been invited to visit Austria next year.

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