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September 4, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Around the Parishes

Members at St. John Vianney Parish in Walnut Creek will gather together the weekend of Sept. 29-30 to accept a bronze life-size statue of their patron saint. The event will take place in the Mullen Commons Courtyard after each Mass. A parish family donated the statue to the community. St. John Vianney (1786-1859), was a French parish priest who overcame a poor education and the perception that he was not very bright to become one of the most sought after priests in his country. He was a devoted minister to the sick and the poor, and he became known for the exceptional way he helped people with his ability to empathize with and provide counsel for people through the sacrament of confession. He was canonized in 1925, and is the patron saint of parish priests.

A concert commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Schoenstein Organ, originally installed at Oakland's St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in 1982, will be held at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Oakland. The cathedral was badly damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and demolished in 1991. Organist Mario Balestrieri and the "Those Who See Light" choir under the direction of John L. McDonnell are the featured artists.

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Around the Schools

This summer a number of schools in the diocese — St. John the Baptist in El Cerrito, St. Catherine in Martinez, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Fremont, St. Bede in Hayward and St. Raymond in Dublin — supported Books for the Barrios Inc. by donating more than 5,000 curriculum based books in math, English, reading and science for students in grades one to eight. Books for the Barrios is a nonprofit volunteer-run corporation that collects school books and educational learning aids in the U.S. and delivers them to barrio public schools throughout Mexico, Honduras, Bhutan and the Philippines.

Nate Moore, a junior at Bishop O'Dowd High in Oakland, won a pair of gold medals last week at the AAU Junior Olympics in Houston, Texas. He took home gold in the boys' long jump and triple jump in the 15-16 year old intermediate categories.

A big shout-out also goes to the junior varsity and varsity cheerleading teams at BOD, which attended the Universal Cheerleading Association Camp held at UC Berkeley from July 25-28. The BOD campers honed their cheer and dance skills, learned new techniques and competed with other campers from schools across northern California and won five trophies, a bunch of ribbons awards and, for bringing that Dragon spirit, picked up the camp Tradition Award.

Students at Oakland's Holy Names High School have been informed about several changes in the dress code. The young women may add a red or blue tie to their uniforms, as well as neck scarves in red, white and navy blue. One very small studded nose ring may be worn but no other piercings are allowed.

Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga will be celebrating its sesquicentennial — 150th anniversary — throughout the 2012-2013 academic year. Activities include free public events, forums and performances. A Mass honoring the history of the college's mission will kick off the "gaelebration" on Sept. 15. For updates visit the college's website, www.yearofthegael.org.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass and Tom Meschery, poet, teacher and former member of the Golden Gate Warriors, will help the MFA Creative Writing Program at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga kick off its Fall 2012 Creative Reading Series during the campus's sesquicentennial year with a special reading and celebration of poetry at 7 p.m. Sept. 12, in the Soda Center at the college.

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Among the Religious

Rev. Laurence Freeman, OSB, a Benedictine monk and spiritual director of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM), will lead a Silent Meditation Retreat, Sept. 14 — 16 at San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville. Father Freeman, who was graduated from Oxford University, worked at the United Nations in merchant banking and in journalism before receiving his monastic training from John Main. He travels the world leading the way in the modern recovery and renewal of contemplative prayer. For more information: www.sandamiano.org, www.wccm-usa.org or 925-837-9141.

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Names, News, Notes

The many friends and supporters of the Oakland Catholic Worker will meet Sept. 30 at the community house on 4848 International Blvd. in Oakland to celebrate the organization's 25th anniversary. The organization's website describes OCW as both a "House of Hospitality for the Latin American immigrants" and as a place of caring in East Oakland in a community beset by violence and poverty. The festivities begin at 1 p.m. with a multicultural Mass, followed by music, folkloric dance and more. Visit: www.oaklandcatholicworker.org.

The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will provide extensive coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's historic trip to Lebanon, Sept. 14-16. The Holy Father will meet with bishops and representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa. He will focus on the precarious situation of 5.7 million Catholics in Middle Eastern countries. EWTN coverage will include the arrival ceremony for the pope at Beirut's Rafig Hariri International Airport at 3:45 a.m. Sept. 14. Later that day EWTN broadcasts at 8 a.m. the Holy Father's visit to St. Paul's Basilica in Harissa, where he will sign the Post-Syndal Apostolic Exhortation. The pope's meeting with leaders of Muslim communities at the Presidential Palace will air at 12:50 a.m. Sept. 15. The pontiff's meetings with government officials, young people and other religious leaders will be broadcast throughout the day. EWTN is carried on Comcast Channel 229, AT&T Channel 562, Astound Channel 116, DISH Satellite Channel 261 and DirecTV Channel 370; in Alameda EWTN airs on Channel 30. For additional coverage of the papal visit to Lebanon go to www.ewtn.com.

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