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Ridge, — a

Bay Area
retreat centers

Baptism of fire
greets Vallombrosa director

Parishes promote vocations with
prayer, education

Meet our new seminarians

A sister finds her
place on the
college campus

Friendship with
Jesus is what
nurtures vocations

Holy Family Sisters plan vocation

One religious community, two remarkable women

Sisters answer why, how they found
their vocations

Diocese wraps up 50th anniversary

'A Christian
exhibiting good sportsmanship'

Ecumenical work of
the Church flourishes in Oakland diocese

Reflections: Remembering
Bishop Begin

A Mass of Remembrance for victims of school violence

Parish participation jumps to 48 at
Crèche Festival

In transitions — parishes learn
about themselves

Work project
for Carmelites

placeholder January 7, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Meet our new seminarians

David Andrade Damian

Born: Dec. 29, 1983 in Acapulco, Mexico. He is the eldest of three children.

Education: He graduated from junior high and high school, and became involved in a political party at school. His parents wanted him to be a lawyer. However he quit school to help his parents run their mini-mart. His mother told him he could continue his education or go to the US and live with his uncle and work.

Life in the US: He moved to Newark in 2004. One day he was invited to a youth group meeting and the experience changed his life. "I wanted to learn more about the Lord."

Vocation: He became involved with a charismatic prayer group at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Fremont and started assisting the priest at Mass. He met Father Juan Franco, who invited him to meditate on the possibility of the priesthood. Father Franco would later become his spiritual adviser.

Huong Dinh

Born: To a Catholic family in Vietnam. He is the youngest of six children.

Importance of prayer: "I believe that through prayers, I can get closer to God, and from prayers I would know God's will and everything I do will be blessed by him."

Vocation: "In making a commitment to priesthood and celibacy, I am determined to attend Mass, pray often, receive Communion and receive the sacrament of reconciliation. I will also make the effort to be involved in church services, activities and gatherings that will help with my calling."

Jose Morales

Born: July 14, 1992 in Villa Nueva, Mexico. He is the youngest in a family of six sons and three daughters.

Background: He says he comes from a "poor family with great values." Many of his older siblings went to the US to work and send money home.

Education: After the family moved to the US, he attended public schools until he received a scholarship to attend St. Peter Martyr School in Pittsburg for one year. Then he went to De La Salle High School in Concord.

Biggest influence: His mother. "She would pray her Rosary every night and had all of us do the same."

Vocation: Morales said that his vocation came early in his life, adding he comes from a religious family. "I always wanted to serve God."

Peter Duy Vo

Born: Aug. 17, 1989 to a middle-class family in Saigon, Vietnam. He has three younger brothers.

Biggest influence: "My faith came from my mother's family. I was very close to my parish priest and I am grateful to God for the example he set for me."

Education: He is a college graduate and trained as a graphic designer. After college graduation he decided to follow the call to priesthood but he was unable to attend the seminary due to religious and political "circumstances."

Obstacles: Thousands of other Vietnamese people were forced to flee the country to find religious freedom; Vo had problems getting a visa. He was also concerned that if he left, he didn't know if he'd see his family again.

Vocation: He has a strong prayer life and would like to be a priest to "bring people to God and God to the people."

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