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March 4, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 5   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

A heart-felt treat
Every February, St. Isidore School's third-graders and their grandparents are treated to a special day. This year, it happened on Valentine's Day. Third-graders and their guests began their day together with Mass, followed by a continental breakfast prepared by third-grade parents. Third-grade teachers Maureen Christensen and Raechel Moayer worked with art, music and computer teachers in making this day at the Danville school special. Music director Kelly Benjamson led the children in a short musical program. The pupils presented their grandparents or special guest with a keepsake book. Third-graders Margaret Gallagher, Annaliese Giusto and Megan Balousek and their grandparents are pictured above.
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Holy Spirit Eighth Graders begin Lent
Eighth graders at Holy Spirit School in Fremont were thinking of what to "give," rather than give up, for Lent. With thoughts of serving their community, pupils created Valentine cards and visited Aegis Living, a senior community for assisted living, memory care and specialized short-term care, on Valentine's Day. Pupils presented the Valentine cards they created, made arts and crafts with the residents and decorated cookies. Many of the adults were touched by this small act of kindness and time spent. As the pupils left Aegis Living, they bid their farewell with a song, "L.O.V.E." by Nat King Cole.
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Archbishop visits
Salesian High

Archbishop Alex J. Brunett joined the Salesian High School family on its annual Don Bosco Day Mass and Celebration Jan. 31. St. John Bosco is the founder of the Salesian order. Also joining in the Mass were several priests from the West County area. From left: Revs. Jacob Carazo, OFM, Conv., St. Paul Parish; Rev. Paul Schmidt, St. Joseph Parish; Rev. Nicholas Reina, SDB; Rev. Arthur Lenti, SDB; Rev. Ciaran Dillon, OMI, St. Rose of Lima Parish; Rev. Larry Young of St. Patrick Parish; Archbishop Brunett; Principal Tim Chambers; Rev. Frank Maloney, SDB; Rev. John Roche, SDB; Mark DeLuca, dean of students; and Revs. Giuseppe Pellizzari, SDB; Tim Ploch, SDB, Salesian provincial; and Mel Trinidad, SDB.
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Around the Parishes

Members at St. Michael Parish in Livermore hosted a Baby Drive Collection March 2 and 3. Donations of diapers, blankets, toys and more will go to Shepherd's Gate, Tri-Valley Haven, Valley Pregnancy Center and the Livermore Pregnancy and Resource Center. The collection was sponsored by the parish's Social Concerns ministry, Faith Enrichment and St. Michael School.

Parishioners at the Catholic Community of Pleasanton gathered at St. Augustine Church Feb. 26 to remember and celebrate the life of Father Jerry Kennedy, who died suddenly Jan. 2. Father Kennedy served as a parochial vicar at CCOP for a number of years before he retired from active ministry in 2010.

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Around the Schools

Oderah Chidom of Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland and Jabari Bird of Salesian High School in Richmond both ranked among the top high school basketball players in the country, have been chosen to play in the prestigious McDonald's All-American Game April 3 in Chicago. The 6-foot-4 Chidom, who will play for Duke University in the fall, will play on the girls West team while Bird, a 6-foot-6 guard, who is bound for UC-Berkeley, will play on the boys West team.

Three senior-athletes at Berkeley's Saint Mary's College High School recently signed with colleges and universities: Kevin Flemer with Oregon State (baseball), Caleb Coleman with UC-Berkeley (football) and Alejandra Arandia with Sonoma State (soccer).

Ash Wednesday at Saint Mary's High included the kickoff of the annual Lenten Food Drive in support of the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the annual Locks of Love event, with students and faculty donating the precious gift of their hair.

Students attending theology classes at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, are closely following news from the Vatican since Pope Benedict XVI announced his plans to retire last month. One class has been assigned a portfolio project to chronicle the day-to-day developments in Rome as the world waits for that puff of white smoke, signaling the start of a new papacy. In the meantime students are learning that papal elections have not always been "a smooth and ethical process," said Mike Kamplain, chair of the theology department. "We only need to look to the mentally unstable Pope Urban VI, who tortured those who elected him, to see that this is also a very human process," said Kamplain in an article from February's SJND alumni newsletter.

A large group of students at Concord's Carondelet High School took part in One Billion Rising, an awareness building activity involving a flash mob with a serious message. Women and those who love them received encouragement to "walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to violence against women." CHS's Facebook page included several photos of the event.

Also on Valentine's Day, more than 30 students at Holy Names High School in Oakland gathered Feb. 14 in the campus chapel to celebrate God's love. Lena Costello '16 offered a reflection on God's unconditional love and Mysia Pierce-Lewis '14 shared an observation on the color pink as reflecting God's love.

The advanced drama class from Holy Names attended the Northern California High School Theatre Festival at San Jose State University on Feb. 2. In addition to a day of workshops, students competed against other schools for the first time. Kayla Clark '13, Jenny Vazquez '15, and Victoria Zuniga '15 took third place with a scene from "Laundry and Bourbon" by James McClure.

The Moreau Catholic High School Library and Learning Commons, in partnership with the EX Libris Student Book Club, hosted the Third Annual 24 Hour Read-a-thon Feb. 8-9. Funds raised from this event will be used to purchase books for the library at St. Martin De Porres School in Oakland. With many local primary schools without school libraries or lacking the funds to maintain a current book collection, Moreau Catholic students decided to be agents of transformation in the community by raising funds to provide students with greater access to new books. The first 24 Hour Read-a-thon raised funds for Our Lady of the Rosary School in Union City and the second year the funds were raised for St. Leander School in San Leandro.

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