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March 18, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Wax museum learning
For February's Black History Month, the third- and fifth-grade classes at St. John Catholic School in San Lorenzo collaborated to present a wax museum of famous African Americans. Shamika Pratt's fifth-graders researched the life and achievements of such African Americans as Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, Mae Jameson and Roberto Clemente, while Bronwen Boyer's third-graders dressed up as the historic characters and helped read the biographies written by the fifth graders. School parents and pupils were invited to visit the wax museum to learn more about the contributions made by these famous African Americans.
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Around the Parishes

More than 1,000 people gathered Feb. 22 at St. Benedict Church in Oakland to pray for and remember three members of one family — George Moa, David Moa, and Malia Moa — who had been killed in a car accident a week earlier. The three, who were siblings or cousins to one another, were between 17 and 19 years of age. Separate arrangements were held for Rachel Fisi'iahi, another family member killed in the accident who was Mormon. A fifth person survived the Feb. 11 accident, which occurred as the teens were returning home from Las Vegas where they had attended a rugby tournament. The four died when the SUV they were riding in hit a wall on the freeway after the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

"St. Benedict Parish is devastated by the loss," Rev. Jay Matthews, St. Benedict pastor, told The Voice. Noting that the youth were part of a "lovely family," Father Matthews said that the teenagers had been members of the parish choir and were very involved in youth activities. The priest recalled presiding over baptisms, First Communions and weddings involving members of the large Tongan family. The weekend after the accident the parish had a second collection that collected more than $6,000 for the family. The parish's Facebook page contained numerous messages of support to the Moa family and the St. Benedict Parish family as well as photos of the deceased young people.

Expectant mothers are blessed the first weekend of every month at St. Margaret Mary Church, 1219 Excelsior Ave., Oakland: 5 p.m. Saturdays and at the 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday Masses.

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Around the Schools

Students and faculty moderators from Salesian High School's Student Leadership and Ministry group, also known as S.L.A.M., attended last month's Religious Education Congress Youth Day in Anaheim. An annual event, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, brings together youth and teen ministers from around the country to celebrate their faith. The day's events included a workshop on servant leadership, a musical concert, a rally and Mass with the archbishop of Los Angeles. The Richmond high school, along with St. Francis High School in Watsonville, were hosted by student leaders of Don Bosco Tech in Rosemead.

Fifty vocalists from Concord's Carondelet/De La Salle Choral, performed at the Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim. The chorale ensemble not only earned a gold rating — the highest — the singers received the Spirit of Anaheim Award, which is only given to one school in the competition. The spirit award is presented to the school that best represented its community.

The men's and women's basketball teams of Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School clinched North Coast Section Division III titles on March 2. The women's team topped Miramonte High, 77-48, while the men's team defeated El Cerrito 89-76. Both teams now advance to the new Open Division of the NorCal playoffs. O'Dowd is the only school in Northern California to have its men's and women's teams in this new division.

The top-seeded Carondelet High (Concord) team (25-3) captured the Division II title with an 84-56 win over Clayton Valley, Concord; while the women's team from Berkeley's Saint Mary's High won its fourth NCS title in five years with a 54-48 victory over Salesian High, Richmond, in Division IV play.

In NCS Division IV action, the men's team from Salesian High in Richmond (30-3) prevailed over Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa, 65-34, to pick up its third NCS title; and over in Division V St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda (22-11) beat University 44-38, to collect its third straight NCS title.

The wrestling team at Concord's De La Salle High School recently became five-peat NCS champions with a win at Newark High.

Seventy music students from Saint Mary's High traveled by bus to Southern California in mid-February and performed at fellow Lasallian schools Cathedral High School in Los Angeles and La Salle High School in Pasadena, visited Cal State University Fullerton, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Hall, the Colburn School of Music, and recorded a soundtrack session to scenes from popular Disney movies at Disneyland.

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Among the Religious

Members of Santa Maria Church came together March 9 to join Rev. Msgr. Ted Kraus, pastor at the Orinda parish, at a celebration of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. A reception in Msgr. Kraus' honor followed the 5 p.m. Mass.

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Names, News, Notes

Birthright of Concord will be hosting a celebration of its 40th anniversary on March 23 at Zio Fraedo's Restaurant in Pleasant Hill. The evening's events include presentations, musical entertainment, a ticket raffle and a silent auction. For more information or to make a donation phone 925-798-7227.

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