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April 22, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 8   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Choir honors
In honor of her 85th birthday in March, Norma Gray of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Berkeley received a special blessing at the Sunday Mass on March 24 along with an engraved plaque that formally named the church choir's performance space for her. A parishioner since arriving from Iowa at age 8, Gray has been a member of the parish choirs for 70 years, and was choir director for nearly four decades. Mother of 10, Gray has also been active in a number of diocesan programs and wrote the "In Brief" column that featured parish news in The Catholic Voice for eight years in the 1960s and 1970s.
Michael Gray/Courtesy photo
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Work in Haiti
Saint Mary's High students and their new friends share a smile at Sakala, an afterschool program for the children of Cité Soleil, one of the most devastated regions of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during the Berkeley school's annual Enrichment Week program in March. The group had just completed a Peace Wall mural with youngsters from the local community, breaking language, economic and social barriers through a blank wall, their hands and some paint.
Courtesy photo

Around the Parishes

Six Confirmation students from Santa Maria Parish in Orinda traveled to Salinas to take part in a "service immersion" March 8-10. The students spent time at a shelter for the homeless, worked in the community garden and attended a Spanish Mass.

The Fil-Am ministry at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood gathered April 14 for a Mass to celebrate the feast day of St. Pedro Calungsod, who was canonized last October. A nine-day novena preceded the Mass. St. Pedro Calungsod, a teenage catechist from the 17th century, is the second saint from the Philippines.

The Catholic Community of Pleasanton offers a Military Peer Support Ministry in which military veterans can find spiritual support to help them cope with the challenges they experience after returning home from overseas combat assignments.

At its May 2 meeting the St. Joseph Seniors of Pinole will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a potluck lunch. The celebration will begin with 11 a.m. Mass in the parish church at 837 Tennent Ave. Guests are asked to bring a favorite dish to share — especially Mexican dishes. Wear Mexican or Western style clothing if you like. Questions? Contact Bill or Susan Gahan at 510-741-1756.

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Around the Schools

First and fourth graders of Assumption School in San Leandro sponsored a book drive in support of the East Bay Children's Book Project, an organization that helps to build literacy by putting books into the hands of children who have little or no access to them. Their book drive, which ran Feb. 25-March 8, collected more than 1,600 books from school families and the community!

St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda has formed a partnership with Girls Inc. with a program that exposes and encourages students to consider entrepreneurship as an option. Nineteen students participated in the program, called Exploring Entrepreneurial Experiences Social Entrepreneurship, and developed business plans for enterprises that also give back to the community. According to the April SJND newsletter among the ideas developed were Thrifted Threads, to reconstruct and redesign used clothing, and T's for Trees, creating unique T-shirts to raise money for national parks.

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Among the Religious

A Mass of Recognition and Thanksgiving for the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary will be at 11 a.m. May 5 at St. Jerome Church in El Cerrito. The liturgy and reception that follow in Rohan Hall will honor and thank the Sisters for 60 years of academic and pastoral service throughout the order's California region. The Sisters came to St. Jerome Parish in 1955 to open and staff St. Jerome School. They ran the school for many years "with great support from pastors, parents and parishioners," according to the parish website. St. Jerome Church is located at 308 Carmel Ave. in El Cerrito. For more information: www.stjeromeec.org or phone the parish office at 510-525-0876.

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