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August 12, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Alamedans join in AIDS Walk
Walkers from St. Philip Neri-St Albert the Great Parish and St. Joseph Basilica participated in the 27th AIDS Walk San Francisco. For the past two decades, various parishes from throughout the Diocese of Oakland have grouped together under Catholic Charities of the East Bay to participate in the walk. Some years as many as thirty parishes have participated, sending walkers to gather in the damp chill of early morning and join thousands of people in a 10K loop through Golden Gate Park to raise awareness as well as funds for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. St. Joseph parishioner Bill Dow has served as team captain and overall coordinator for the East Bay parishes for 20 years, and announced his "retirement" this year. Dow has consistently been one of the top fundraisers, this year personally raising more than $16,000. Over the past 20 years, the Catholic parishes of the Oakland Diocese have raised $510,000 in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
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Rachel statue dedicated in Brentwood
Rev. Jerry Brown, pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, assisted by Deacon Ed Spano, dedicates a statue of Rachel mourning the unborn children July 21 at the Brentwood parish. Knights of Columbus Council No. 7467 of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church purchased the statue, assisted by other ministries and individuals. Matthew, when writing his Gospel, quoted the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children and she would not be consoled since they were no more." Jeremiah was writing about the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel, and Matthew borrowed this to write about the slaughter of the innocent children in Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus. Rachel was the wife of Jacob the Patriarch, and Jeremiah attributed her grief and weeping to all the senseless killing of the innocent. Today, this text is often applied to abortion. The parish dedicates the statue as a memorial to the 50 million lives lost since the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973.
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'Kingdom Rock'
More than 600 elementary school kids, close to 300 teens and more than 100 adult volunteers rocked the Parish Hall at the Catholic Community of Pleasanton in its vacation bible school "Kingdom Rock: Where Kids Stand Strong for God" during the week of June 24. In two sessions to accommodate all the students, they enjoyed a fun- and faith-filled week learning to seek God's Kingdom and celebrate God's love for us. It was the 14th summer for the program. The children and their families also raised more than $20,000 for Shepherd's Gate, a shelter for battered and homeless women and children. The Knights of Columbus hosted a barbecue for 800 people. The week ended with Mass on Sunday, where participants sang many of their songs during the liturgy.
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