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Spend quiet time
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Three to be ordained
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Our seminarians
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Dominican Sisters
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Pope offers future priests, nuns a
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Vocations Week changes dates

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Sister M. Josepha, CSC

Local groups
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The Bible, cover to cover: 4 days, 10 hours, 34 minutes

Bishop Barber welcomes SPRED
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Day of prayer,
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Together, pledging
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New president of
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Teacher retention
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Hollywood insider sees opportunity for Catholic impact

Bishops moved after meeting prisoners

It's holiday season
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Pope denounces wasted food

placeholder October 21, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 18   •   Oakland, CA

Seminarian John Carillo called on a few of his friends – his fellow seminarians of the Diocese of Oakland – to prepare a Friends and Fellowship meal at St. Edward Parish in Newark.
Courtesy photos

Our seminarians serve — literally, at St. Edward

The seminarians cooked hamburgers and provided all the sides for their guests.

Twice a month in the parish hall of St. Edward Church in Newark, parish groups take turns serving a free meal to anyone who needs one. Civic groups have also gotten involved, said the pastor, Father Jeffrey Keyes, CPPS. Two local barbers provide free haircuts. People often donate clothing, which is available for people to pick up what they need.

At St. Edward, this is called Friends and Fellowship. In August, at the end of serving his pastoral year at the Newark parish, seminarian John Carillo took on the task of preparing the meal. More than a dozen seminarians, and vocations director Father Kenneth Nobrega, cooked and served 150 cheeseburgers on a Sunday afternoon.

Carillo was the third seminarian to serve his pastoral year with Father Keyes at St. Edward. The pastoral year is designed, he said, to give the seminarian a sense for what's it like to be a priest, and to be living in a parish.

Learn about . . .

• Rev. Kenneth Nobrega Knobrega@oakdiocese.org

• Rev. Sergio Lopez, JCD SLopez@oakdiocese.org

At St. Edward, seminarians are involved in all parts of parish life: liturgy, CCD, school, retreats, hospital ministry and social ministry, said Father Keyes.

Friends and Fellowship grew out of a parish prayer group, led by Father James Franck, CPPS, parochial vicar. About three years ago, after praying together and discerning for a number of years, Father Franck said, the idea came: Let's try a meal once a month.

"We wanted it to be parishwide," said Father Franck. So the prayer group put together a booklet on how to provide this dinner, and invited other groups in the parish to take on a dinner, which is served from 1 to 3 p.m.

That once a month has grown to twice a month, with the meal served on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. About half a dozen people actively oversee the operation, Father Franck said.

Carillo and the seminarians joined various groups, including the Respect Life and Indian ministries, in answering that call. Each group is responsible for buying, preparing, serving and cleaning up. "The food is always good," said Father Franck. About 70 to 80 guests attend each meal, he said. Sometimes, there are 100 people. Often, there are families.

"We have a pretty regular clientele," Father Franck said. "Anybody can come." He said some of the guests are senior citizens who enjoy the opportunity for some company as well as food.

Musical groups provide entertainment, and the volunteers spend some time talking with their guests.

"Often the people who are the happiest are the ones that are serving," Father Franck said.

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