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June 23, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Something for the journey
Pupils at St. Francis of Assisi School in Concord filled backpacks for children going to visit their fathers on June 14 at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad. They also raised money to finance the cost of the trip made through the Get on the Bus organization, which helps children throughout California visit their parents in prison.
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42nd anniversary
Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court St. Raymond 2057 in Dublin celebrated its 42nd Anniversary on May 3 with Mass and May Crowning at St. Raymond Church, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. The Mass was concelebrated by the court's chaplain, Father Lawrence D'Anjou, and Fathers Benedict Wonganant and Lee Chompoochan. After Mass, members were recognized and received pins for their many years of service. Receiving the top honor was Reina Whitney, who is a charter member.
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Father Vazhappilly recognized by Knights with state award

From left, Timothy Carvalho, Knights' state deputy; Rev. Antony Vazhappilly; and Noel Panlilio, Knights' chapter president.
Courtesy photo

Rev. Antony Vazhappilly, pastor of St. James the Apostle Parish in Fremont and chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, Oakland diocese chapter, has been awarded the Father Juan Perez Award at this year's California State Knights of Columbus Annual Convention, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center Marriott on May 17.

Father Vazhappilly is a fourth degree Knight and was recognized for his leadership, dedication and support to the Knights of Columbus. The Father Perez award, established in 1986, is presented annually by the California State Council to recognize and honor members of the clergy for their outstanding and exemplary contributions to the Knights of Columbus and the community.

The award was named after Father Perez, who was a Spanish Friar of the Conventual Franciscans and close companion of Christopher Columbus. Many sources believe Friar Juan Perez de Marchena was instrumental in helping Columbus secure funding from Queen Isabella of Spain to finance his exploratory trip to the New World. Historical records indicate Friar Perez joined Columbus on his second voyage in 1493, and that Father Perez celebrated the first Mass in the New World at Point Conception on Dec. 9, 1493, in a temporary structure that became the first church in America.

Each year an awardee is chosen and recognized from the Northern, Southern and Central ecclesiastical districts in the state of California. Father Vazhappilly was named this year's recipient from the Northern District.

Boston Marathon runner
Anne Marie Gonsalves, long time parishioner at St Louis Bertrand Parish in Oakland, after receiving a blessing from Rev. Salvador Macias before leaving to run the 2014 Boston Marathon. Gonsalves also ran in the 2013 race. Although not injured, she was unable to finish the race because of the bombing.

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