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St. Leander closes 150th celebration

3 from Oakland
off to Burundi

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At 91, Tita Ising cherishes the opportunity to serve

At 50, Concord's St. Agnes Parish looks back and ahead

Institute trains parish leaders for Latino Catholic community

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Mary showed us sacrifice key to marriage survival

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Jose Prado

A retreat in Boston

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Catholic' Franciscan University

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placeholder September 8, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
3 from Oakland off to Burundi

Rev. Aidan McAleenan

Three representatives of the Diocese of Oakland will travel to Burundi this week to take part in a Catholic Relief Services-sponsored tour to highlight the work that agency provides to the people of the small, central African nation.

Father Aidan McAleenan, pastor of St. Columba Parish in Oakland; John Watkins, coordinator of Life and Justice for the Diocese of Oakland; and Kerry Fahey, a member of the youth ministry team at St. Joan of Arc parish in San Ramon will meet with delegates from two other dioceses at CRS headquarters in Baltimore Sept. 9 before continuing on to Africa. They are expected to return Sept. 18.

The group expects to see firsthand the work Catholic Relief Services is doing in areas of health, micro financing, development and peace-building, Watkins said.

For Father McAleenan, who will blog at www.catholicvoiceoakland.org during the trip, this is his first trip to Africa.

On the web
Follow the journey to Burundi
of Father Aidan McAleenan
Father McAleenan serves as the master of ceremonies at the annual CRS Rice Bowl breakfast, at which grants are presented to local groups that feed the hungry. Attendees this year will hear about this trip.

Watkins said the diocese was one among many that applied to make this journey, which is funded mostly from a grant.

"They want representatives from the diocese to see what CRS is doing, to become more effective spokespeople for the mission of CRS," Watkins said.

The three representatives, when they return, can share what they learned with priests and deacons, lay people and youth.

In addition to be involved with CRS missions, they will meet with some Missionaries of Charity ministering in the country, representatives of Caritas, which functions much the same way as CRS, and the people of the diocese.

This is also Watkins' first trip to Africa. "For me, I always see it as an opportunity," he said. It will help energize him in his work, Watkins said, and help him "connect it to why I do what I do."

"It will give me the ability to think about the work of the church in global solidarity," he said, making him better able to talk about solidarity in the diocese.

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