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November 24, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Fight against ALS
St. Agnes School in Concord raised $4,000 for the ALS Bucket Challenge, a national effort to raise money in the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, a progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain. The teaching staff challenged their pupils; classes that raised $100 got to see their teachers and the principal get ice cold water dumped on their heads.
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Schoolchildren helping diocese
Ellie Ramos, Izzy Barreravallar, Ceri Williams, Mia Peters and Alexis Tsamoudakis are third-graders at St. Francis of Assisi School in Concord, whose parish is involved in the first phase of the diocesan Capital Campaign. School children, interested in the campaign's help for schools but also for the broader needs of the diocese, made a pledge to Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, to participate in fundraising for the next four years to help out. They are attempting to fill a Plexiglass church with cash. Learning of the effort, the bishop made a personal call of thanks to the pupils that "made our day," reported Principal Sister James Marien Dyer, CSJ.
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Living Rosary at St. Leander
St. Leander School pupils gathered in the parish Peace Pole garden on an October morning to pray a Living Rosary. Student Council members and representatives from the classes led the entire school community, each student representing one "bead" and leading one prayer of the Joyful Mysteries. Students brought their rosaries from home or made rosaries in class.
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New pastor at St. Mary
Rev. Fred Riccio, left, who grew up in Pleasanton and has been a pastor at Queen of All Saints, Concord; St. Joan of Arc, San Ramon; and St. Joseph Basilica, Alameda, was installed as pastor at St. Mary Church of the Immaculate Conception in Walnut Creek by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, on Oct. 18. Father Riccio was vocations director for the diocese and also has worked at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Crockett and St. Patrick Mission in Port Costa.

Lesson from
South America

Sister Annie Credidio, BVM, a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, spoke to 10th and 12th grade religion students at Holy Names High School in Oakland about her work in South America with Hansen's disease (leprosy) patients on Oct. 30. Her presentation focused on the mission and history of the Damien House in Guayaquil, Ecuador and her own journey to Ecuador. Sister Annie emphasized the importance of educating the public about Hansen's disease.

Around the Parishes

The fourth-grade class at St. Edward School in Newark was in charge of the All Saints' Day prayer service. The students dressed as saints, and shared information about their specific saint during the service.
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There's a call out for bakers to support the St. Anne's Society Bake Sale on Dec. 6-7 at St. Anne Church in Walnut Creek. It's all part of the annual Christmas Festival, which will also include a jewelry shop, coffee shop, silent auction and Christmas gift items sale — all of which should provide some yummy opportunities for shopping and socializing.

From St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish comes the news that Beverly Iacona will retire at the end of the year. Her current title is financial secretary, but "she has fulfilled just about every job description there is," the parish notes in its bulletin, during her 35 years of service there. Iacona has served on the staff for the entire existence of the Antioch parish.

St. Michael Parish in Livermore is dedicating time for Eucharistic Adoration for parents with children. This special time means parents will have the opportunity to guide their children in what takes place during Adoration and how to conduct themselves without the worry of interrupting others. This is offered from 3 to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Catholic Community of Pleasanton welcomes returning Catholics to a six-week session, which will be offered three times a year. The next "Returning Catholics" series begins Jan. 14.

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Around the Schools

St. Joseph Notre Dame High School is celebrating what it's calling an historic fall season in women's sports, with the Alameda school's women's golf, volleyball and cross-country teams all winning Tri County Athletic League championships. The women's tennis team finished its best season ever with 10 wins. "We enjoy seeing our students shine through athletics," said Principal Simon Chiu. "This fall we are especially proud of our female athletes' grit and achievements." The men's cross-country was also undefeated this season, winning the league championship.

They needed a bunch of pens at Bishop O'Dowd High School for the National Letter of Intent Signing on Nov. 12. Dragon student-athletes accepting college scholarships are: Paris Austin, basketball, Boise State University; Brianna Karsseboom, volleyball, UC Davis; David Kyriacou, baseball, University of Kansas; Aisia Robertson, basketball, University of Kansas; Gray Strandberg, crew, UCLA; and Asha Tyler-Thomas, basketball, UC-Berkeley.

Head groundskeeper Avi Atzmon, wearing his Saint Mary's College High School cap and shirt, personally delivered dozens of prayer slips from the school community to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem during a visit home to his native Israel in October. The prayers were sent as part of the month-long International Lasallian Days for Peace.



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