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 January 5, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Santa's helpers
Eighth Grade pupils from Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Fremont helped Santa distribute food and gifts through the parish's St. Vincent de Paul group on Dec. 20.
Courtesy photo
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Around the Parishes

Santa Claus got a helping hand in Dublin. The Father John C. Murphy Council of the Knights of Columbus donated $20,000 to local charities and hosted a Dec. 14 breakfast at St. Raymond's Moran Hall in Dublin. Ten East Bay charitable organizations received $2,000 awards.

Recipients include: Shepherd's Gate, a safe haven for women and their children; Hope Hospice; Livermore Homeless Refuge; St. Mary's Center; The Volunteers of VA Livermore; TriValley Haven Crisis Center, sheltering and caring for victims of abuse and their families; the George Mark Children's House, a children's respite and end of life care facility; Catholic Charities of the East Bay; St. Vincent De Paul Dining Room; and Get on The Bus, which brings children and their guardians from throughout the state to visit their parents in prison.

In 2014 the hard-working Knights of the Dublin Council have raised more than $20,000 in their Charity Fund through safe-and-sane Forth-of-July booths, crab feeds, and kettle corn booths at community events. They also donated $30,000 to St. Raymond Parish and School and two college scholarships.

It's harvest time at the community garden at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church in Antioch. Several fresh vegetables are grown and given to needy families across East Contra Costa County.

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Around the Schools

Students at St. Leander School in San Leandro gathered together last month for their annual tree blessing ceremony. Students read the blessing in all the languages spoken by families in the school. Prayers were spoken in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog, Ethiopian, Vietnamese and Igbo. The students also collected food items for Christmas food baskets.

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Names, News, Notes

Erika Ratto and Yolanda Zara have been elected director and co-director of the Birthright Crisis Pregnancy Center in Livermore. John M. Kupski, former director, is enjoying his retirement. Volunteers, who are the heart and soul of this organization, are needed. There is no long-term commitment and any time you can give will be greatly appreciated. Call Erika Ratto at 925-518-9616.

All are invited to join the Dress A Girl Around The World group on Jan. 10 and make simple dresses for girls in Third World countries. This monthly get-together will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Augustine Hall, 3999 Bernal Ave. in Pleasanton. The organizers need with help sewing, ironing, cutting; bring your sewing machine or serger, iron, ironing board, scissors, along with your helping hands. You can come for as long as you want - an hour or all day! (Bring a bag lunch if you plan to stay all day.) Cheerful cotton fabric donations are always accepted. Questions? Suzanne Beck, 925-352-8447 or suzbeck@yahoo.com. You can also call to request a kit and sew at home.

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