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January 19, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Paid in full
Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood has paid off its $2 million debt, incurred to build a new parish hall. The hall was built in 2011 and dedicated Aug. 15 that year. The parish has been paying down the debt at a rate of $500,000 a year. Some members of the IHM Capital Campaign committee, from left, Bob Shoemaker, Bob Reber, Margaret Hoover [who is also business manager of IHM], Rev. Jerry Brown, pastor, and Deacon Ron Horan, who was also the project manager, celebrated the payoff on Jan. 4.
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Serra Club
supports vocations

The Serra Club of West Contra Costa donated $500 to the Oakland diocese at its Christmas social at the La Strada Italian restaurant in San Pablo. Three local priests joined the festivities, Father Fernando Cortez, pastor of St. Jerome Church in El Cerrito; Father Lazaro Sandoval, from St. Paul Parish in San Pablo; and Father Neal Clemens, diocesan vocations director. Pictured above, from left, are Margot Acquistapace (seated); Serra Club Vice President Ron Acquistapace; Serra Club Treasurer Carole Freeman; and Father Clemens, who accepted the check for the diocese.
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homicides decline

Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent and then-Mayor Jean Quan joined about 70 people at the Dec. 31 remembrance ceremony at St. Columba Church honoring those who were killed in 2014. The number of homicides dropped from 121 in 2013 to 85 last year. During the year, a white cross bearing the name and birthdate, if known, of each murder victim is placed in front of St. Columba. At the end of the year, an interfaith ceremony including song and prayer is followed by the removing of the crosses, reading the names of those killed, a procession and testimonials of friends and family members.

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