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February 9, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
 
Bishop's 'active listening' leads
to revised school contract

 
Diocese to survey faithful
on the family and Church

 
50,000 fill SF streets in Walk for Life
Rice Bowl serves up hope abroad
and close to home
 

As Lent approaches, the work of Rice Bowl, the annual Lenten program of fasting, prayer and almsgiving of Catholic Relief Services, was illustrated at All Saints School in Hayward.

 


Rice Bowl at 40

Prayers, videos, recipes
and more information

75 percent of proceeds
are used abroad

25 percent stay in the diocese

32
groups in the diocese received $32,000 in grants in 2014

For more information: www.crsricebowl.org

CRS Rice Bowl apps are available

Lenten events Wednesday, Feb. 18
Ash Wednesday Day of Renewal with Rev. Vince Mesi, OFM, at San Damiano Retreat, 710 Highland Drive, Danville. Instead of giving up things maybe we need a radical change in our lives. Make this Lent a joyful new start. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the program goes from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. Dial 925-837-9141, ext. 315, or register online at www.sandamiano.org.

Saturday, Feb. 21
A Day of Reflection: "Lenten Themes in the Psalms." 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 500 Fairview Ave., Brentwood. Join Rev. Jim Sullivan in Halls A, B and C. Coffee social at 9:30 a.m. with the presentation starting at 10 a.m. Lunch provided. Please RSVP by Feb. 17 to Lisa at 925-785-1969 or lfisher7544@comcast.net.

Sunday, Feb. 22
Lenten Mission at St. Leander Church, 550 W. Estudillo Ave., San Leandro at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Masses. Presentations at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 23 to 25, "Mercy is Your Name," presented by Jesse Manibusan. Free will offering.

Feb. 25,
March 4, 11, 18, 25

Taize Prayer during Lent at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at San Damiano Retreat Chapel, 710 Highland Drive, Danville.

Feb. 28 to March 5
Parish Mission at St. Stephen Parish, 1101 Keaveny Court, Walnut Creek. Capuchin Franciscan preacher and author Richard Hart's theme "Embracing the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus." There will be evening programs at 7 p.m. March 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, with a closing Eucharistic liturgy the night of March 5. Father Hart will be preaching at the weekend services. There is no charge. Information: Annette Roux, 925-939-3826, ext. 2.

Wednesday, March 4
Labyrinth Retreat with Dorothy Charbonneau at San Damiano Retreat, 710 Highland Drive, Danville. Lent is taking time to be grateful, to accept who we are in God's eyes and to continue to spend a lifetime trusting God with our path in life. Join other labyrinth walkers as we pray for guidance, as we accept the falling down and getting up in our lives. No prior experience with the labyrinth is necessary. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the program goes from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $40 and includes lunch. Dial 925-837-9141, ext. 315, or register online at www.sandamiano.org.

 
As middle school pupils prepared for an upcoming visit by Thomas Awiapo, whose compelling story of going from an aid recipient as a small boy in Ghana to employment as an aid worker empowering farmers in his native land, the third-graders prepared to feed the hungry at their door.

Pupils at All Saints are accustomed to the Rice Bowl. They raise funds — and fun — each year by participating in a "penny war," said principal Jennifer Diaz.

Marianne Landis, who teaches third grade, applied for a grant last year. In December, the third-grade class became one of the 32 organizations that feed the hungry in the Diocese of Oakland to receive a grant.

The grant — $550 — would be used to make bag lunches for the homeless people, who have breakfast on Tuesdays, to take along with them.

The students brainstormed ideas on what to serve, the products they'd need to package the goods and drew up budgets.

The sandwich-making began on Jan. 26, the first school day of Catholic Schools Week.

"We're very lucky to get a grant to make some sandwiches for the people who are homeless in Hayward," she said. "There are more and more people in Hayward who need our help."

The $550 grant, she told them, "is enough that we can make a start. Make a difference."

Long division came into play as the students divided the available funds by the number of months in the school year.

"We're not going to be able to make sandwiches every week," Landis said.

Their goal: "Make this money last until June," she said.

This time, the third-graders got a helping hand from organizers of the school's sock hop, held the previous weekend. "We danced the night away," the teacher said.

Leftover bottles of water and a box containing 30 bags of chips were donated by organizers. One student's family sent in bags of cookies.

Pupils made a list of supplies needed — bags and napkins, for example, as well as cheese and bread.

Taking colored pencils and crayons from their desks, the students decorated the lunch bags.

A little girl named Marley Brown, who below hearts wrote:

"We love you." At the bottom she added: "And the Holy Spirit is with you."

When asked what she hopes the recipient will feel, she said, "Feels happy about herself and likes to make other people happier."

She added a note inside: "We are always thinking of you."

With the sandwich bags decorated, six pupils were chosen to go to the kitchen in the gym to make the sandwiches, accompanied by a volunteer mom and grandmother.

Stephanie Torrey, who was making sandwiches with her son, said she hopes the lunchmaking "inspires them to do better, to help others."

Jayne Afoya, the grandmother, said, "They love to participate. They realize they help people who are not as fortunate."

Then, row by row, the young grant recipients filled 30 bags with bottled water, cookies, chips, tangerines, napkins and messages of hope.

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