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November 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Three deacons ordained
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, ordained three new transitional deacons for the Oakland diocese on Nov. 7 at Old Mission San Jose. The three deacons and their pastoral assignments are: Luis Alexander López, St. Mary Parish, Walnut Creek; John Erick Villa, St. Michael Parish, Livermore; and John Alain Carillo, All Saints Parish, Hayward. Flanking Bishop Barber are Revs. Sergio Lopez and Neal Clemens, directors of vocation for the diocese.
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Knights' night for vocations
A trio of priests and almost 60 altar servers were recognized by the Knights of Columbus at its annual vocations dinner Nov. 7 at Carondelet High School in Concord. Revs. Jim Sullivan, Ken Sales and Roberto Corral, OP, were honored with pastoral excellence awards. "Encourage young people to join in God's service," Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, urged. "We need more vocations. … Look around your parish, look around for young people." The knights have raised more than $100,000 since 2009 to assist with vocations of clergy and religious in the Oakland diocese.

International rosary
Parishioners gathered at St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda on Oct. 7, taking part in an international rosary. People met at the basilica and processed around the block, reciting the rosary. For each decade, the first part of each prayer was in one of the native languages of the parishioners (from Latin America, the Philippines, Vietnam and Nigeria, in addition to English) and the responses were in English. After each decade, a traditional song honoring Our Lady from that country was sung.

Veterans Day coincidence
It's coincidental that Nov. 11, Veterans Day, is also the feast of St. Martin of Tours, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, said at the Veterans Day Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Light. While most of the world commemorates the end of World War I and subsequent wars, the Church everywhere in the world celebrates St. Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier who gave half his cloak to a beggar. He dreamed the beggar was Christ, who thanked him. St. Martin took the rest of his cloak and put in in a chapel, from whence the word chaplain, for a military minister, is derived. The bishop encouraged people to go to Mass on Sundays, to thank God for all the blessings received during the week.

Food for the needy
Coach Chris Alvarez' Eighth Grade National CYO team at St. Leander in San Leandro, with help from players from Alvarez' two previous teams from St. Leander and St. Felicitas, passed out nearly 4,000 bags and flyers in San Leandro neighborhoods on Oct. 10. On Oct. 17, they went back through the neighborhoods and collected about 400 bags of groceries for the needy. The food was given to St. Vincent de Paul for distribution from its food pantry. The volunteers want to thank everyone who gave. Over the past five years, Alvarez' basketball teams have gathered and distributed more than 1,300 bags of food.

Celebrating Consecrated Life
St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda had a celebration in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life in August. Sister Carol Fleitz SNJM, a member of the Pastoral Council, arranged for the speakers from three congregations — Franciscans, Holy Names and Sisters of Notre Dame — to speak briefly at the Masses. Each Mass included a blessing of members of religious communities. After each morning Mass, there was an information table and reception, from left: parishioner Erica Jimenez, and Holy Names Sisters Annamarie Therese Colapietro, Carol Fleitz, Margaret Kennedy and Kim Nguyen. The festivities provided the opportunity for parishioners to discover women religious who are living in their community, to meet them and learn a little bit about consecrated life and the real life people in it, including the parish's new youth minister and the elementary school's religion coordinator, Sister Kim.

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