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placeholder New altar, numerous renovations at
Holy Spirit

Gift of Giving

New president is a
first for St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County

Local charities
deliver holiday
season wish lists

Help retired
religious weather
financial future

Supporting elderly religious is work
of the heart,
honorees say

Deeper look at statistics about women's religious orders


Pilgrimage takes us
into our faith
in a profound, transformational way

Pax Christi
Assembly inspired
by panelists,

Coptic deacon
fights secularism
to reach youths

Financial Services

Have a conversation about long-term care with your parents

Making this
Christmas season bright, and
affordable for everyone

How to save
money on pet care

Holiday Guide

Bishop's Vineyard
at the Cathedral

'VatiLeaks' 2015: Books claim
resistance to pope's
finance reform

Fremont pastor
pens a book on
humor, inspiration


New liturgical year
a time to put our
houses in order

The "O Antiphons"
of Advent

Blessing of an
Advent wreath

Sister Theresa
Martin Pigott, OP

placeholder November 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Gift of giving

Local charities deliver holiday season wish lists

A Friendly Manor/Place

A drop-in center for homeless women run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Need: Christmas gifts for the women (e.g., scarves, gloves, hats, jackets, sweatshirts, sweatpants, or gift sets of soaps/perfume).

Where: 2298 San Pablo Ave., Oakland 94612

Contact: 510-451-8923

Abode Services

Abode, which began delivering services to individuals and families without a home in Fremont, is expanding its services to the Tri-Valley area, including Livermore and Pleasanton. Since 2010, Abode Services has moved more than 3,000 adults and children from homelessness into homes.

Need: Gift cards (Target, Safeway or Payless ShoeSource); holiday dinner basket (canned vegetables, a frozen turkey or ham, stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and a dessert); winter weather clothing; gift baskets; online donations.

Where: 588 Brown Road, Fremont, 94539 (Hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday)

Contact: Jean Morgan, community outreach director, 510-252-0910, ext. 804, jmorgan@abodeservices.org

Online: www.abodeservices.org

Alameda County Community Food Bank

The Food Bank, which distributes food for 49,000 meals weekly through 275 food pantries, soup kitchens and community agencies, has been in business since 1985 — with a vision of the day when "we can go out of business."

Need: Monetary donations; non- perishable food items; volunteer time.

Where: 7900 Edgewater Drive, Oakland, 94621

Contact: www.accfb.org or 800-870-FOOD

Bay Area Crisis Nursery

The Bay Area Crisis Nursery's mission is child abuse prevention. The only crisis nursery in the Bay Area, it provides short-term residential care for children to give parents time to focus on solving a crisis. Knowing their children are safe, the parents can make better use of other services to resolve crisis like homelessness, domestic violence, mental or physical illness and a myriad of other unexpected emergencies.

Need: New toys, games, books for children, birth to 18 (particularly 2 and under and 14 up); new clothes for children of all ages; cosmetics, purses, wallets, scarves, hats, gloves, bath sets, lotions, board games for all ages, doctor kits, vet kits, hand-held music devices and educational toys.

Non-perishable holiday dinner items: Canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, pumpkin pie, boxed pie crusts, pie tins, boxed mashed potatoes and gravy.

Deliver to: 1506 Mendocino Drive, Concord, unwrapped by Dec. 8.

Contact: Nancy Thomas, development director, Bay Area Crisis Nursery,

Birthright of Concord

A nonprofit crisis pregnancy center offering free, confidential, non-judgmental service to pregnant women.

Need: Maternity clothes; diapers to size 4; volunteers; monetary donations welcome.

Mail address: 3106 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94519

Contact: 925-798-7227

Birthright of San Lorenzo

A nonprofit crisis pregnancy center offering free, confidential, non-judgmental service to pregnant women.

Need: Cash donations; diapers, newborn to infant; used or new baby clothes and layette items; volunteers who can work directly with women in crisis and participate in fundraisers; Board of Directors members; a grant writer; and quarterly newsletter help in writing and updating lists.

Where: 1048 Grant Ave., San Lorenzo 94580

Contact: 510-481-9677; contactus@birthrightofsanlorenzo.com.

Fred Finch Youth Center

Founded in 1891, Fred Finch Youth Center has provided care and services to the most vulnerable children and their families, serving more than 2,800 young people annually. It also works with their families, addressing not only mental health challenges, but the impact and circumstances that result from multigenerational poverty.

Need: Gift cards (increments of $25 are most useful)

Where: 3800 Coolidge Ave., Oakland 94602-3399

Contact: Tara Jondreau-DeRosa, director of development

The Gabriel Project of the Diocese of Oakland

The Gabriel Project is a parish-based outreach that seeks to bring the love of Christ to women in difficult and crisis pregnancies. We see in the conception of each child, a fresh expression of God's unfailing love. We offer immediate and practical help — spiritual, emotional and material.

Need: Donations of maternity and baby items, financial help and volunteers to be "angels" and "assistant angels."

Where: Throughout the Diocese of Oakland

Contact: David Zarri, coordinator,  davidlzarri@earthlink.net or 925-686-9277; www.cagabrielproject.wordpress.com

Mercy Brown Bag Program

Sponsored by Mercy Retirement & Care Center, this program provides bags of nutritious groceries to more than 3,000 needy seniors twice monthly, free of charge. The program helps seniors make ends meet, retain their health, and stay in their own homes.

Need: Cash donations, large-sized paper or plastic bags, produce bags, Ziploc bags, volunteers to take bags to homebound seniors, and a strategic planning consultant to help us keep up with the growing need.

Where: 3431 Foothill Blvd., Oakland 94601

Contact: Krista Lucchesi, Director, 510-534-8540, ext. 369

Monument Crisis Center of Contra Costa County

A family resource center assisting and stabilizing the low-income community with nutritious groceries, resource and referrals, adult educational and health wellness workshops, youth, family and senior programs.

Need: Cash, checks, credit card donations to buy food or food donations of fresh, packaged or canned foods; diapers, especially sizes 4-6; gift cards of small denominations ($10-$20) to Safeway, Food Maxx, Grocery Outlet, or Lucky's. Most of our families have housing but new sleeping bags are requested for those without homes. Please see website for further information and to donate online: www.monumentcrisiscenter.org.

Where: 1990 Market St., Concord, 94520. Hours: 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday — Thursday; extended hours until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. Donate online: www.monumentcrisiscenter.org.

Contact: Sandra Scherer, executive director, 925-825-7751 x105; sscherer@monumentcrisiscenter.org.

Next Step Learning Center

An older youth and adult literacy, high school equivalency preparation and college transition program operated by the Sisters of the Holy Names.

Need: Volunteer tutors, cash donations for literacy books; financial assistance for students unable to afford a bus pass or to pay the cost of high school equivalency examination fees.

Where: 2222 Curtis St., Oakland, 94607

Contact: Sister Cynthia Canning, SNJM, or Sister Rosemary Delaney, SNJM, 510-251-1731.

Nights on the Streets-Catholic Worker

Hospitality to the Body of Christ (the homeless and needy in local communities) by providing food, clothing, shelter, counseling and referral, and assisting others who do so.

Need: Prayers for health, guidance and the support of our continuing works of mercy; financial support for our 19th year of hospitality and 13th year of shelter operation run with staff from two Catholic Worker houses; volunteers to prepare and service thrice-weekly "soup nights" each winter (this includes cooking 10 gallons of soup and distribution the same evening); servers for our Sunday breakfast served al fresco at two locations in Berkeley. (Our bishop, Michael C. Barber, SJ, comes and serves at this event — get to know and serve with your bishop!) Sleeping bags are always needed and forever in short supply. A structure capable of housing 8-10 workers and guests including an expanded kitchen; a food storage area and extended bathroom/shower facilities to supplement existing shelter and hospitality facilities in the East Bay.

Mail address: P.O. Box 13468, Berkeley 94712-4468

Contact: J.C. Orton, coordinator, 510-684-1892; noscw@sbcglobal.net

Oakland Catholic Worker

A hospitality house for Latin American immigrants and refugees which has as its mission, "living simply and communally in a community of multicultural volunteers and guests; helping those most in need: supporting an extended community in keeping itself organized and healthy; changing the unjust structures of our society."

Need: Financial donations to assist our many needs; food donations, such as rice, beans and canned vegetables; cleaning supplies; gift cards for Smart and Final, Safeway, Home Depot and Office Depot. Volunteers are needed to help prepare and serve hot meals from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Spanish or bilingual speakers are the ideal but everyone is welcome.

Where: 4848 International Blvd., Oakland 94601.

Contact: 510-533-7375; oaklandcatholicworker@yahoo.com.

Oakland Elizabeth House

Elizabeth House is a transitional program for women and women with children who have experienced homelessness, violence, addiction or poverty. Its mission is to support women and children in their transition to independence.

Need: Cash donations for emergency expenses of the families, such as medical, transportation, food, child care; office supplies: printer paper, postage stamps, 2016 Day-Timer calendars; gift cards: Safeway, Target, Wal-Mart, Ross, Home Depot, Trader Joe's; food items (sealed/current expiration dates); general cleaning items; household items: children and family programs: passes/tickets — movies, museums, theater performances or events. Volunteer needs: handy person, gardening help, grocery shopping, help with meal preparation, clerical.

Where: 6423 Colby St., Oakland 94618

Contact: Tina Humphrey, 510-601-1213; tina@oakehouse.orgwww.oakehouse.org.

St. Mary's Center

Provides shelter, food, health care, addiction recovery and intensive social work to at-risk elders; and operates a preschool for low-income children in downtown and West Oakland.

Need: Financial donations; adopt a family for Christmas; prepare dinners and serve shelter residents

Where: 925 Brockhurst St. (at San Pablo Avenue) Oakland 94608

Contact: Amy Vaughan, 510-923-9600, ext. 222.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County

St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room and Community Center in downtown Oakland as well as parish Conference networks throughout Alameda County, welcome donations.

Need: Cash donations, children's Christmas toys and gifts, and warm coats of all sizes.

Where: 2272 San Pablo Ave., Oakland 94612 (between 23rd and West Grand), Oakland 94612

To donate: Send checks to: Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County (SVdP) in care of Jaime Kim, Director of Development, 9235 San Leandro St., Oakland 94603

To volunteer: Contact Muna Texier, 510-877-9252; must be 14 years of age or older.

St. Vincent de Paul Center for Men

Drop-in center for men offering showers, haircuts, laundry facilities, mailbox service and support services, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.

Need: Cash donations, disposable shaving razors, bars of soap, shampoo, mouthwash, dental floss, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, socks, T-shirts and underwear (XL+), phone cards.

Where: 2272 San Pablo Ave., Oakland 94612

Contact: John Ratti, Downtown Campus operations manager, 510-877-9237

St. Vincent de Paul Visitation Center for Women and Children

Drop-in center for women and children offering showers, laundry facilities, clothing, diapers and formula for infants, and peer support, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Need: Cash donations, new children's clothes and new toys for Christmas, travel and full-size shampoo and conditioner, razors, lotion, bars of soap, mouthwash, dental floss, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hairbrushes, deodorant, socks and underwear for women and children.

Where: 2272 San Pablo Ave., Oakland 94612

Contact: Leslie Oliver, Visitation Center coordinator, 510-877-9203

St. Vincent de Paul retail stores

St. Vincent de Paul operates three retail thrift stores in Alameda County selling gently used clothing, goods and furniture. SVdP also operates Redux Studios & Gallery in Alameda, featuring art and goods made from recycled materials and vintage items. Revenue generated from sales help to support our human services programs and two job training programs.

Need: Gently used or new furniture, household items and clothing

Where: Drop off your donation at any SVdP retail thrift store (East Oakland, Fremont, Livermore)

Contact: For bulk pickup, Jackie Mallory, donation scheduler, 510-638-7600

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