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Catholic Voice
October 24, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 18   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Blessings and gratitude
for those who serve

Mass of thanksgiving
for church's newest saint
Catholic Charities fulfilling mission
'treating people as Jesus would'

Anaya McFadden

Catholic Charities of the East Bay is trying to fulfill its mission of treating people as Jesus would if He were here today.

That's the essence of a report from CCEB leaders to hundreds of supporters at the group's second annual fundraising lunch Oct. 13 at the San Ramon Marriott.

Chuck Fernandez, chief executive officer for CCEB, listed several accomplishments over the last 12 months

• CCEB helped 18 parishes welcome refugee families from countries like Burma, Afghanistan and the Congo.

• The Experience Hope Program in Richmond cut student suspension rates by 71 percent, the greatest reduction in suspension rates among large California school districts. The program is expanding to Oakland.

• The Family Literacy Program has helped 80 parents learn English. While in class, CCEB cared for and educated their children.

Learn more

Peace and
Justice Academy video

• Continuing an initiative begun last year, CCEB is on track to open Claire's House, a safe house for children aged 12-17 who were trafficked for sex, in 2017. "We have the location and are in the renovation process," Fernandez said.

This year, CCEB also focused on its summertime Peace and Justice Academy, including showing a video and offering testimony from participants.

In the academy, 20 young people took part in a leadership program that involved education, guidance and even dance to support healing and build relationships.

One academy grad, Anaya McFadden, a junior who plays basketball at Berkeley High School, said the academy "brought us together and helped us connect. You can talk to people your age who understand what you are going through."

Leo Guzman, academy director, said the academy grads could go on to assist CCEB counselors to help other youths in building good community relationships and improving school performance.

Schools often mirror violence seen in the community, Fernandez said, and studies show zero tolerance doesn't always work.

"Imagine if we were in all 36 school districts in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The result would be thousands of students graduating from high school on time, moving on to college or trade school and earning a living wage," Fernandez said.

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