JANUARY 24, 2005



Official newspaper of the Roman Catholic
Diocese of Oakland, California encompassing all of
Alameda &
Contra Costa counties.




Service in the Community

Carmen Perez and Cristina McNicholas, kindergarten students at St. Lawrence O’Toole School in Oakland, plant daffodil bulbs in the median strip along High Street in front of the parish church. The planting, done in partnership with the parish, was part of the City of Oakland’s beautification program.

Seventh and eighth grader students at St. Mary School in Walnut Creek carry 300 toys and clothing items they collected last month for families and children at the St.Vincent de Paul Visitation Center in downtown Oakland. The students also collected canned foods to stock the parish’s food pantry for needy families.

Order of Malta gift
Students at St. Joseph the Worker School in Berkeley proudly display the rosaries they received from the Order of Malta’s Growing the Faith program. Behind them are Natalie Tovani-Walchuk, principal (left), and Helen Mary Stein, a Dame of Malta who presented the rosaries and gave a brief history of the Order which began in Jerusalem during the First Crusade in 1070 to protect and nurse pilgrims in the Holy Land. The Order’s local members plan to give to St. Joseph School books on the saints later this year.

Helping save lives
Salesian High seniors Katerina Estera and Kimiko Ramos smile after accepting a check for $3,000 from Sandy Tesch of the American Red Cross. The Richmond high school won the grand prize in the Save-a-Life Challenge for having the highest percentage of students donating blood among high schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Seventy-nine Salesian High students donated blood in May; 68 had donated in December 2003. The money was given by the Rossmoor Blood Bank Society.

Walk for Water
In a symbolic gesture of solidarity with Haitian women who must walk long distances to gather water for their families, students at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School fill buckets of water at the Alameda beach, then walk to campus with their buckets. Seen here are, from left, Randall Tuason, Brian Posadas, Adrian Garcia, Ishmael Espinoza, and Suzy Feder. The students also collected more than $2,500 to help Cross International build five wells in Haiti.

Death penalty vigil
A woman places a candle while singing the Taize chant “Ubi Caritas” during the Jan. 18 interfaith vigil protesting an execution at San Quentin later that night. The vigil was held at St. John the Baptist Church in El Cerrito.

CDA gift to seminarians
Local Catholic Daughters of the Americas recently gave Bishop Allen Vigneron $2,513 to help seminarians. With Bishop Vigneron (center) are, from left, Father Larry D’Anjou, diocesan vocations director; Father Wayne Campbell, pastor at St. Felicitas Parish in San Leandro; Reina Whitney, district deputy and Dorothy Parrilo, state treasurer, both of Court St. Raymond #2057 in Dublin; Gloria Delaney, Court Mary, Queen of the Angels #2400 in San Leandro; and Betty Tyrpin, district deputy, Court St. John Baptist de la Salle #1934 in Concord.


Honors for duty in Iraq
St. John the Baptist School in San Lorenzo and Transfiguration Parish in Castro Valley can take pride in one of their own, Christine Gault, a 26-year-old army medic in the 101st Airborne Division. Gault, who has returned to the U.S. after a 10-month tour of duty, received two medals during her stay in Iraq – the Army Commendation Medal, for heroism and meritorious achievement, and the Combat Medical Badge, for medics who serve under fire.

Donna Wetherell, eighth grade teacher at St. John, recalls that Gault was quiet, polite and someone “who stood up for the underdog.”

“I have very fond memories of her,” she said. Before she joined the army, Gault was a parishioner at Transfiguration, where her parents, Compton and Frances, still belong.

Tips on theft prevention
Father Vladimir Kozina, now retired and living in Pine Grove, read the Jan. 10 Voice article about vandalism and theft in local parishes and called with advice for pastors who want to prevent these crimes. He hit on a solution when he faced this problem as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Brentwood from 1968 to 1984.

Father Kozina’s brother wired the sanctuary so a horn blasted when the altar was disturbed. The horn frightened would-be vandals who never came back. And when a thief tried to rifle the poor box, a bell summoned the pastor in the rectory and led to the man’s arrest.

“I thought I should share this because this is an evil thing,” Father Kozina said.

Around the parishes
To commemorate the Year of the Eucharist the Catholic Community of Pleasanton came together Jan. 20 for the Forty Hours Devotion. After the 12:10 p.m. Mass, there was exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel at St. Elizabeth Seton Church continually through the following morning. During the observance, which concluded at 10 a.m. on Jan. 22, individuals and parish groups also participated in the Liturgy of the Hours, a candlelight procession, the Rosary and Benediction.

Yesterday (Jan. 23), Good Shepherd Parish in Pittsburg celebrated a Mass for Peace, remembering the military men and women who have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom with a litany of names and candle lighting.

Glenna Benton, director of religious education at St. Agnes Parish in Concord, was recently elected by her peers to serve as a representative for the West Region of the National Association of Catechetical Directors.

A new support group called Children of Elders has formed at Holy Spirit/Newman Hall Parish in Berkeley for individuals who are finding the roles of parent/child have switched or are switching. The group will begin meeting Feb. 7 and continue to meet on the first and third Monday of each month from 6 – 7:15 p.m. in the Newman library.

Around the schools
Grant Black, third grader at St. Joseph the Worker School in Berkeley, now has his name and his work in print. His poem, “If I Were a Burglar,” has been published in an anthology titled “Public House,” and the San Francisco Chronicle told of Grant’s appearance at the book party, held at his father’s San Francisco pub in December, where the boy read his poem aloud.

When the People to People program for youth meets on the UCLA campus next July, Erik Strand, now an eighth grade student at St. Patrick School in Rodeo, will be among them. Strand was named a youth ambassador thanks to his leadership skills and academic performance.

Two thumbs up and a drum-roll for Aaron Bennett, a member of Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School Symphonic Band, who was been chosen for the 2005 California All-State Honor Bands. He was one of 1,500 students throughout the state who audition for a position.

Talk about rarified air at Hayward’s Moreau Catholic High School. Two members of the school’s basketball team, Amy Elliott and Alisha Flaaten, recently became the 12th and 13th members of the school’s 1,000-point club. Flaaten, a junior, earned the distinction of being the second-fastest player in school history to reach 1,000 points in her career.

Did you attend Corpus Christi School in Piedmont? The school will celebrate its 50th anniversary this fall and organizers are sending out this urgent message: please contact your alma mater! Visit the website: or call the school: (510) 530-4056 for more information or to register.

Names, News, Notes
Congratulations to Bob Valva, a long-time advertiser with The Voice, who has reached a number of milestones. In November he turned 80, he recently notched 60 years as a real estate agent, and in a few days – on Feb. 15 – he and his wife, Lois, will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary.

Prayers go out to the family and friends of Allen Brett Hutchison, a former student at All Saints School in Hayward, who was killed in an avalanche Jan. 9 in Nevada. The 13-year-old Hutchison was the only occupant of a chairlift when the avalanche struck at a ski and snowboard resort near Las Vegas.

The Catholic Singles Network is sponsoring a rotational dinner party for single Catholics on Jan. 29 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Foster City. Men and women will be seated according to age and mutual interest. At the beginning of each dinner course, the men “rotate” to the next table, so that everyone at the four-course dinner will be meeting new single friends every half hour. The no-host cocktail reception is from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m. and the dinner program from 7:15 – 10 p.m. The cost is $49 for CSN members and $59 for non-members. For more information: phone: (888) 208-9555, ext. 83; e-mail: or website:

The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN will provide live coverage of the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, beginning at 8 a.m. today (Jan. 24). Cameras will follow marchers to a huge Rally for Life at the Washington Monument, where participants will mark the 32nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. On Jan. 27 at 5 p.m., EWTN’s “Life on the Rock” youth program will feature clips from the Jan. 22 Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. EWTN is carried on Comcast Digital channel 229, DISH Satellite channel 261, and Direct TV channel 422. In San Leandro, San Lorenzo, and Hayward, Comcast airs EWTN on channel 76. In Alameda, EWTN is on Comcast channel 30 and on Alameda Power channel 19.

Items for Around the Diocese can be emailed to: