JUNE 7, 2004



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




Build-a-thon for dreams
What are you doing for the Fourth of July? Why not join some of your neighbors and help make the dream of homeownership a reality for six low- and very low-income Bay Area families through East Bay Habitat for Humanity’s Independence Day Build-A-Thon, July 2 - July 5. Participants are asked to raise at least $100 in pledges for each day they work to cover building material costs. Breakfast, snack and lunch will be provided. Interested builders – construction veterans and novices – can visit or call Lisa Boege at (510) 251-6304, ext. 308 for more information and a registration form.

Around the parishes
Ninety-one members of St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord donated $3,275 for the “Walk For Life,” a fundraiser for the local Pregnancy Care Center on May 8. Among parishioners who took to the streets were Anne Ronco, Victoria Villanueva and Alicia Teodorini.

Two Oakland parishes – St. Leo and St. Paschal Baylon – have the distinction of having a book dedicated to them. Jesuit Father John Baldovin, who presided and preached at Masses at the parishes, dedicated his latest book, “Bread of Life, Cup of Salvation: Understanding the Mass” to the people in these faith communities as well as a Lexington, Mass. parish where he also worked.

Around the schools
A special commendation to the fourth, fifth and sixth graders at Our Lady of Grace School in Castro Valley who gave up their recess time and brought donations from home to make bag lunches for distribution to homeless men and women by St. Mary’s Center in Oakland.

Congratulations to Matthew Walker, a senior at Salesian High School in Richmond, who was awarded a $3,000 scholarship from the ConocoPhillips Dependent Scholarship Program. Based on academic achievement, the scholarship is renewable for up to four years. ConocoPhillips presents 60 scholarships to employee dependents selected from about 500 applicants.

Much applause also goes to Stephanie Jones, a member at St. Columba Parish, who received an award for her poetry from Oakland Technical High School, where she is a sophomore.

Best wishes and much appreciation to Kathleen Burdoin, who is retiring from Our Lady of Grace School in Castro Valley after teaching in the Oakland Diocese for a total of 20 years. She was a teacher at Our Lady of Grace for 18 years and at St. Cyril School in Oakland for two years. “I consider this school my second family,” said Burdoin, “and will always remember the relationships I formed with parents, students and co-workers.”

Kindergarten and first grade students at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro learned about the power of prayer from kindergarten aide Tina Stephano. She asked the students to pray for a sick child with spinal tumors. Students began praying daily for the child, Baby Anthony, and the child is doing better than doctors predicted. Baby Anthony’s parents brought him to the school last month to personally thank the children for their prayers.

Names, News, Notes
ESL at LEO! The LEO Center (Lasallian Educational Opportunities) is offering English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for adults with little or no experience in English from June 21 to July 16. Morning classes will be held from 9-11 a.m. Mondays through Fridays while evening classes will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The cost is $25. Text books will be provided for free. Contact: The LEO Center, 3815 Telegraph Ave., Oakland; phone: (510) 450-0747.

A spin marathon – powered by the muscles of 24 riders on spin bikes at the Berkeley Ironworks – in March raised over $13,000 for Elizabeth House and the Edible Schoolyard. Elizabeth House, based in the former convent of St. Augustine Parish in Oakland, provides transitional residential and support services to homeless and low-income women.

The Health Cabinet at St. Columba Parish in Oakland has joined with the American Red Cross and Summit Hospital in Oakland in the Safe Neighbor Network to encourage communities to prepare for disasters and other emergencies. Only a handful of churches nationwide are participating in this pilot project.

VOLUNTEER ALERT! Be a catechist for SPRED (Special Religious Education Department). You must be at least 22 years of age; able to offer three hours a week from October through May; and open to share and grow in faith with others. Training is provided. Call Sister Aurora Perez, (510) 635-7252 or visit the website:

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