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




Shop till it helps
Shopping as an act of charity? It will be for Covenant House California, which will benefit from this year’s Macy’s In-Store event on Sept. 24 and 25. How? Prospective shoppers need to buy a $10 ticket from Covenant House and then proceed to the store where they will receive special discounts including 20 percent off women’s, men’s and children’s accessories and more. To purchase tickets call (510) 601-0465.

New support group
A support group for women who have had an abortion will begin in Concord on Sept. 23. Sponsored by the Oakland Diocese’s After The Choice, the group invites women to experience the healing love of Jesus in a safe, supportive community. Gatherings will include sharing of stories, Scripture-based spiritual exercises, music, sacraments and a memorial service. Inquiries and participation are strictly confidential. Cost: $150. Financial assistance available. Information: Monika, (925) 798-7054 or

Around the schools

Bishop Allen Vigneron presided over convocation ceremonies Aug. 23 marking the beginning of the 35th academic year at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA. In his sermon, he encouraged the 329 students to accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit so they can advance in wisdom, the highest of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The college curriculum consists exclusively of the Great Books, and only the Socratic method of dialogue is used in all its classes.

Each year the Serrans of St. Therese in Oakland sponsor an essay contest on vocations at St. Mary School in Walnut Creek. This year the winners were: Katherine Strehlow, 1st place; Margaret Conley, 2nd place; Erin Mulligan, 3rd place; Lisa Giusti, Kelly Stick, Caroline Yewell, honorable mention.

The Class of 1984 at Moreau High School in Hayward will hold its 20th class reunion on Sept. 25. Call the school: (510) 881-4360 or visit the school website:

Attention graduates of St. Joachim School in Hayward. Save Nov. 13 for an alumni gathering of all grads from 1962 through 1994. The event will begin with a 2 p.m. prayer service, followed by a tour of the school, including the new pre-school, and a reception. Contact the school at (510) 783-3177 or for more information.

Among the Religious
Among the new faces at Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas, this fall are Robinson Maturana and Guillermo Morales, two seminarians from the Oakland Diocese. The seminary, established in 1915, is a bilingual and multi-cultural community of priestly formation for dioceses across the U.S. Other newcomers at the seminary are Father Larry Christian, who recently succeeded Father Jerry Brown as rector, and Barbara Spinner, the new director of development.

The Sisters of the Presentation will celebrate 150 years of service in San Francisco and the Bay Area beginning Nov. 13. To launch their celebratory year, the Sisters will give a theatrical interpretation of their history in Ireland and the years following their arrival in San Francisco in 1854. They are looking for dancers, singers and actors for roles in the production. Auditions are Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. If interested, contact Sister Stephanie Still, 415-5020 or

Holy Names Sister Mary Anselm returned to Assumption Parish in San Leandro on Aug. 22 to celebrate her 60th anniversary in religious life. She served in the parish from 1985-2002 and had been the organist at the 7:30 a.m. Mass and hospital minister at Kindred Hospital.

Salesian Father Paulson Mundanmani, parochial vicar at St. Edward Parish in Newark, will lead a group of travelers on a grand tour of India next month. The itinerary includes Calcutta, New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Care to join him? Phone: (510) 797-0241 or (510) 366-1094; e-mail:

Names, News, Notes
Bishop Allen Vigneron recently became a board member of the California Association of Natural Family Planning (CANFP), a non-profit organization that promotes family planning methods that do not require the use of drugs or devices.

Congratulations to the following couples who are celebrating their wedding anniversaries. Bertie and Oliver Hollinger, members at St. Agnes Parish in Concord, 67 years; Lavone and Robert King, St. Michael Parish in Livermore, 50 years; Brenda and Anastacio Gallardo, St. Michael Parish in Livermore, 25 years.

Congratulations to Cynthia LeBlanc, a member at Oakland’s St. Columba Parish, who was elected to serve as the chair of the board of directors of the American Cancer Society’s California Division. Her term begins Oct. 15.

RESERVE THIS DATE – October 9. Chautauqua XII, the diocese’s annual celebration of ethnic diversity, will be held at St. Anne Parish, 32223 Cabello St. in Union City, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. More information: contact Jean Evans-Townsend, (510) 287-3363,

VOLUNTEER ALERT! St. Vincent de Paul Society is seeking male mentors to work with homeless and at-risk men at its Champion Guidance Center for Men in downtown Oakland. Contact Rebecca, (510) 636-4253 or e-mail

VOLUNTEER ALERT 2! The Birthright pregnancy support center in Concord needs volunteers to help pregnant women and families in difficult situations. Needs include: office and phone counselors, newsletter editor, advertising and volunteer coordinators. Phone: (925) 798-7227.

A group of bridge players at Piedmont’s Corpus Christi Parish have a neat way to engage in their favorite game while helping the parish school library and some of them have been doing it for 40 years. Once a month they play 20 hands of “Bridge For Books,” concluding with a marathon in May.

Exercise your spirit
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, developed over 400 years ago by St. Ignatius, are coming to Alameda in a contemporary format but with the traditional goal of helping people understand God’s presence in their daily lives. Holy Names Sister Barbara Williams will direct the exercises in three free-standing weeklong sessions this fall at St. Joseph Parish in Alameda.

Participants can choose either the weekday sessions from 9:30 a.m. to noon or from 7-9:30 p.m., plus a Saturday session from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Participants may attend any or all of the three sessions, which are designed for those who have never made the Exercises and those who have experienced them and want to deepen the original graces..

Session I (Oct. 18-23) will focus on opportunities and obstacles in the spiritual life. Session II (Jan. 24-29) will examine “My Life With Jesus – Who Do You Say that I Am?” and Session III (April 25-30) on “In Company With Jesus – From Sorrow to Joy, Living A Resurrected Life.” Suggested donation is $50 per session. For more information, contact Anne Marie Fourre, (510) 749-7158 or

Fall into Faith
The School of Faith, the faith formation program offered by the four Alameda parishes, will kick off its fall session with a six-seek series on Sept. 29. Holy Names Sister Frances Franey will present “The Church That Jesus Left Behind – A Reflection on the Acts of the Apostles” on Wednesdays through Nov. 3, in the Sablan Room, St. Joseph Parish, 1109 Chestnut St., Alameda, 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Suggested donation: $35 per single, $55 per couple. Information: Anne Marie Fourre, (510) 749-7158.

Around the parishes
Members at St. Bede Parish in Hayward received a shock last month when a five-foot tall marble statue of the Virgin Mary was badly damaged after a fall from its stand. According to a report in the Daily Review newspaper, police said that one or more people may be responsible for knocking over the statue, which had been standing outside the church for the past 45 years.

All women are welcome to attend “Beyond Bunco & Bingo – A Women’s Retreat,” Sept. 11 at the St. Isidore Parish Ministry Center, 440 La Gonda Way, in Danville. Benedictine Sister Paula Hagen, founder of the national Ministry of Mothers Sharing (M.O.M.S.) program will facilitate the day. The $40 fee includes breakfast, lunch and chances to win door prizes. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To register, contact Linda Biles at (925) 820-1972.

Members at St. Stephen Parish in Walnut Creek enjoyed a summer BBQ on Aug. 28 that featured good food, music, and karaoke for a good cause – Oakland Catholic Worker. Close to $3,000 was raised.

For the seventh time in recent years St. Peter Martyr Parish in Pittsburg hosted the Santa Rosalia Festival on Aug. 29, to honor the patron saint of Palermo, Sicily, who is believed to have helped save the community from the Black Plague in 1624. Palermo continues to celebrate the Feast of Santa Rosalia and Pittsburg started its own festival of the saint in the 1920s and the parish revived it. During the original festival, participants carried a statue of Santa Rosalia down to the marina for a blessing of the fishing fleets. This year the statue was again carried in procession with participants stopping three times to pray for blessings. The festivities also included a pasta and sausage dinner and Italian music.

CYBERCATHOLIC ALERT! Berkeley’s St. Joseph the Worker Parish has a new home on the web – Visitors can find the weekly bulletin, weekly Scripture readings, a listing of upcoming events and a tribute page to the late Father Bill O’Donnell, former pastor.

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