OCTOBER 18, 2004



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




Presentation leadership team
Sister Gloria Loya (right), an adjunct faculty member at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, is part of the newly-elected leadership team of the Presentation Sisters of San Francisco. She is a councilor along with Sister Patricia Anne Cloherty, back row. The other team members are, from left, Sister Mary Jo Wise, vice-president, and Sister Pamela Chiesa, president.

Surviving breast cancer
After dealing with the various medical and emotional issues associated with breast cancer, what does one do for one’s spiritual needs? Last November at the Catholic Community in Pleasanton, Helen Wirtenson and Mary Merucci, along with Father Padraig Green, started a spiritual support group for breast cancer survivors. The group has been meeting twice a month since then, on the second and fourth Tuesdays from 7 – 9 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 3999 Bernal Ave. Wirtenson, Merucci and Donna Carlson, another parishioner, serve as facilitators.
The sessions typically consist of an opening prayer, discussion around a topic like fear, anger or loss, a period of meditation or reflection, and a closing prayer. Occasionally the meetings include a guest speaker. All breast cancer survivors, including those who have been recently diagnosed, are invited to attend. For more information contact the parish, (925) 484-5020.

Remembering the victims
A Mass of Remembrance for those who have died through acts of violence in the East Bay, the nation and the world will be held Nov. 7 at St. Augustine Church, 400 Alcatraz Ave. in Oakland, beginning at 3 p.m. Laudate!, a newly created community-based chorus and orchestra conducted by James Gilman, director of music at St. Augustine Parish, will provide the music.

Laudate! is comprised of socially conscious singers and musicians who perform around the Bay Area to make a difference in society through music. Featured soloists are soprano April McNeely and Allen Shearer, a baritone, with John Stump on the organ. The program includes “Requiem” by Gabriel Faure.

Admission is free. A collection will be taken to defray production costs and to benefit local, national and international charities that aid victims of violence -- the Joseph Matteucci Foundation for Youth Non-Violence in Castro Valley, The Fisher House for families of military men and women injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Doctors Without Borders for its relief program in the Sudan.

Among the Religious
The East Bay diaconate community gathered last month to remember and celebrate the life of Esther Wedl, wife of retired Deacon Roger Wedl, who died Sept. 18 after a two-and-a half year battle with Guillain Barre Disease and cancer. In an article in the diocesan Deacon Newsletter, Deacon Dick Folger recalled Wedl as a woman with great dignity and self-respect, who supported her husband in his ministry, and relied on her faith in God to see her through illness and pain. The funeral Mass was Sept. 24 at St. Edward Parish in Newark. Survivors include her husband of 46 years, five children and eight grandchildren.

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry of the Chicago Archdiocese will preside and preach the homily at the Mass of Thanksgiving for the Friends of Father Augustine Tolton on Nov. 5 at St. Jarlath Church, 2620 Pleasant St. in Oakland, at 7 p.m. The Friends of Father Tolton work to increase vocations among African American Catholics. Bishop Perry, who was appointed an auxiliary to Cardinal Francis George of Chicago in 1998, is one of 13 African American Catholic bishops in the U.S.

Names, News, Notes
Congratulations to Dorothy and Frank Silveira, members of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Castro Valley, on the occasion of their 55th wedding anniversary on Nov. 5. They will be celebrating with their five children and their spouses, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Turns out the Silveira’s are twice blessed – their youngest son Ed and his wife, Christina, also members at OLOG, will celebrate their 25th year of wedded bliss on Oct. 27. Best wishes to them as well!

Many blessings to two couples at Assumption Parish in San Leandro who recently celebrated their wedding anniversaries: Margaret and Joe Doherty, 57 years, and Gwen and Richard Carvalho, 54 years.

Much applause to Richard Soliz, honored last month as Knight of the Year by the Knights of Columbus, Council #12587 at St. Ignatius Parish in Antioch. According to his proud sister Julie Figueroa, Soliz contributed many hours of service in fundraisers and to the community. Also honored by the Council: Preston Garcia as Antioch Police Officer of the Year, Terry Newberry, the Contra Costa Firefighter of the Year, and Nick Suarez, Jr., the past grand knight.

Congratulations to Henrietta Enos, a member at St. Joseph Parish in Pinole, who is celebrating her 75th year as a member of St. Anne’s #78 Young Ladies Institute. That’s right! She joined the YLI in September 1929.

James D. Falaschi recently joined the board of trustees for Holy Names University in Oakland. Falaschi is a partner with Jack London Square Partners, the master developer of Jack London Square, president of Transbay Holding Company, president of Falaschi Improvements and a partner with Bay View Development Company, all based in Oakland.

Prepare to have your spirit lifted at the Fifth Annual Gospel Concert, sponsored by the Knights of St. Peter Claver Council and Court #212, on Sunday, Nov. 21 at St. Benedict Church, 2245 82nd Ave. in Oakland, from 2 – 5 p.m. In addition to the soulful voices of St. Benedict’s own gospel choir, the concert will include East Bay choirs from St. Bernard, St. Patrick, and St. Louis Bertrand parishes as well as Philips Temple CME, the Inspired Catholic Voices and special guest choirs. Tickets are $10 (advance), $12 (door), and $5 (children 10 and under). For tickets, contact Ed Norton, (510) 581-1895.

Court and Council #212, associated with St. Benedict and St. Bernard parishes, provides scholarships to local youth attending a Catholic college or high school. This year’s scholarship winner is Javay Ross, a second year student at Xavier University in New Orleans.

After a 20 year absence, Boy Scout Troop 125 is being re-chartered by the Lion’s Club, and will start meeting in the Downer Elementary School cafeteria in San Pablo every Monday from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Scout leader Chris Odyniec, a graduate of UC Berkeley, recently returned from two years in the Peace Corps in Mali, Africa. The assistant Scoutmaster is Gene Peters, the chaplain for the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council Camp in Wolfeboro. Information: Chris Odyniec, (510) 524-8373 or Dave Williams, (510) 223-0291.

TV ALERT! Faith & Values Media will conclude the month of interfaith programming with “Trust Me” on Sunday, Oct. 24, at noon (re-airing on Oct. 31 at noon) on the Hallmark Channel. The award-winning film follows 32 young boys in the aftermath of Sept. 11 to a special summer camp in North Carolina and explores the religious conflicts facing Jewish, Christian and Muslim children following the terrorist attacks.

On Oct. 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a group exhibition opened at the National Shrine of St. Francis, the corner of Columbus and Vallejo streets in San Francisco, and at Citibank, 580 Green St. The exhibition, which features ceramic works by Italian and Italian-American artists, runs through October at Citibank and until Dec. 23 at the Shrine. Proceeds from sale of the art will go to the Shrine and the Museo Italo Americano.

Through Dec. 5, the Oakland Museum of California will present its 11th annual celebration of Dias de los Muertos (Days of the Dead). In this year’s presentation, artists explore the influence of indigenous cultures and Spanish colonization on current Days of the Dead events. The museum will host its community celebration for the Days of the Dead on Sunday, Oct. 24, noon to 4 p.m. in the courtyard. The free event will include crafts and demonstrations, music, dance, a ceremonia (ceremony) and a mercado (market.)

Got news? Send your school news, anniversaries, parish activities, individual achievements and other happenings in the Catholic community to Carrie McClish at The Catholic Voice, c/o Around The Diocese, 3014 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, Ca 94610; phone: (510) 419-1074; fax (510) 893-4734; e-mail: Submission deadline for Nov. 8 issue is Oct. 28.

Trunk or Treat?
That’s no typo, but the name of an upcoming Halloween event hosted by the St. Joseph’s Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Hayward, Oct. 29, in the Center’s parking lot, 25580 Campus Dr., starting at 5:30 p.m. All children are invited to come in costumes and to move from car trunk to trunk – decorated for the monstrous occasion – to collect their treats before going into the Center for carnival games. This is an alternative Halloween where families can have fun in a safe environment, said Ardith Lynch, St. Joseph’s executive director. It is open to the larger community, not just the deaf community, she said. Anyone who would like to add their trunks to the festivities or contribute soft drinks, snacks or cash should contact the Center at (510) 881-2245 (phone) or (510) 881-2247 (TTY).

Around the parishes
Pittsburg’s St. Peter Martyr Parish, along with Pittsburg Arts Collaborative, the City of Pittsburg and other local groups, will sponsor a Days of the Dead observance Oct. 30 – Nov. 2 at the Impulse Gallery, 695 Railroad Ave. in Pittsburg. Based in Mexican and Central American traditions, Dias de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) is a time to remember and honor deceased loved ones. A fiesta with food and art booths, music, folklorico, and children’s activities will take place Oct. 30 and 31; an art show with altar/ofrenda exhibits will occur Nov. 1 and 2. There is no admission charge.

Members of St. Michael Parish in Livermore will also remember and honor deceased loved ones with a Mass of Remembrance on Oct. 18 at their church, 1315 Lomitas Ave., at 7 p.m. Participants are invited to bring photos of their loved ones to place on a table before the altar during Mass, which will be bilingual (English and Spanish).

The Portuguese Community at St. Leander Parish in San Leandro celebrated a novena in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, Oct. 4 – 10. The program included a candlelight procession on Oct. 9 and a Mass, a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, and a free dinner on Oct. 10.

Members at Danville’s St. Isidore Parish are expressing their support for the unborn through a new program in which they agree to spiritually adopt an unborn baby in danger of abortion. According to the Oct. 10 parish bulletin, 387 persons/families have signed a pledge card in which they promised to say a two-line prayer of the late Bishop Fulton Sheen for nine months. The first of the monthly reports of the baby’s development has begun to appear in the bulletin.

Teresita Gatan was proclaimed Festival Queen 2004 during the autumn festival at St. Anne Parish in Union City. The parish’s Schola Cantorum 8 a.m. choir sponsored Gatan’s candidacy.

Ray Garner, an accomplished organist, pianist, singer, conductor and composer, recently became director of music ministry at St. Perpetua Parish in Lafayette. Garner, who has served in music ministry since 1963, most recently served at St. Sebastian Parish in Kentfield.

St. Raymond Parish in Dublin recently welcomed Diana Bitz as a pastoral associate. Bitz has a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from the Franciscan School of Theology, Berkeley, is a master catechist, and has served as a pastoral associate for other diocesan parishes.

Is the best-selling book, “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, a murder mystery or a piece of revisionist history? Members at Oakland’s St. Leo Parish will open the book and explore what’s truth and what’s fiction on Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the church at 176 Ridgeway Ave.

Queen of All Saints in Concord will once again host the National Night of Prayer for Life, beginning at 9 p.m. on Dec. 8 and concluding at 1 a.m. on Dec. 9. The 20 decades of the Rosary will be prayed, plus the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy and other prayers. All are welcome. The parish is located at 2390 Grant St. in Concord.

Around the schools
Gratitude is in the air at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland. The Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation recently awarded the school tuition assistance grants of $200,000 per year for the next three years. The grant is the largest ever received at the school. A $50,000 grant for technology from the Robert Stewart and Helen Pfeiffer Odell Foundation means new computer workstations and immediate computer and Internet access in the classrooms.

Congratulations to Michael Temple, a 6th grader at St. Leander School in San Leandro. He is one of 200 middle school students in the U.S. chosen to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 16-21. The conference introduces young people to the rich tradition of leadership throughout American history, while helping them develop their own leadership skills.

Two thumbs way up for students at St. John the Baptist School in El Cerrito who raised $600 by participating in the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program’s annual Harmony Walk for Hunger. Proceeds went to support GRIP’s Souper Center, which served more than 57,000 meals last year at its Richmond facility.

The literary program at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda – which has a powerhouse in its award-winning magazine Prisms – has done it again. The American Scholastic Press Association awarded the Prisms 2004 staff with first place honors with special merit, an honor reserved for publications that score over 900 points out of a possible total 1000 and are judged to be outstanding in format, content, and presentation.

Speaking of the literary program at SJND … Elizabeth Pelaez Norris, Prisms advisor and SJND English and Spanish teacher, recently formed the Star Society of Creative Writers to recognize and nurture talented writers. To qualify for membership, students must publish in Prisms and win an outside creative writing contest or be published in another publication. SJND graduates and faculty are also welcome. So far, nine students have been inducted: Caroline Abellar (2004), Andrea Lino (2004), Allegra O’Donoghue (2004), Kim Owens (2005), Jeremy Poggio (2004), Michael Priest (2005), Gabrielle Sonia (2006), Sara Torres (2004), and Jessica Yalung (2005). To celebrate its launch the SSCW is sponsoring a literary contest for middle school students from SJND feeder schools.

There’s lots cooking at St. Joseph the Worker School in Berkeley. The 5th grade class recently ventured into the kitchen as part of their study of Egypt to cook hummus, kabobs, and other delicious treats. Not to be outdone, the 6th grade class experienced Greek culture by preparing stuffed tomatoes, fruit salad with yogurt, and a tasty dip.

Assumption School in San Leandro held an emergency/disaster drill on Oct. 15 to help parents, students and the community be better prepared in the event of an emergency. San Leandro city officials observed the exercise, which included a duck and cover drill followed by early dismissal of students to designated parents or escorts predetermined on student emergency lists.

St. Francis of Assisi School in Concord will sponsor a “Taste of Kindergarten” for the pre-kindergarten crowd on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Youngsters will participate in a “story time” session and crafts while their parents attend an information session with the principal, pastor and kindergarten teacher. Reservations: (925) 682-5414.

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