NOVEMBER 8, 2004



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




Putting faith into action
Several hundred members of the PICO National Network – Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action (BOCA), and South Alameda County Congregation Organizing for Renewal (COR) – met with Congresswoman Barbara Lee on Oct. 23 to express their concerns on a variety of social issues from violent crime to affordable housing. PICO is a national network of faith-based communities established in 1972 to help communities develop solutions to problems plaguing their neighborhoods. Over 60 religious congregations, including several East Bay Catholic parishes, are members of OCO, BOCA and COR.

Around the parishes
Father Richard Mangini, pastor at St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord, will return to the East Bay later this week from a visit to Central America to become more familiar with the culture of a number of his parishioners. He stayed part of the time with Father Adrian Sanchez, who worked for two years in the Concord Hispanic community.

During this month of remembrance, members at St. Mary-St. Francis de Sales Parish in Oakland will celebrate the Vietnamese Martyrs on Nov. 21 with a multicultural Union Liturgy at 10:30 a.m.

Parishioners at St. Raymond Parish in Dublin gathered Oct. 31 to congratulate Franciscan Father Michael Guinan for his 40 years as a priest. Father Guinan, a professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, has been part of the parish community for the past 20 years.

St. Joan of Arc Parish in San Ramon will host its First Annual Advent Celebration on Nov. 14 from 5 – 7:30 p.m. with Advent wreath making, teachings about Advent, games for the kiddies, and, of course, food!

And speaking of Advent, Janet Whitaker, music director at Corpus Christi Parish in Piedmont, will lead the community in an Advent Prayer Service on Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Families who are awaiting the birth of a new baby are invited to a special liturgy and Blessing of Mothers on Dec. 11 at St. Joseph Parish, 43148 Mission Blvd. in Fremont, at 1 p.m. Refreshments will follow. For more information: (510) 656-2364.

Names, News, Notes
Congratulations to Dorothy and Edward Dilger of St. Joachim Parish in Hayward, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Oct. 4. They were both serving in the Navy when they met in Alameda. They settled in at St. John the Baptist Parish in San Lorenzo where Dorothy served as a teacher and principal of the parish school. When they moved to Hayward they helped to establish the new St. Joachim Parish, which began with services in a hanger at Hayward Airport.

Many blessings also go to Vivian and Bert Fraga, members of Assumption Parish in San Leandro, on their 67th wedding anniversary; and to Agueda and Medardo Enriques, also Assumption Parish, who recently celebrated 50 years of marriage.

After the Choice, the diocesan post-abortion healing outreach, is seeking rosaries for retreat participants and others involved in the program. Donors are asked to send nice quality rosaries – “no cheap plastic beads” – and a note telling of the history of the beads or what moved them to donate them. Mail to: After the Choice, Family Life Office, 2350 Pacheco St., #201, Concord, CA 94520. Questions? Contact Monika, (925) 798-7054 or

Looking for a great bargain while helping others? Check out the Pump House, an onsite thrift shop at Salem Lutheran Home that offers affordable clothing, gifts and household items. The Pump House is open Tuesdays and Thursdays and one Sunday each month thanks to the volunteer efforts of 25 dedicated individuals. An Oakland-based residence and care facility for 200 older adults, Salem Lutheran Home is affiliated with Elder Care Alliance and co-sponsored by the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Burlingame. For information on becoming a donor or volunteer, phone (510) 534-3637 or (510) 434-2814.

A simple wooden bracelet with red, yellow, green and black beads has become the latest bangle to appear on wrists across the country. But unlike other cause-related bracelets, this one is actually handmade by those it benefits — AIDS orphans or women supporting AIDS orphans in Uganda. An AIDS Orphan Bracelet is available for a $20 donation. Funds go to four charities working directly with AIDS orphans: Compassion International, International Justice Mission, Opportunity International and World Vision. Dale Hanson Bourke, founder of the project, said, “We ask people to wear the bracelet and tell one other person that there are more than 11 million AIDS orphans in sub-Sahara Africa alone.” For more information, contact Bourke by phone: (301) 652-6515; e-mail: or website:

Historically speaking
Don’t know much about Black Catholic history? Then this is the month to learn more.
The National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States has designated November as Black Catholic History Month to increase awareness of the rich cultural gifts that people of African descent bring to the Church.

They selected November because the feast day of St. Martin de Porres, the only saint of African descent in the western hemisphere, is celebrated on Nov. 3 and the birth of St. Augustine, a north African who became the first doctor of the Church, is observed on Nov. 13. November is also a time to remember other black saints such as Moses the Black (the first black to be canonized), Anthony of Egypt (founder of Christian monasticism), and Perpetua and Felicitas (North African martyrs).

If you want to learn more, check out “The History of Black Catholics in the United States,” by Cyprian Davis, a Benedictine monk, and the website of the National Black Catholic Congress:

Around the schools
Congratulations go to Blanca Marquez, Ricardo Gonzalez and Jared Gochulco, students at St. Bede School in Hayward who placed second, third, and honorable mention, respectively, in the Hispanic Heritage Art and Essay Contest sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund and the San Francisco Chronicle in Education.

Although she recently began her college career at the University of California, Berkeley, Alicia Marshall will not be soon forgotten at her high school alma mater, Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. During her junior year, Marshall established a campus chapter of Interact, a high school service organization sponsored by the Rotary Club. In her senior year, as Interact district governor, she oversaw a 30-member district council that included 6,000 members in 80 Bay Area high schools. She initiated and led a five-month campaign that raised over $45,500 to send wheelchairs to disabled people in Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala.

Congratulations to Bob Gannon, physical science and anatomy teacher at Oakland’s St. Elizabeth High School, who has received a $5,000 grant from BP America to teach about alternative energy and conservation. He was the only teacher from Oakland to receive the award. Gannon plans to teach about solar powered vehicles, to encourage student and community participation in energy saving projects, and to add displays at Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley.

Maria Elena Durazo received the Henning Institute Award for Distinguished Service at St. Mary’s College in Moraga on Oct. 30 as part of the fifth John F. Henning Conference. Durazo, who graduated from St. Mary’s College in 1975, is president of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Union, Local 11 (AFL-CIO) in Los Angeles. She spoke on “Living a Commitment to the Worker.”

Best wishes go to Agnes Briones, a graduate of St. John the Baptist School in El Cerrito and the former Presentation High School in Berkeley, who was recently named director of San Francisco’s Small Business Commission. Her appointment by Mayor Gavin Newsom makes her one of the highest-ranking Filipina-Americans in San Francisco city government.

Attention all alumni of St. Francis of Assisi School, formerly Most Precious Blood School, in Concord. The school board is compiling all alumni addresses into a database and you are invited to send your name, postal and e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and the year of graduation to:

Items for Around the Diocese can be emailed to: