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 October 8, 2007   •   VOL. 45, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA

Around the Diocese

Cultural understanding
Rosa Rojas, a principal dancer and soloist with Ballet Afsaneh, stands with Holy Names High students Cristina Ramos (left), Murugi Njoroge (center) and Hannah Gustafsson after the troupe’s performance of Aghan dances at the Oakland school.  The student body has been focusing on Afghanistan after reading the best-selling novel “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Husseini. Holy Names High Photo

Eagle Scouts honored for service in diocese
Two young men in the Oakland Diocese have earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Nicholas Breska, a graduate of De La Salle High School in Concord, replaced 21 benches at St. Bernard School in Oakland. He solicited donations from family, friends and businesses to offset project expenses, which topped $18,000. An anonymous donor, who wanted to honor the work of former St. Bernard principal, Kathleen Gannon-Briggs, contributed funds for the installation of 16 new benches made out of recycled materials. During the year-long project, Breska oversaw a volunteer crew of 32 scouts and parents.


Matthew Knutson, a graduate of Castro Valley High School and member of Troop 703 since 2000, completed his project at the Foundation Arts Room at the St. Vincent de Paul Community Center in Oakland. The project included supervision of framing and installation of wall board and French doors as well as taping, texturing, and painting the new room. Knutson has also volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room as part of a group from St. John the Baptist Conference of San Lorenzo.


Calling all singers!

Requiem K: Singers in all vocal ranges are being sought for the Nov. 10 performance of Mozart’s Requiem K at St. Mary’s College Chapel in Moraga. Performance time is 7 p.m.

Rehearsals will be held at St. Perpetua Church in Lafayette on Oct. 11, 18, 25, 29 and Nov. 8. There will also be a dress rehearsal the afternoon of the performance. Not all rehearsals are required. For more information contact Shaun Garner at sgarner@stperpetua.org or (925) 299-8520.

The concert will honor the late James Raymond Garner, an organist and choir director, most recently at St. Perpetua. It is also a public memorial; anyone can contribute to receive a program listing of their loved-one(s). Funds contributed will help with the production costs.

“Amahl and the Night Visitors”: As part of its ongoing centennial year celebration, St. Augustine Parish in Oakland is mounting a production of Gian-Carlo Menotti’s beloved Christmas opera, “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” The performances will be Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 3 p.m.

Auditions will be held on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. at St. Augustine, 400 Alcatraz Ave. in Oakland. Bring a prepared song with an extra copy for the accompanist. Men are especially needed.

For more information or to schedule a private audition, call Jim Gilman, music director, at (510) 419-0740.


Around the Parishes

Oakland’s St. Leo Parish continues to toll its bells 30 times at 12:15 p.m. every Sunday for those who have died in the past week in the Middle East and for world peace. All who hear the bells are invited to pause for a moment and pray for peace and for the victims of violence.

The HIV/AIDS education and outreach ministry
of Alameda will host its 14th annual Interfaith Service on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Barnabas Church, 1427 Sixth St. in Alameda. This year’s theme is “I’m My Life.” The annual service is intended to show the unity of all faith communities in support of those whose lives have been affected by HIV and AIDS. For more information about this ministry or the Interfaith Service, contact Sue Spiersch at (510) 522-8431.

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Around the Schools

Andrew David King, a student at Moreau High School in Hayward and a writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, was recently included in Roger Humes’ Other Voices International Poetry Project. Humes, a professor at CSU Pomona, compiles the poetry of people around the world on an online site called cyber-anthology. This compilation, which has featured such mainstream authors as Ursula K. Le Guin and Luis J. Rodriguez, can be found at www.othervoicespoetry.org/toc.html. Participation in Other Voices is by invitation only. King has a personal page on the website at www.othervoicespoetry.org/vol27/king.

Speaking of young poets, six students and alums at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda have had their poems accepted for publication in Creative Communication’s anthology, “A Celebration of Young Poets.” The group includes graduates Justine Dantoc, Natalie De Leon, and Alyx Guzman, and seniors Martin Franco, Rocio Molina, and Lorena Tabares.

Jordan Grushkin, a senior at Salesian High School in Richmond, was elected President of the United States at the Georgetown University Summer American Politics and Public Affairs Program for high school students. The program includes presentations by preeminent professors of political science from around the country and involved a complex simulated political campaign. Gruskin was nominated as the Democratic candidate for president and took office in a landslide.

Students at Oakland’s Holy Names High School created pinwheels for International Day of Peace, Sept. 21. The pinwheels contained thoughts and messages about world peace and were “planted” on school property. The students also had classroom discussions and activities on creating peace.

On Sept. 11, seven Oakland firefighters visited the classrooms at St. Elizabeth Elementary School to thank the students for their support of last year’s holiday toy drive. The students presented the firefighters with posters, cards and a song to thank them for their service in the community.

Ken Kasalis, third grade teacher at St. Felicitas School in San Leandro, is incorprating the importance of the Blessed Mother and the many ways that she can be honored into his lesson plans. Recently students brought flowers for a Marian shrine in the classroom.

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Names, News, Notes

Best Wishes and Many Blessings to Deacon Eugene Stelly and his wife, Mary Lou, who celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on Sept. 28. Now members of the Catholic Parish of Christ the Light in Oakland, the couple oversaw the work of the St. Andrew-St. Joseph Soup Kitchen in Oakland for more than two decades before it closed last summer when the parish merged with the Christ the Light. Married in New Orleans, the Stellys have two children, two grandsons and one great-grandson.

Congratulations to Lorraine and Rod Romano, members at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, who recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary.
Congratulations also go to two couples at St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek who are celebrating their 50th anniversaries: Joan and Jack Galvin and Eileen and Bill Radding.

Chauncey Bailey, the slain East Bay newsman and member at Oakland’s St. Benedict Parish, has been named Journalist of the Year by The Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The organization cited the late editor of The Oakland Post for his fierce commitment to investigative journalism in the face of personal danger.

Mike Piazza, designated hitter and catcher with the Oakland A’s, was featured in the September issue of Catholic Digest. He discusses his career, faith and being a new father to his seven-month-old daughter. To read excerpts from the article log on to CatholicDigest.com.

The LEO Center, an after-school academic assistance program run by the Christian Brothers in Oakland, has two new Lasallian volunteers: Kristin Retzloff, a recent graduate of St. Mary’s University in Winona, and Ashley Prevost, a June graduate from the University of Memphis. Lasallian volunteers donate a year of service in the Brothers’ institutions and live in community. Nineteen Lasallian volunteers have worked at the LEO Center since it was founded in 1994.

VOLUNTEER ALERT! Tagalog-speaking volunteers are needed to help with ministry to seafarers through the Apostleship of the Sea at the Port of Oakland. Seventy-five percent of the seamen are Filipino. Contact Father Joseph Duong Phan, Apostleship director, at (510) 444-7885 or aosoakland@gmail.com.

WHAT’S ON EWTN? Special programs on the Eternal Wo rd Television Network, the 24-hour Catholic TV channel, include a look at Assisi’s wartime network of clergy and religious that saved Jews from the Nazis, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. and the story of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque filmed in the French convent where she received the Promises of the Sacred Heart, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. EWTN is carried on Comcast channel 229; DISH Satellite channel 261; DirecTV channel 422; in Alameda on Comcast channel 30 and Alameda Power channel 26. For more information visit the website: www.ewtn.com.

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