JUNE 21, 2004



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




Computer center for low-income families
The new Headco Family Learning Center at St. Vincent’s Day Home in Oakland is up and running following a successful capital campaign. Supporters of Alameda County’s oldest day care center matched a $238,000 grant provided by the Headco Foundation to help make the learning center a reality. Designed to help low-income families attain vital literacy skills and bridge the digital gap, the center is equipped with the latest in computer gear donated by the Hewlett Packard Company.

Around the parishes

Antioch’s St. Ignatius Parish is fielding a team in the 24-hour Relay for Life to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer. The parish team has committed to keeping at least one member walking on the track at Antioch High School during the 24 hour relay, June 26-27.

Representatives of Alameda’s St. Philip Neri Parish plan to visit their sister parish in Asuchillo, El Salvador, July 24-29 for the dedication of a new church that the Alameda parishioners helped to fund.

St. Joseph Parish in Pinole welcomed Bishop Joseph Thien Van Vu of Haiphong, Vietnam, at Masses on May 25. Concelebrating with Bishop Vu were Father Joseph Doan The Pham, pastor of St. Philomena in Carson, Father Quang Minh Dong, pastor at St. Joseph, and Father Richard Gagliardi, in residence at St. Joseph. The bishop’s visit had deep meaning for his friend, Father Dong, who was observing the 13th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

Glenmary Father August A. Guppenberger will be the homilist during Masses, June 26-27 St. Theresa Church in Oakland. He will speak about Glenmary Home Missioners and their ministry in Appalachia, the South and Southwest.

French-speaking Catholics are gathering for Mass on Sundays at 5:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Church, 400 Alcatraz Ave. in Oakland.

The Health Cabinet at St. Columba Parish in Oakland has joined with the American Red Cross and Summit Hospital 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.

Among the Religious
Dominican Sister Katherine Jean Cowan has been appointed academic dean at Queen of the Holy Rosary College in Fremont, effective July 12.

Deacon Bill Warren, who was ordained to the diaconate in Oakland in 1978 and now lives in Clements, is president of the Charismatic Bible Institute of the West, which has been presenting retreats for 24 years.

Rudy Brazil is one busy deacon. Not only is he chaplain for Kaiser and Washington Hospitals, but he also serves the same role with the police and fire departments of Fremont.

Names, News, Notes
Congratulations and many Blessings to Mary Reto, a member at St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

Congratulations also to Fran and Bob Long, members at St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek, and to Alberta and Joe Whalen, members at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries.

Much applause to Ann Del Beccaro, director of the Respect Life Ministry at St. Isidore Parish in Danville, for her many contributions to Birthright of Livermore. Del Beccaro began giving baby showers in New York to support pregnant women and new mothers in need and has been doing the same thing for the past 10 years in the Tri-Valley area. Sixty-five layettes were donated to Birthright through St. Isidore’s Annual Baby Shower.

The eight-year-old Birthright chapter in San Lorenzo is in danger of closing due to lack of volunteers to staff the office and perform other tasks necessary to run the ministry. “We are making a passionate plea to everyone. Please consider becoming a Birthright volunteer,” said Edith Krassa, who oversees the office. For more information, call Krassa at (510) 351-8124.

Several hundred leaders and supporters of the Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) a coalition of neighborhood and church groups including several Catholic parishes, gathered June 14 at North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church to seek support from city and law enforcement officials for crime reduction and community safety. OCO members urged that more police be assigned to areas where they are most needed. They also asked for youth services to prevent crime, public accountability for tax monies and support for proven crime prevention programs.

Around the schools

Congratulations go to Noemi Perlas, valedictorian at St. Bede School in Hayward. Besides eight awards given at her graduation, Perlas is remembered for reaching the finals of the San Francisco Chronicle Oral Spelling Bee. She was one of the top 15 of the 49 finalists.

More good news from St. Bede’s: three students have won awards in C&H Sugar’s SugArt Contest. Val Quijano, 5th grade, picked up the $1000 Savings Bond grand prize for her entry, Golden Sweet Bridge (Golden Gate Bridge). Diego Chicas, 4th grade, and Melissa Desuyo, 5th grade, both won $500 U.S. Savings Bonds and second place honors for their contributions: Mission San Miguel (inspired by Diego Miguel’s name) by Chicas and Sugar Gate Bridge (Golden Gate Bridge) by Desuyo.

St. Bede School will also receive $1000 ($250 for each of the second place awardees and $500 for the grand prize winner) to be used for art supplies.

Three stars go to four students at St. Paul School in San Pablo – Melissa Servey, John Lantican. Lynette Rabara, and Cameron Turner – who were among 21 students honored by the PISTOL (Police in Schools to Offer Life) Program of the San Pablo Police Department last month. Developed in 1992 by San Pablo Police Officer Humberto Alvarez, the PISTOL program teaches young people about safety, how to avoid drugs and to steer away from gangs.

Ed Wright, a senior at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley, definitely had the right stuff at the recent North Coast Section Meet of Champions in Sacramento. The high jumper bested all contenders with a leap of 6 feet, 10 inches.

St. Mary Elementary School in Walnut Creek recently hosted the Oakland Diocese Young Author’s Faire. Participants — pre-kindergarten through 8th grade – submitted fiction, autobiography, class books, poetry, and other genre.

St. Mary students received 21 awards throughout each of the categories and the school also took home two grand prizes: 4th grade biography, “Dora Mae Ipsen,” written by Sophia Ipsen, and the 7th grade class book, “Looking Through the Hour Glass.”

Students at Dublin’s St. Raymond Parish received 13 awards out of 19 submessions at the Young Author’s Faire. Honors went to: Lauren Jupina, honorable mention, 3rd grade; Lauren Leahy, first place, 5th grade; Justin Brunnett and Chad Bianchi, first place, 5th grade; and Nene Ugbah, second place, 8th grade.

Two thumbs way up for two students from St. Bede School who took top honors in the 2004 City of Hayward Recycling Poster and Essay Contest in May. Rebecca Quintero, a 5th grader, took second place for her essay, and Quynh-Vy Cong, a second grader, who placed first in the kindergarten to 2nd Grade poster category. Nearly 700 students from 31 Hayward schools took part in the contest, designed to give youth an opportunity to express their views on recycling and the environment. The winning entries were posted at

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