An Important Request from the Office of Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland (“RCBO”) is pleased the court has set a definitive deadline of September 11, 2023, for survivors of sexual abuse to file claims in RCBO’s Chapter 11 case.


This deadline, known as a “Bar Date,” is the date set for all claims to be filed in the Chapter 11 case.


To ensure potential claimants are aware of the Bar Date, the Court has ordered RCBO to post the Notice of Deadline for Filing Sexual Abuse Claims on its digital and physical properties in all its churches, schools, and social media accounts.


This letter in ENGLISH and SPANISH from Bishop Barber provides more details on how your parish or organization can assist in this effort.


The Notice in English, Spanish and Vietnamese is available on the diocesan website, at the link below. Please print or publish this Notice, as explained in Bishop Barber’s letter.






Please refer all media inquiries to Helen Osman, diocesan interim director of communications, at 510-271-1931.


You may want to set your Facebook post on this Bar Date Notice to limit comments. To do this, create the post, then, at the top-right corner of the post, click the three dots. In the three-dots menu, click “Who can comment on your post?” Select “Profiles and Pages you mention,” then click done.


You may find that your parish’s, school’s or organization’s social media accounts will receive negative, even hateful, comments. Polite discussion and questions, offered in an apparent spirit of Christian charity, are acceptable. Remember that our social media policy dictates that destructive and potentially inciteful comments are not tolerated. If your social media channels receive such comments, delete the post and, if necessary, block the user. Our goal is not to censor; it is to maintain a healthy platform for charitable and productive conversations and sharing of information. Please make decisions as you deem appropriate. If you have concerns, please contact Helen Osman, by email, [email protected].

Rosa Parks Essay Final Four

Rosa Parks Essay Final FourCongratulations to the 10 finalists of the Rosa Parks essay. When I first started thinking about an “Essay Contest” I wanted the students to really think outside the box. For those of you who do not know, I am a single father. I raised my son since he was 10 months old. He was in grade school when his teacher said that he would not be able to do complex math because he wasn’t fast enough, little concentration, lack of focus. I knew my son wasn’t dumb, so I purchased an IBM XT. I had him play math games online. Today, he is an Aeronautical Engineer for NASA. He started working at NASA during the summer of his Junior year in High School! He has a 27-year tenure with NASA, now. I was hard on him, and I want to be hard on each of you. I wanted each of you to be the best you can be and to ask more of you than you thought you could do.

I thought that it was necessary to push students to become better writers and to do better research. I wanted the students to be inquisitive, asking questions of your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and teachers of what it was like to live when they were growing up. I was looking for derogatory phrases like “Colored Only”, “Wetback”, “Braceros”, “Chink”, “Gook”, “WOP” what did they mean and who used them? I was looking for phrases that were used like “Better Red than Dead,” “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

I was hoping that at least one student would bring up the name of Viola Liuzzo, 1965. She was a white Detroit Homemaker, a Civil Rights Activist who was shot and killed by the Ku Klux Klan, the same day the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, led 25,000 people to Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery from Selma to protest the denial of the voting right for blacks. She tried to make a difference and the consequence was not in her favor. Then there was John Millis Menard, the first back elected to Congress. The white Congress refused to seat him. Or, how about the 1968 Olympics with Tommie Smith and John Carlos, a black glove and a fist raised high in the air, they were suspended from the US Track & Field. Mohammad Ali chose not to go into Military Service and was stripped of his boxing title. However today he is remembered as one of the greatest boxers and most beloved by his fans.

You have the chance for a do-over! You have a chance to use part of your summer studying, researching, writing. You are living in a time that many will not forget for years to come. They say history repeats itself. What happened during the 1918 pandemic? Have we learned anything from what they did then and what we are doing now? I would hope that each of you that will be in grades 5 through 8 will be able to better research, make better arguments when I provide the topic next January! When I was in college we had to write tons of papers. Our professors would use the term “Critical Thinking.” Thinking outside the box; write with a new perspective, a new way of looking at the same issues.

In no particular order, the four winners are:
• Alexander Diaz
• Olivia Ritchie
• Jose Quesada
• Fey Olawale

I will announce where each winner placed in July. I am hoping that we will be able to gather together, maybe still wear masks but come to take pictures, eat some cake and celebrate with your parents, teachers, Principals and whoever wants to come. Congratulations to each of you!

Rosa Parks Essay Contest Finalists

Rosa Parks Essay Contest FinalistsFor the past 6 years, Tom Luzod, Location Manager of Sorensen Chapel has had a student essay contest. Sorensen Chapel was proud to host another Community Student Essay Contest open to all grades 5 through 8. The essay must be written solely by the student; however, we encourage parents to read what their students have written and to guide, question, and probe that the students are providing strong, sound arguments. Students were given the topic in January 2020 and were to have them completed and turned in to Sorensen Chapel by March 16th.  On Saturday, March 28th, all parents, students, teachers, and the public were invited to hear the reading of the 10 finalists. Due to the Coronavirus and Health Order, postponement of the event was necessary.


The following 2020 Essay Topic was given:


On, December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing a bus driver’s instructions to give up her seat to a white passenger. Three black passengers complied with the driver, Rosa Parks did not. Rosa Parks later recalled that her refusal wasn’t because she was physically tired, but that she was tired of giving in.


Is it ever right to defy the law as Rosa Parks had done, why or why not? Rosa Parks said she was tired of “Giving in.” Can you provide some examples of what she was alluding to as “Giving In?” Act of Defiance, is there any issue/issues today that would justify and Act of Defiance and what of the consequences?


Approximately 80 essays were turned in. The essays were given a score of 1 through 10. 10 being the highest. 2 middle schools chose to enter; Faith Ringgold School of Arts & Science and All Saints Catholic School. Awards will be given to the top 4 essays on Wednesday, June 3rd.


1st place $200.00
2nd place $100.00
3rd place $50.00
4th place $25.00


The following names have scored a 9 or 10 on their essay and the school they attend:



Olivia Ritchie, Fey Olawale, Alexander Diaz, Xochitl Santana Vega, Zachary Lopez, Andrea Jerald, Audrey Retodo



Jose,  Oliver Langan, Alexander Medrano



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