The Dating Project

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On Tuesday, April 17th,  a group of us Newman folks went to a screening of a documentary movie, The Dating Project, that was co-produced by the Paulist.  I wasn’t expecting much and was pleasantly surprised that the movie was well-crafted providing some humorous and great insights on dating. I highly recommend seeing it whether you’re in that dating phase of life or you want to advise others.  The movie is empowering for those wanting to take control of their life and date.

One of the fundamental philosophical questions we need to be asking ourselves is, how should I live my life?  And related to that is the question, what kinds of relationships help me to become the kind of person I want to be?  

A Boston College philosophy professor, Kerry Cronin, noticed that many college students were clueless about dating and many were going through college without ever dating.  They were therefore not getting the experience and wisdom from such personal relationships to become the excellent person they want to be.  Hiding behind social media, many such relationships formed were ambiguous and superficial.  The other challenge of today is the hook-up culture in college where casual sexual encounters, thought to be fun and safe from emotional let downs, become false, damaging, and keep folks from developing healthy life-giving relationships.  Folks were either avoiding dating or replacing dating with hook-up.

The movie intermixes interviews with Prof. Cronin with following 5 singles - 2 college 1st years, a 20 year old, a 30 year old, and a 40 year old.  Dating is harder outside of college because the pool of folks shrink and finding time gets harder, so Cronin encourages students to practice and fine tune the skills of mature dating in college.  She even has an extra credit assignment where the student initiates and goes on a date. 

She divides dating into three levels where level 1 is an exploratory phase to start to know the person beyond the superficial. It’s about building and exercising skills for relating to others in a mature and respectful way, curiously learning about others and being appropriately self-revelatory.  She has a series of rules for level 1 dating which you can find on a handout in the lobby.  These rather old fashioned rules (e.g., ask in person, no longer than 90 minutes, spend less than $10, limited physical interaction) help to keep from rushing into a relationship and from hurting oneself through excessive expectations.  Given asking someone on a date and dealing with rejection take emotional courage, her level 1 rules lower the expectations, drama, and heartbreak.  And it also opens the door to see if there is mutual interest.

Level two dating enters the exclusive phase to learn more about the person, oneself, and one’s compatibility.  Level three dating deepens the exploration to discern if the couple should marry.

My take-away from the movie for singles is to seize the moment and date.  If you want to date Jesus at the same time to explore religious life, that’s ok also.  

 – Fr. Ivan

Sisters of the Holy Names Celebrate 150 years in California


On May 10, 1968, six very young Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary disembarked from their sea voyage in the bustling port of San Francisco. They came in response to Fr. Michael King’s request for sisters to staff the school he would build in his sprawling parish in Oakland and to establish a Novitiate as soon as it was feasible. After being welcomed by Fr. King and the Mercy Sisters, they were whisked off to the Mercy Convent to rest and recuperate and prepare to move to Oakland. Within a few weeks, they welcomed students to Sacred Heart Convent on the shores of Lake Merritt. Eventually this school developed into today’s Holy Names High School and Holy Names University.

This is not the only anniversary that the Sisters are celebrating: 175 years ago, only twenty five years prior to arriving in California, Marie Rose Durocher and several companions gathered in a small town near Montreal, Longueil, to form a congregation dedicated to educating the whole person. They were responding to a serious need: young girls, especially in rural areas, had no access to education. Their religious profession launched the first religious congregation established in North America for the purpose of education. In 1859, only 16 years after its foundation, twelve equally young sisters arrived in Portland Oregon to plant educational roots in the Pacific Northwest. Today, Holy Names Sisters are found in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, Canada; on both coasts of the United States, in Peru and in Lesotho and the Union of South Africa.

Sisters of the Holy Names staffed numerous schools in what eventually became the Diocese of Oakland: In addition to Holy Names High School and Holy Names University, they have served at Sacred Heart (1876), St. Francis de Sales (1886), St. Augustine (1918), Our Lady of Lourdes (1918), Marylrose (1931), Assumption, Hayward (1952), Holy Spirit, Fremont (1956), St. Theresa (1958); St. Bede, Hayward (1964), as well as schools and other ministries in the dioceses of San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, Monterey and Los Angeles. Several SNJM’s, Associates and colleagues are currently members of Holy Spirit parish.

All are cordially invited to the kick-off 150th Anniversary celebration, May 10 from 4:30-6:30 at St. Theresa Catholic Church. For further information on this or other 150th Anniversary events, please visit the website

- Sr. Elizabeth Liebert, SNJM (parishioner)


Newest Members of the Catholic Church

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Congratulations to our newest members of the Catholic Church and the Newman Hall-Holy Spirit Community, who were fully initiated at the Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 1.  Our elect, Joe Chen, Ruslan Gabioulline, Peggy Liu, Katherine Vieiramendes, and Steven Wong, celebrated the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist.  Our candidates, Evan Lee, Dylan McCulley, and Sheadrick Morris, made a profession of faith to the Catholic church and celebrated the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist.  Our Catholic candidatesVincent DePaul Fisher, Darrell Kinney, Theresa McCulley, Grace Mendoza, Diana Nugent, Joseph Famelo, Erika Sarmiento-Canales, and Rodrigo Vieiramendes.

They are now officially called neophytes (which is a word meaning twig, as in a new sprout on a branch).  They now enter a period called, mystagogy.  This is the final period of the RCIA.  In fact, the entire church community share this period with them of breaking open the infinite mysteries of God.

During this time, our neophytes will continue to meet to further reflect on the mysteries of our faith and the sacraments.  They will explore deepening their participation in the life of the Newman faith community and deepening into maturity that flame of faith ignited by God. 

Please continue to keep them in your prayers and please continue to pray for our candidate, Neil Qiao, still in our RCIA catechumenate, who looks to full initiation into the Catholic way of life some time in the future.  And please pray for those folks in the inquiry period exploring the Catholic faith and whether it is the path God is calling them to embrace.

If you have questions or desire to explore the Catholic faith future, feel free to talk to any of the priests or our RCIA Director, Dan Cawthon, or contact Fr. Ivan.

Please continue to keep them in your prayers and please continue to pray for our candidate, Neil Qiao, still in our RCIA catechumenate, who looks to full initiation into the Catholic way of life some time in the future.  


And please pray for those folks in the inquiry period exploring the Catholic faith and whether it is the path God is calling them to embrace.

If you have questions or desire to explore the Catholic faith future, feel free to talk to any of the priests or our RCIA Director, Dan Cawthon, or contact Fr. Ivan.

Paulist 160th Anniversary



On March 6, 1858, Pope Pius IX dispensed Fr. Isaac Hecker and four of his associates from their vows as Redemptorist priests.  This allowed them to form the first US men's religious order, the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle on July 7, 1858, under the direction of the local bishops.

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Cardinal Della Genga wrote that Pope Pius IX wanted these men to:

 ” … spare no labor in the prosecution of the holy missions, in the conversion of souls, and in the dissemination of Christian doctrine.”

His Holiness confidently trusts,” the document continues, “that the above mentioned priests will labor by work, example, and word in the vineyard of the Lord, and give themselves with alacrity to the eternal salvation of souls, and promote with all their power the sanctification of their neighbor.”

For more info, please check out Paulist Fr. Ron Franco's blog for March 6.

Thanks to the 50th Anniversary Committee

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Thanks to the 50th Anniversary Committee (Howard Fischer (chair), Alan Roselius, Amy LaGoy, Charlie Bogle, Colette Ford, Darrell Christian, Deborah Tatto, Dorty Nowak, George Scharffenberger, Fr. Ivan, Jeannie Battagin, Judith Jarosz, Julia Casella, Juliane Trapse, Kinson Ho, Mary Harrow, Mary Annne Litell, & Rosemary Loughman) for all the planning, coordinating, and executing our wonderful 50th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, September 30th.  It was an incredible celebration with endless fabulous food, drinks, music, a silent auction, and wonderful people to meet.  


Thanks also to Colleen Lenord for planning the wonderful music, Carla DeSola and her fabulous dancers for the inspiring liturgical dance, Richard Cushman on organ, Coleen Patterson for our anniversary logo, Jana Jaroz for flyer designs, Matt Sie & Zac Dehkordi for our anniversary video, Kirk Peterson for display photos, Randy Dixon for our Campanile Poster, Matt Hauwiller for table setup, Therese Stawowy, Barbara Wander, Margot Simpson, Alfreda & Rich Campos for hospitality, Su Tang, Linda Bradford, & Suzanne Mar for kitchen help, and Peg McGowan for all the financial coordination.  Thanks to all the Paulists, who came to celebrate.  Thanks to all the numerous volunteers who made everything go so smoothly (e.g. brought food, set up, clean up, provided music, bartended, …).  And thanks to our wonderful Newman community who keep the spirit of Newman vibrant and alive.