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On The Street Where You Live from September 9, 2011
September 7th, 2011
By Tom Burke

Right around the corner are two ways we can all say “Thanks” to the retired priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The annual collection for retired priests is at Masses Sept. 17 and 18. This is always a very successful effort resulting in a building of the burse that helps our 90 retired “Fathers” with living and medical expenses. Also coming up is the first “St. John Vianney Luncheon for Retired Priests.” It’s Oct. 21 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral and will honor these special men who have done do much for so many for so long. It promises good chow and a chance to visit with the priests, many of whom you might have met through their good work through the years. Tickets are $100 per person. Patron opportunities are available as well as sponsorship of a retired priest at the event. Reservations are requested by September 18. For information, call (415) 614-5580 or email Msgr. Maurice McCormick and Father Kieran McCormick are truly brother-priests. Msgr. Mickey, who lives at San Francisco’s St. Cecilia Parish, is retired pastor of Mission Dolores Basilica Parish and former pastor of San Francisco’s St. John of God Parish and Church of the Good Shepherd in Pacifica. Father Kieran, who lives at Serra Clergy House in San Mateo, is retired pastor of St. Charles Parish in San Carlos and former pastor of San Francisco’s St. James Parish and San Mateo’s St. Timothy Parish. Msgr. Mickey celebrates his 53rd year as a priest Dec. 20. Father Kieran celebrated his 47th year as a priest June 13…. Father John Balleza was installed as the 12th pastor of San Rafael’s St. Raphael Church Aug. 21. San Francisco Auxiliary Bishop William J. Justice presided over the rites. Father Balleza’s sisters, Irene and Evelyn, attended the Mass as did his godparents from Texas. San Rafael Mayor Al Boro, declared the day “Reverend John A. Balleza Day.”… Home from Spain but still charged from her World Youth Day experience is Anna Dobel, 11 years old and a sixth grader at St. Brendan School in San Francisco. Anna, traveled with her mom, Julia, now in her 9th year on the philosophy and theology faculty at Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco. “World Youth Day was nothing short of amazing!” Julia told me in an email. “Though 42 years old, I can explain with confidence the oft shouted WYD chant, `We are the youth of the pope!’” Anna also took much from the pilgrimage. “Going to World Youth Day was really inspirational,” she said. “Meeting people from all over the world with the same faith and beliefs was a lot of fun. Here’s to Rio in 2013!”… Happy anniversary to Ligia and Raul Velez, married 63 years Aug. 1. They have been Church of the Epiphany parishioners since 1960. They celebrated the happy day with their four daughters — all Immaculate Conception Academy grads — their son — an Archbishop Riordan High School alum — and their eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. “I have a great wife,” Raul told me. “God has been very good to me and to us.” Ligia and Raul founded a prayer group that has met for 33 years. Epiphany’s 100th anniversary — now in progress — is something to shout about, Raul said, and something he and Ligia are excited and grateful to be part of…. I’ve known her name for decades from her love of others, her genuine goodness to me and her centered and determined spirit. From now on I promise to get all the letters right, too! Nadine Calliguri, who founded Handicapables in 1965, has been a Californian since age three and a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish for just as long. Thank you, Nadine, for your example and wonderful work. Your faith-filled living has gathered enough grace methinks to send you and another 100 of us to heaven when the time comes. Please put me on the list…. Happy anniversary to Mary Cervantes celebrating her 51st year as organist and music director at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in San Francisco. “It’s been very good,” Mary said. “I consider St. Thomas part of my family.” Mary plays three of the weekend Masses and many have known her wonderful musicianship at weddings and funeral Masses at the Richmond District church. Parishioners and pastor, Father John Sakowski, honored Mary in July. “It was great,” she told me. Gifts included $1,000 from the parish and various goodies from individuals. “It was really something,” Mary told me. “It was tremendous. I was astounded. It was a very happy day for me and my family.” …Everybody’s heard of The Meehan Brothers! They’ve been making the Bay Area laugh for years and recently got very close to being the last comics standing on the popular show of the same name. Michael Meehan is currently starring in “Hey Monster – Hands Off My City!” in this year’s Fringe Festival at the Exit Theater. Michael calls it “a buoyant and wry riff on the absurdities of life as we know it – set to music.” Michael is a Sacred Heart High School graduate and in addition to Last Comic Standing has been seen on late night talk shows including Craig Ferguson. He also appears regularly at the Punchline. Shows are Sept. 10 at 10:30 p.m., Sept. 16 at 8:30 p.m. and Sept. 18 at 2:30 p.m. The Exit Theater is at 277 Taylor St. (at Eddy). Tickets are $10 at the door or $12.99 in advance. Visit or call (415) 673-3847. …This is an empty space without ya’! E-mail items and electronic pictures – jpegs at no less than 300 dpi – to or mail them to Street, One Peter Yorke Way, SF 94109. Include a follow-up phone number. My phone number is (415) 614-5634.

From the Sept. 9, 2011 issue of Catholic San Francisco.


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