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Beekhuis Scholarship Essays

Sample Scholarship Essays


If you’re applying for a scholarship, chances are you are going to need to write an essay. Very few scholarship programs are based solely on an application form or transcript. The essay is often the most important part of your application; it gives the scholarship committee a sense of who you are and your dedication to your goals. You’ll want to make sure that your scholarship essay is the best it can possibly be.

Unless specified otherwise, scholarship essays should always use the following formatting:

  • Double spaced
  • Times New Roman font
  • 12 point font
  • One-inch top, bottom, and side margins

Other useful tips to keep in mind include:

  1. Read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you completely understand them before you start writing.
  2. Think about what you are going to write and organize your thoughts into an outline.
  3. Write your essay by elaborating on each point you included in your outline.
  4. Use clear, concise, and simple language throughout your essay.
  5. When you are finished, read the question again and then read your essay to make sure that the essay addresses every point.

For more tips on writing a scholarship essay, check out our Eight Steps Towards a Better Scholarship Essay .


The Book that Made Me a Journalist

Prompt: Describe a book that made a lasting impression on you and your life and why.

It is 6 am on a hot day in July and I’ve already showered and eaten breakfast. I know that my classmates are all sleeping in and enjoying their summer break, but I don’t envy them; I’m excited to start my day interning with a local newspaper doing investigative journalism. I work a typical 8-5 day during my summer vacation and despite the early mornings, nothing has made me happier. Although it wasn't clear to me then, looking back on my high school experiences and everything that led to me to this internship, I believe this path began with a particularly savvy teacher and a little book she gave me to read outside of class.

I was taking a composition class, and we were learning how to write persuasive essays. Up until that point, I had had average grades, but I was always a good writer and my teacher immediately recognized this. The first paper I wrote for the class was about my experience going to an Indian reservation located near my uncle's ranch in southwest Colorado. I wrote of the severe poverty experienced by the people on the reservation, and the lack of access to voting booths during the most recent election. After reading this short story, my teacher approached me and asked about my future plans. No one had ever asked me this, and I wasn't sure how to answer. I said I liked writing and I liked thinking about people who are different from myself. She gave me a book and told me that if I had time to read it, she thought it would be something I would enjoy. I was actually quite surprised that a high school teacher was giving me a book titled Lies My Teacher Told Me. It had never occurred to me that teachers would lie to students. The title intrigued me so much that on Friday night I found myself staying up almost all night reading, instead of going out with friends.

In short, the book discusses several instances in which typical American history classes do not tell the whole story. For example, the author addresses the way that American history classes do not usually address about the Vietnam War, even though it happened only a short time ago. This made me realize that we hadn't discussed the Vietnam War in my own history class! The book taught me that, like my story of the Indian reservation, there are always more stories beyond what we see on the surface and what we’re taught in school. I was inspired to continue to tell these stories and to make that my career.

For my next article for the class, I wrote about the practice of my own high school suspending students, sometimes indefinitely, for seemingly minor offenses such as tardiness and smoking. I found that the number of suspensions had increased by 200% at my school in just three years, and also discovered that students who are suspended after only one offense often drop out and some later end up in prison. The article caused quite a stir. The administration of my school dismissed it, but it caught the attention of my local newspaper. A local journalist worked with me to publish an updated and more thoroughly researched version of my article in the local newspaper. The article forced the school board to revisit their “zero tolerance” policy as well as reinstate some indefinitely suspended students.I won no favors with the administration and it was a difficult time for me, but it was also thrilling to see how one article can have such a direct effect on people’s lives. It reaffirmed my commitment to a career in journalism.

This is why I’m applying for this scholarship. Your organization has been providing young aspiring journalists with funds to further their skills and work to uncover the untold stories in our communities that need to be reported. I share your organization’s vision of working towards a more just and equitable world by uncovering stories of abuse of power. I have already demonstrated this commitment through my writing in high school and I look forward to pursuing a BA in this field at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. With your help, I will hone my natural instincts and inherent writing skills. I will become a better and more persuasive writer and I will learn the ethics of professional journalism.

I sincerely appreciate the committee’s time in evaluating my application and giving me the opportunity to tell my story. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

Do:Follow the prompt and other instructions exactly. You might write a great essay but it may get your application rejected if you don’t follow the word count guidelines or other formatting requirements.
DON'T:Open your essay with a quote. This is a well-worn strategy that is mostly used ineffectively. Instead of using someone else’s words, use your own.
DON'T:Use perfunctory sentences such as, “In this essay, I will…”
DO:Be clear and concise. Make sure each paragraph discusses only one central thought or argument.
DON'T:Use words from a thesaurus that are new to you. You may end up using the word incorrectly and that will make your writing awkward. Keep it simple and straightforward. The point of the essay is to tell your story, not to demonstrate how many words you know.

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Planners and Searchers

Prompt: In 600 words or less, please tell us about yourself and why you are applying for this scholarship. Please be clear about how this scholarship will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Being African, I recognize Africa’s need for home- grown talent in the form of “planners” (assistants with possible solutions) and “searchers” (those with desperate need) working towards international development. I represent both. Coming from Zimbabwe my greatest challenge is in helping to improve the livelihoods of developing nations through sustainable development and good governance principles. The need for policy-makers capable of employing cross-jurisdictional, and cross- disciplinary strategies to solve complex challenges cannot be under-emphasized; hence my application to this scholarship program.

After graduating from Africa University with an Honors degree in Sociology and Psychology, I am now seeking scholarship support to study in the United States at the Master’s level. My interest in democracy, elections, constitutionalism and development stems from my lasting interest in public policy issues. Accordingly, my current research interests in democracy and ethnic diversity require a deeper understanding of legal processes of constitutionalism and governance. As a Master’s student in the US, I intend to write articles on these subjects from the perspective of someone born, raised, and educated in Africa. I will bring a unique and much-needed perspective to my graduate program in the United States, and I will take the technical and theoretical knowledge from my graduate program back with me to Africa to further my career goals as a practitioner of good governance and community development.

To augment my theoretical understanding of governance and democratic practices, I worked with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as a Programs Assistant in the Monitoring and Observation department. This not only enhanced my project management skills, but also developed my skills in research and producing communication materials. ZESN is Zimbabwe’s biggest election observation organization, and I had the responsibility of monitoring the political environment and producing monthly publications on human rights issues and electoral processes. These publications were disseminated to various civil society organizations, donors and other stakeholders. Now I intend to develop my career in order to enhance Africa’s capacity to advocate, write and vote for representative constitutions.

I also participated in a fellowship program at Africa University, where I gained greater insight into social development by teaching courses on entrepreneurship, free market economics, and development in needy communities. I worked with women in rural areas of Zimbabwe to setup income-generating projects such as the jatropha soap-making project. Managing such a project gave me great insight into how many simple initiatives can transform lives.

Your organization has a history of awarding scholarships to promising young students from the developing world in order to bring knowledge, skills and leadership abilities to their home communities. I have already done some of this work but I want to continue, and with your assistance, I can. The multidisciplinary focus of the development programs I am applying to in the US will provide me with the necessary skills to creatively address the economic and social development challenges and develop sound public policies for Third World countries. I thank you for your time and consideration for this prestigious award.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Research the organization and make sure you understand their mission and values and incorporate them into your essay.
DO:Focus on your strengths and turn in any problems or weaknesses into a success story.
DO:Use actual, detailed examples from your own life to backup your claims and arguments as to why you should receive the scholarship.
DO:Proofread several times before finally submitting your essay.
DON'T:Rehash what is already stated on your resume. Choose additional, unique stories to tell sell yourself to the scholarship committee.
DON'T:Simply state that you need the money. Even if you have severe financial need, it won’t help to simply ask for the money and it may come off as tacky.

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Saving the Manatees

Prompt: Please give the committee an idea of who you are and why you are the perfect candidate for the scholarship.

It is a cliché to say that I’ve always known what I want to do with my life, but in my case it happens to be true. When I first visited Sea World as a young child, I fell in love with marine animals in general. Specifically, I felt drawn to manatees. I was compelled by their placid and friendly nature. I knew then and there that I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting these beautiful creatures.

Since that day in Orlando, I have spent much of my spare time learning everything there is to know about manatees. As a junior high and high school student, I attempted to read scholarly articles on manatees from scientific journals. I annoyed my friends and family with scientific facts about manatees-- such as that they are close relatives of elephants--at the dinner table. I watched documentaries, and even mapped their migration pattern on a wall map my sister gave me for my birthday.

When I was chosen from hundreds of applicants to take part in a summer internship with Sea World, I fell even more in love with these gentle giants. I also learned a very important and valuable lesson: prior to this internship, I had imagined becoming a marine biologist, working directly with the animals in their care both in captivity and in the wild. However, during the internship, I discovered that this is not where my strengths lie. Unfortunately, I am not a strong student in science or math, which are required skills to become a marine biologist. Although this was a disheartening realization, I found that I possess other strengths can still be of great value to manatees and other endangered marine mammals: my skills as a public relations manager and communicator. During the internship, I helped write new lessons and presentations for elementary school groups visiting the park and developed a series of fun activities for children to help them learn more about manatees as well as conservation of endangered species in general. I also worked directly with the park’s conservation and communication director, and helped develop a new local outreach program designed to educate Floridians on how to avoid hitting a manatee when boating. My supervisor recommended me to the Save the Manatee Foundation so in addition to my full-time internship at Sea World, I interned with the Save the Manatee Foundation part-time. It was there that I witnessed the manatee rescue and conservation effort first hand, and worked directly with the marine biologists in developing fund-raising and awareness-raising campaigns. I found that the foundation’s social media presence was lacking, and, using skills I learned from Sea World, I helped them raise over $5,000 through a Twitter challenge, which we linked to the various social media outlets of the World Wildlife Federation.

While I know that your organization typically awards scholarships to students planning to major in disciplines directly related to conservation such as environmental studies or zoology, I feel that the public relations side of conservation is just as important as the actual work done on the ground. Whether it is reducing one’s carbon footprint, or saving the manatees, these are efforts that, in order to be successful, must involve the larger public. In fact, the relative success of the environmental movement today is largely due to a massive global public relations campaign that turned environmentalism from something scientific and obscure into something that is both fashionable and accessible to just about anyone. However, that success is being challenged more than ever before--especially here in the US, where an equally strong anti-environmental public relations campaign has taken hold. Therefore, conservationists need to start getting more creative.

I want to be a part of this renewed effort and use my natural abilities as a communicator to push back against the rather formidable forces behind the anti-environmentalist movement. I sincerely hope you will consider supporting this non-traditional avenue towards global sustainability and conservation. I have already been accepted to one of the most prestigious communications undergraduate programs in the country and I plan to minor in environmental studies. In addition, I maintain a relationship with my former supervisors at Save the Manatee and Sea World, who will be invaluable resources for finding employment upon graduation. I thank the committee for thinking outside the box in considering my application.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Tell a story. Discuss your personal history and why those experiences have led you to apply for these scholarships.
DO:Write an outline. If you’ve already started writing or have a first draft, make an outline based on what you’ve written so far. This will help you see whether your paragraphs flow and connect with one another.
DON'T:Write a generic essay for every application. Adapt your personal statement for each individual scholarship application.
DO:Run spellcheck and grammar check on your computer but also do your own personal check. Spellcheck isn’t perfect and you shouldn't rely on technology to make your essay perfect.

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Sample Essays

Related Content:


Values in Hollywood?
Barbara Nicolosi, founder and executive director of Act One, a non-profit program for grooming Christians to become film and TV executives, will be the featured speaker at the Catholics@Work breakfast forum on Nov. 11 at Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr., in Danville. The event begins at 7 a.m. with a full buffet breakfast. $20 for members; $25 for non-members. Infor-mation: www.catholicsatwork.org or (925) 683-5263..


SPIRITUALITY

Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25
Rosary and Prayer Group
. 6:30 p.m. (1st Rosary), 7 p.m. (2nd Rosary) in the chapel next to the parish office at St. Jarlath Parish, 2634 Pleasant St., Oakland.

Monday, Nov. 5
Healing Mass. 7:30 p.m. at St. Edward Church, 5788 Thornton Ave., Newark. Bert/Norma, Abba Father Prayer Group, (510) 793-1750. Every second Monday.

Nov. 5, 12, 19 ,26
Christ the King Bible Study and Charismatic Prayer Meeting
. 7:30 p.m. at 6 Saint Lawrence Court, Pleasant Hill. Share in charismatic praise, singing and openness to the gifts of God’s Spirit. Sponsor: Charismatic Catholic Renewal. (800) 474-6644.

Monday, Nov. 3
Mass of Remembrance
. 7:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 4001 Stoneridge Dr., Pleasanton. All are invited, regardless of religious orientation, to attend this special liturgy celebrating the memories of loved ones who died. Steve, (925) 426-9414.

Nov. 6 –9
The Next Women’s Cursillo Weekend
. At Holy Redeemer Center, 8945 Golf Links Road., Oakland. Nina Volker, (925) 828-9442 or Carolyn Steele, (925) 648-4890.

Friday, Nov. 21
Taize – Prayer Around the Cross
. 8 p.m. at Mother-house Chapel, Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, 43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont. Join others in prayer and song around the cross. Maria Shao, (408) 839-2068 or maria49830@aol.com or Sister Beth Quire, O.P., (510) 449-7554 or beth@msjdominicans.com.

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EUCHARIST ADORATION

Daily
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Most Holy Rosary Church, 1313 A St., Antioch. (925) 757-4020.

Sunday – Monday
24 Hours a Day. Divine Mercy Center and Perpetual Adoration Chapel, 11152 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. (510) 412-4715, divinemercyjesus@aol.com, or www.DivineMercyWestCoast.org.

Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Mary’s House of Mercy, 1850 Church Lane, El Cerrito.

Mondays, Wednesdays
12:45 – 6:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 4001 Stoneridge Dr., Pleasanton.

Tuesdays
8 a.m. – 8 p.m. in Mary’s Chapel at St. Jarlath Church, 2620 Pleasant St., Oakland.

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
7 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Thursdays. and Fridays), 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Saturdays) at St. Mary Church, 2039 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek. (925) 891-8900.

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RETREATS

Nov. 21 – 23
Men’s Retreat: “Authenticity, An Adventurous Vocation.”
At San Damiano Retreat in Danville. Presenters: Franciscan Father Rusty Shaughnessy and Michael John Poirier. This weekend is about “awakening to the sacred . . . to the voice of God calling … daring us to do soul work.” $205 private room/$175 shared room (per person). (925) 837-9141, ext. 315 or www.sandamiano.org.

Nov. 28 – 30
Recovery Retreat: “New Life – The Exciting Adventure of the 12-Step Program.”
At San Damiano Retreat Center, Danville. Presenter: Sister Briegeen Moore, a Sister of St. Clare, aka “Sr. B.” This weekend will focus on the opportunities presented in the 12-step program for newnewss of life, freedom, happiness, hope, courage and relationship with God. $210 private room/$180 shared room (per person.) (925) 837-9141, ext. 315 or www.sandamiano.org.

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Fundraisers

Sunday, Nov. 9
Annual Mass and Luncheon for Y.M.I. and Y.L.I. Members, Deceased Members, Widows and Families. 11 a.m. Mass at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church, 3725 High St., Oakland. Luncheon: 1 p.m. at Elio’s Restaurant, 260 Floresta Blvd., San Leandro. Lunch: $16 – 20 (chicken or steak or linguini and scampi). Lunch is free for all widows of Y.M.I. members. Deadline: Nov. 5. Contact: Alex Schmitt, (510) 706-0899 or Rosemarie Pierce, (510) 531-1878.

Nov. 19, 20
St. Mary’s College Women’s Guild Boutique
. At Soda Center, St. Mary’s College, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, Moraga. Presale on Nov. 19, 4 – 7 p.m.; Boutique on Nov. 20, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Proceeds will go to SMC Scholarship Fund. (925) 376-4339.

Thursday, Nov. 20
Celebrating Sister Dorothy Stang
. 11:30 a.m. at Ralston Hall Mansion, on the Notre Dame de Namur University campus, 1500 Ralston Ave., Belmont. A luncheon with actor and social justice advocate Martin Sheen to celebrate the life of the late Notre Dame Sister Dorothy Stang, who was murdered in February 2005 in Brazil where she spent 39 years working as a missionary to preserve the land of the poor in the Amazon rainforest. Sheen recently narrated an award-winning documentary by director Daniel Junge, “They Killed Sister Dorothy.” The luncheon is a fundraiser for NDNU’s Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement. $100 per person; seating limited to the first 150 guests. RSVP by Nov. 14 to (650) 508-4120 or dsc@ndnu.edu.

Saturday, Nov. 22
24th Annual Sports Collectors Show
. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at St. Leanders’ Ryan O’Connell Hall, 575 West Estudillo Ave., San Leandro. A variety of vintage sports memorabilia items (1800’s – 2008) will be available for sale. Free appraisals are available (for pre-1975 items only). Door prizes will be given away all day. $3 general admission; free to those under 5 years old or over 65. Proceeds benefit St. Leander Parish and local charities. Mark, (510) 538-6245.

Nov. 22 – 23
Dominican Sisters’ Holiday Boutique
. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (both days) at the Dominican Motherhouse, 43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont. (Entrance to the property is from Mission Tierra Place which is right part the old Mission.) Items for purchase include the Sisters’ famous California extra-virgin olive oil, homemade fruitcakes and other baked goods. In addition: ceramics, oil paintings, hand-made afghans, crocheted and knitted articles, and more. Lunch is also available. Free admission. Proceeds will be used for the ongoing ministries of the Dominican Sisters. Information: Sister Barbara Larner, O.P., (510) 657-2468, ext. 6310 or blarner@msjdominicans.org.

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Education

Tuesday, Nov. 4
Kindergarten Open House
. 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., 6:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace School, 3433 Somerset Ave., Castro Valley. During the morning hours visitors will have an opportunity to visit the classroom in action. During both times visitors will meet with Principal Wahl and Mrs. Fischer, kindergarten teacher and learn about the kindergarten curriculum, the mission of the school, and more. (510) 581-3155 or olgschool.org.

Wednesdays, Nov. 5, 12, 19
Father Corapi DVD Catechism Series
. 7 – 8 p.m. in Cauchi Hall, St. Agnes Parish, 3966 Chestnut Ave., Concord. Father John Corapi, S.O.L.T. teaches The Catechism of the Catholic Church in this series. David Zarri, (925) 686-9277 or davidzarri@earthlink.net.

Nov. 5, 12, 19 and Dec. 3
WINGS, Women in God’s Spirit
. 9:15 – 11:20 a.m. in Moran Hall at St. Raymond Parish, 11555 Shannon Ave., Dublin. The theme for the fall season is “They will know we are Christians by our love.” The speakers will reference the Beatitudes, also Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. (925) 828-3623.

Friday, Nov. 7
Can Unarmed Civilians Break the Siege of Gaza?
7 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St., Berkeley. The Father Bill O’Donnell Social Justice Committee welcomes Paul Larudee of the Free Gaza Movement who will tell the story of how 45 unarmed civilians from 17 countries and five faiths embarked from Cyprus in two small boats last August to become the first international visitors to arrive by sea in Gaza in 41 years. Free (donations accepted). (510) 499-0537. Co-sponsors include The Free Gaza Movement (www.freegaza.org), Jewish Voice for Peace and Pace e Bene.

Nov. 7, 8, 9, 15
School for Pastoral Ministry, Information Sessions
. Nov. 7: 6 – 6:30 p.m. at Santa Maria Parish, 40 Santa Maria Way, conference room, in Orinda; Nov. 8: 12 – 1 p.m. at Santa Maria Parish, 40 Santa Maria Way, conference room, Orinda; Nov. 9: 1 – 2 p.m. in St. Peter Martyr Parish, Centro Juan Diego Building next to school at 425 W. 4th St., in Pittsburg; Nov. 15: 12 – 1 p.m. at Holy Names University, Heafey Hall, 655, 3500 Mountain Blvd., Oakland. Gain insight about this three-year diocesan school where students learn more about their faith, discern their gifts as laity, and complete a certificate in pastoral theology studies. Dennis Purificacion, dpurificacion@oakdiocese.org or (510) 267-8386. Applications now being accepted for January 2009. Deadline: Dec. 10.

Saturday, Nov. 8
Episcopal Lecture Series
. 1 – 7 p.m. in Soda Center, St. Mary’s College, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, Moraga. Bishop Emeritus John Cummins will give a lecture and lead a discussion on science, technology and the Church. A reception and Mass celebrated by the bishop will follow in the chapel. (925) 631-4000.

Tuesday, Nov. 11
Distinguished Faculty Lecture
. 7 p.m. at Pacific School of Religon, Chapel of the Great Commission, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley. Title: “Learning to Speak a New Tongue: Imagining a Way That Holds People Together,” by Fumitaka Matsuoka, Robert Gordon Sproul Professor of Theology and Executive Director, Institute for Leadership Development and the Study of Pacific and Asian North American Religion (PANA Institute), Pacific School of Religion. Respondent: Judith Berling, professor of Chinese and Comparative Religions, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. (510) 649-2440.

Wednesday, Nov. 12
Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT) Aquinas Lecture
. 7:30 p.m. in main lecture hall at DSPT, 2301 Vine St., Berkeley. Marga Vega, who recently joined DSPT as a regular full-time faculty in the Philosophy Department, will present this year’s topic: The Ontology of Art: An Anthropological Perspective. A reception will follow the lecture. (510) 883-2085 or advancement@dspt.edu.

Creative Writing Reading Series
. 7:30 p.m., Soda Center at St. Mary’s College, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, Moraga. Speaker: Brenda Miller, an associate professor at Western Washington University whose book, “Season of the Body: Essays,” was a finalist for the PEN American Center Book Award. (925) 631-4000.
The Year of St. Paul. 7:30 p.m. at the Holy Family Friary, 19697 Redwood Road, Castro Valley. The first of a series of talks on St. Paul sponsored by St. Anthony of Padua Institute. For more information, visit www.StAnthonyPaduaInstitute.orgor phone (888) 619-7882.

Thursday, Nov. 13
Facing the Holiday Blues
. 7:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 4001 Stoneridge Dr., Pleasanton. Join others who are dreading the approaching holiday season because of the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, surgery, or has a spouse or child in Iraq. Facilitator: Father Padraig Greene, pastor at Catholic Community of Pleasanton. All are welcome regardless of religious affiliation.

Nov. 15 – 16
Feil Validation Training Series
. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Mercy Retirement and Care Center, 3431 Foothill Blvd., Oakland. First of a series of training sessions for individuals who wish to learn effective ways of communicating with older persons who have dementia. Registration fee: $1,250; payment schedule can be set up upon request. (510) 534-8540 or www.mercyretirementcenter.org.

Monday, Nov. 17
Theology of the Body
. The St. Anthony of Padua Institute will offer a four-part, intensive series on the Theology of the Body to help participants who may be interested in leading a study/discussion group in their own parishes on the Theology of the Body. Also open to anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of this work. Classes will be led by Ed Hopfner, the new coordinator for marriage and family life for the Oakland Diocese, who will contact all students via e-mail prior to the start of classes. Register by Nov. 15. (888) 619-7882 or www.StAnthonyPaduaInstitute.org.

Tuesday, Nov. 18
Life After Death: Hollywood’s Response to the Passion of the Christ
. 7:30 – 9 p.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 1315 Lomitas Ave., Livermore. Speaker: Ryan Parker, the creator, editor and main contributor of poptheology.com, a website that examines the religious and theological dimensions of popular culture. Other films, including the Chronicles of Narnia series, will be explored. Open to all. $5 free donation is requested to offset speaker fees. Julie, upcatholic@aol.com or (925) 447-4549, ext. 114.

Friday, Nov. 21
Coping With Loss During the Holidays
. 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the Pope John Conference Room at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, 1315 Lomitas Ave., Livermore. Dr. Nancy Oehrle, a managing partner at the Del Valle Clinic in Livermore, will talk about and share thoughts and ideas for coping with the loss and absence of loved ones during the holiday season. (925) 455-0944.

Wednesday, Dec. 3
An Evening With the Stars
. 7 p.m. at St. Agnes School, Cauchi Hall, 3886 Chestnut Ave., Concord. Parents who have a potential “star” who is ready to begin kindergarten in the 2009-2010 school year are invited to attend this program to learn more about the school and meet the teacher, Julie Ghelfi, and principal, Karen Mangini. (925) 689-3990.

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Festivals

Saturday, Nov. 8
Harvest Tea. 12 – 3 p.m. at St. Bonaventure Hall, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. An afternoon filled with entertainment and prizes. $18. Marie Lentseh, (925) 798-2948. Sponsor: Catholic Daughters of the Americas, St. John the Baptist Court 1934.

The 5th Annual St. Perpetua Wine Festival
. 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. at Veteran’s Hall in Lafayette. Meet up with friends and taste some hard-to-find wines provided by Wine Thieves wine shop in Lafayette. Tickets: $55, includes wine tasting, food and entertainment. Tickets can be purchased online at www.stperpetua.org. (925) 284-1640.

Nov. 22, 23
Christ the King Holiday Boutique
. Nov. 22: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Nov. 23: 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Brandon Road and Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill.

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SUPPORT GROUPS

Thursday, Nov. 20
Catholic Divorced Widowed and Separated of Contra Costa
. 7 – 9 p.m. at St. Mary Church, 2039 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek.

Saturday, Dec. 6
No More Secrets – Monthly Support Group for Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse
. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Holy Names University, Brennan Hall, Room 75, 3500 Mountain Blvd., Oakland. Facilitated by a licensed psychotherapist. Survivors and their families are welcome. Claire Jeanette, (510) 843-6971.

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Art/Music

Sunday, Nov. 9
One Voice. 4 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 4025 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Oakland. A choral concert presented by the Choir of Sacred Heart Church to benefit the Alameda County St. Vincent de Paul Food Locker. Admission: donation of canned goods for the food locker.

Through Dec. 14
The Second Golden Age of Dutch Art
. At the Hearst Art Gallery, St. Mary’s College, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, Moraga. Gallery hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. This exhibition features over 60 19th century Dutch masterpieces from the collection of Jan and Mary Ann Beekhuis which features a range of different artists and styles such as Impressionism, Realism, Romantics and the Hague School. $3 suggested donation. Free parking. (925) 631-4379.

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Reunions

Nov. 15, Dec. 6
St. Mary’s College High School Class Reunions
. On the school campus, 1294 Albina Ave., Berkeley. Nov. 15: Class of 1968 40 Year Reunion Dinner; Dec. 6: Class of 1993 15 Year Reunion Happy Hour. Information/reservations: Joanne Howe, (510) 559-6227 or jhowe@stmchs.org.

Saturday, Nov. 29
St. Joseph Notre Dame High School Alumni Homecoming Celebration
. 8 p.m. on the SJND Quad, 1011 Chestnut St., Alameda. The celebration follows the alumni basketball games. There will be music from the DJs “DJ-DK,” some locally brewed beers, local wines, snacks and more. RSVP at (510) 814-7152 or visit www.sjnd.org.

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