|May 8, 2017 • VOL. 55, NO. 9 • Oakland, CA|
Sister Corinne Avila, PBVM
Sister Corinne Avila, who taught first grade for 33 years at Catholic elementary schools, died April 19 at the Presentation Motherhouse in San Francisco. She was 93 and a member of the Sisters of the Presentation for almost 73 years.
Sister Marion Patrick Connors, SNJM
Sister Marion Patrick Connors (Lillian Connors), a professed member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for 64 years, died April 14. She was 83 years of age.
She spent nine years as an elementary school teacher at schools in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles. In the Diocese of Oakland she taught at Our Lady of Lourdes School and Sacred Heart School, both in Oakland, and at Holy Spirit School in Fremont.
She also worked for 18 years in the provincial treasurer's office; 10 years in the finance office at Ramona Convent Secondary School in Alhambra; and 13 years in the SNJM Development office.
She was committed to the Marie Rose Guild, loved sports and, in the last couple of years of her life she explored her creative side with her "clay creations," according to an obituary published in the Los Angeles Times.
She is survived by her sister, Marie Wood, and several nieces and nephews.
The funeral Mass took place April 30 at Holy Spirit Chapel in Campbell. Burial followed May 1 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.
Sister Diana Miller, OP
Sister Diana Miller, who spent 58 years ministering in elementary schools in three states, died April 14 at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 98 years of age and in the 78th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Miller, formerly known as Mary Agatha Miller, was born in Royal Oak, Michigan. After graduating from St. Mary High School in Royal Oak, she graduated with a bachelor of philosophy degree in history from Siena Heights College (now University) in Adrian, Michigan. She was also certified as a health assistant by Vo-Tech Center and as a chaplain by Santa Rosa Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
During her lengthy ministry in education, Sister Miller taught in schools in Michigan, Illinois and California. In the Diocese of Oakland she was a bookkeeper/coordinator special education motor skills tutor/aide at St. Philip Neri School in Alameda from 1986 to 1990. After serving as a driver/shopper at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan for one year, she became a resident there in 1999.
Survivors include a brother, Philip Miller of Clinton, Louisiana, and a sister, Jane Springer of Winter Park.
The funeral Mass was held April 18 in St. Catherine Chapel at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. The Rite of Commital was in the Congregation cemetery.
Sister Mary Berchmans Trentacoste, SNJM
Sister Mary Berchmans Trentacoste, who served as an educator, missionary and nurse during her long life of service, died April 15 in Saratoga. She was 86 and had celebrated 61 years of profession as a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
Born Rosalie Trentacoste in Oakland she attended Sacred Heart Elementary School where she met the Holy Names Sisters. After graduating from Holy Names High School she asked her mother if she could join the Sisters but was told that she had to have a career first. So she went to St. Mary's College of Nursing in San Francisco and became a registered nurse. She joined the Sisters in 1954 and after several years of teaching she asked to become a missionary, but was told to wait because she was too young at age 29. Two years later the call came when news came of the need for a nurse midwife in Africa.
Sister Berchmans went to Basutoland just as the country gained its freedom and a new name, Lesotho. She served there for 17 years as a nurse, midwife and educator. In addition to teaching at Mazenod Training College she started the "Winter School" for the education of Sisters of many religious communities in Lesotho which continues to this day.
After returning to the U.S. in 1980 Sister Berchmans was drawn to another ministry, serving the poor as a nurse at St. Anthony Medical Clinic in San Francisco. She spent about 20 years in ministry there.
In a reflection printed in The Catholic Voice in 2005 and written on the occasion of her 50th jubilee in religious life, she wrote: "We had spent years talking and meditating about the preferential option for the poor. It was good to live it day by day in the Third World country and in the San Francisco Tenderloin.
"All of this was made possible for me by seeds planted by the Church of Oakland at Sacred Heart, St. Augustine and Holy Names High School."
Survivors include her sister, Palma Trentacoste, nieces, nephews and other relatives.
The funeral Mass was held April 25 at Holy Spirit Chapel in Campbell. Burial took place May 1 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.
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