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placeholder July 10, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA

Archbishop John R. Quinn

Archbishop John R. Quinn, sixth archbishop of San Francisco.

Retired San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn, who led the archdiocese from 1977-95 and was internationally known for his leadership on social justice and his scholarly writing on the theme of diversity in a unified global church, died June 22 at age 88, the archdiocese announced.

After a long hospitalization at St. Mary's Medical Center, Archbishop Quinn had moved to the Jewish Home of San Francisco for skilled nursing care less than a week earlier, on June 16.

"He stated several times since his move that he had achieved his goal of leaving the hospital for a new home where he could enjoy the fresh air, trees and the sounds of birds in the early morning," Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone said. "The initial days at Jewish Home had gone extremely well, but Archbishop Quinn experienced difficulties with his breathing early this morning. He was transported to the nearest hospital, but could not be revived. Our hearts are breaking at losing such a great priest and friend."

A vigil for Archbishop Quinn was held July 9 at St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco. The funeral Mass took place at the cathedral on July 10.

Archbishop Quinn served as the sixth Archbishop of San Francisco from April 26, 1977, until Dec. 27, 1995. He was president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1977 to 1980

Throughout his tenure as archbishop, John Raphael Quinn was a fierce social justice advocate who oversaw and at times was buffeted by tumultuous change in the global and local church.

"Archbishop Quinn spoke out with a clear powerful voice on the central issues of the day," said Jeffrey Burns, historian and former archivist for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and former deacon in the Oakland diocese, wrote in an article for Catholic San Francisco in 2009 on the archbishop's 80th birthday. "Truly he was the archbishop with the heart of a deacon."

Catholic San Francisco

Father Francisco V. Vicente, OP

Rev. Francisco V. Vicente, who traveled the world for the Dominican Order but found his home at Most Holy Rosary Parish in Antioch, died peacefully on June 17.

"He belonged to you, the people of this parish," Bishop Emeritus John Cummins told mourners at the June 22 funeral Mass at the Antioch church.

Father Vicente, who was born in Spain, represented the renewal of the great Spanish and Dominican presence in eastern Contra Costa County, Bishop Cummins said.

His presence in the Diocese of Oakland, which began in 1955, was altered by what Bishop Cummins called "the great interruption of 1983," when Father Vicente was asked to go to Rome to serve as Socius to the Master of the Dominican Order in Rome.

Despite the 10-year absence, there was "no loss of connection with this diocese," Bishop Cummins said.

Returning to Holy Rosary as pastor in 1993 was the best gift Father Vicente ever received.

"His whole life was love of people; he never took a day off," Rev. Daniel Syverstad, OP, said in his homily. "Morning to night, non-stop! He baptized, anointed, married, blessed, he comforted them in their sorrows, was with them in their pain and he celebrated with them in their joy."

Father Vicente celebrated weddings and baptisms for those parishioners who were at Holy Rosary when he first arrived, and then for their children — and then for their children.

Father Vicente was born and baptized on April 2, 1919, in Martiago, Salamanca, Spain.

As a boy, his mother took him on occasion to a shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, known as the "Peña de Francia" (The Rock of France). There he was introduced to the friars of the Dominican Order. Father Vicente traced his Dominican vocation back to the friars he met on the top of that mountain.

He entered the Dominican Order at the age of 19. At the request of his provincial, he was sent to the Western Dominican Province in Oakland in 1955 to complete his studies. He was ordained a priest on July 3, 1955, in Salamanca, Spain.

In addition to his service in Antioch, Father Vicente's other principal parishes were St. Peter Martyr in Pittsburg and St. Mary Magdalen in Berkeley.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his ordination, Father Vicente wrote, "I have been blessed so profoundly by God and by the people of God during my 60 years as a priest of Christ Jesus."

Following the funeral Mass, he was buried at St. Dominic's Cemetery in Benicia. Donations in his memory to "www.opwest.org/frvicentememorial" will support the education of future priests and brothers of the Western Dominican Province.

Sister Kay Muzzy, OP

Sister Kay Muzzy, a longtime educator, died June 10 at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 69 years of age and in the 50th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Muzzy, formerly known as Sister Angela Patrice Muzzy, was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan. After graduating from Iron Mountain High School she was graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian, Michigan, and a master of education degree in learning disabilities from Holy Names College (University) in Oakland.

She spent 31 years ministering in education in Illinois, Iowa and New Mexico, where she was a special education teacher for 17½ years. In the Diocese of Oakland she taught at All Saints School in Hayward from 1977 to 1981. In 2000, she became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian.

Sister Muzzy is survived by two brothers, Kenneth Muzzy of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Larry Muzzy of Fort Myers, Florida.

A memorial Mass and ritual of remembering will be celebrated at a date to be arranged. The Rite of Committal will take place in the Congregation cemetery in Michigan.

Sister Mary Brennan, OP

Sister Mary  Brennan, OP, who died June 21 at the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose Motherhouse in Fremont, was remembered for her passion for education, commitment to social justice and her wonderful sense of humor at her funeral held there June 26.

"Mary never stopped wanting life to improve for everyone," Sister Rose Marie Hennessy said in her eulogy, presented before the beginning of Mass.

Her commitment to justice led her to take on the North Coast section for Interscholastic Sports. Public school administrators, coaches and referees had a vote, while the 35 percent of the league that comprised private schools had no vote. After two presentations to the governing body, she was given a vote. In 2000, she received a service award from the organization.

"She had a way about her that was bigger than life," Sister Hennessy said.

Born in San Francisco, Sister Mary Brennan grew up in Oakland where her parents were active members of St. Elizabeth Parish. Her early education was entrusted to the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and to the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. After graduating from St. Elizabeth High School she entered the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose on Sept. 8, 1948. A year later, she received the habit and the name Sister Mary David of St. Joseph. However, her declining health was a cause for concern during her novitiate, and she was asked to leave the congregation.

She did office work, and taught for a year as the first lay teacher at St. Elizabeth Elementary School in Oakland. "Never a person to give up, when she was convinced that God wanted action, her health improved significantly and she applied to return to the Dominican life," Sister Hennessy said.

On Aug. 18, 1952, Mary Brennan began her novitiate year for the second time and made perpetual profession the following year. She then launched a 33-year ministry in teaching and school administration that began in Southern California, where she participated in a teacher exchange program in an effort toward racial integration of staffs in high schools. She returned to her alma mater, St. Elizabeth High School, where she spent 18 years as teacher and principal.

When her years in Catholic school concluded Sister Brennan's passion for education continued through her leadership in CHOICE, with its focus on Catholic Inner City Schools in Oakland; in a ministry of development and work study programs at Marin Catholic High School; counseling at Salesian High School, Richmond; board membership at St. Martin de Porres School, Oakland; and participation in parish and school life at St. Mary Magdalen, Berkeley.

Sister Brennan loved art, drama, music, needlework, science, movies, cooking, the beach, people, politics and a good argument, according to an obituary released by her community.

Burial followed the funeral Mass at the Dominican Sisters Motherhouse in Fremont.

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