Rev. Vladimir Kozina
Rev. Vladimir Kozina, the first priest after Vatican II to celebrate the Tridentine (Latin) Mass under indult by then Bishop John S. Cummins in the state of California, died April 2 at the age of 95.
Born in Zapotok, Slovenia, Father Kozina was unable to be ordained in his home country because the Communist government did not sanction it. Instead, he left the country and was ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 1945 in Anras, Austria. He moved to San Francisco in 1949 to serve in the archdiocese.
In California he was assigned to parishes in Stockton, Lodi and San Francisco. In the Oakland diocese he served as an associate pastor at St. Clement Parish in Hayward and at Corpus Christi Parish in Piedmont. He was pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood from 1968 to 1984 and he was pastor at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Oakland, 1984 to 1994. He retired from active ministry in 1994.
In his book, "Communism As I Know it," Father Kozina recounted the religious persecution of Catholics by the Communist government in Slovenia and the tragic toll suffered by his family. Both of the priest's parents, as well as a disabled brother, were killed because the family defied government orders to abandon their religion and to turn in Father Kozina, who was preparing to become a priest. He also wrote a book called "Slovenia: The Land of My Sorrow, and My Joy."
Emeritus Bishop John S. Cummins, who spoke at the funeral, recalled that Father Kozina was the last of a handful of Catholic priests who because of religious persecution were sent into exile from eastern European countries and settled in the Oakland diocese.
The funeral Mass (Memorial Requiem High Mass) was celebrated on April 9 at St. Margaret Mary Church in Oakland. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, offered the homily for the Mass.
Rev. Pedro Ottonello, OAD
Rev. Pedro Ottonello, a retired priest who served as a regular supply priest at Oakland's St. Margaret Mary Church, at parishes in the San Jose diocese, as well as the Carmelite Monastery in Canyon, died March 28. He was 90.
Father Ottonello was born on May 24, 1923, in Genoa, Italy, went to the seminary, which was under the Augustinian Order at the age of 10. According to the website of the Traditional Mass Society of San Francisco, he left Genoa to be a missionary in Venezuela and would eventually spend close to 30 years as a missionary in Ecuador. His ministry work then brought him to California.
Bishop Patrick McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose, appointed Father Ottonello to serve as chaplain for the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Santa Clara in 2007. The oratory, under the sponsorship of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, has since moved to a different location and was renamed the Oratory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The funeral Mass (Solemn High Requiem Mass) for Father Ottonello was held April 5 at St. Margaret Mary Church in Oakland. Burial followed at St. Mary's Cemetery in Oakland.
back to top