Mary Rose Cordileone, the mother of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, died May 8 shortly after suffering a stroke. She was 90.
Archbishop Cordileone flew to San Diego from Lourdes, France, where he was making a pilgrimage with the Knights of Malta, and was able to be with her in the hours before she died, as were her three other children.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated May 12 by Archbishop Cordileone, with many bishops and priests concelebrating, at Blessed Sacrament Church in San Diego, the church where she was married to her husband Leon in 1949, where her four children attended religious education classes and where she remained active until suffering her stroke.
"You have all given our mother a fitting tribute to send her onto God," her four children wrote in the program for her funeral Mass, thanking all those who supported her at the parish and in the community and all those who contributed to a music-filled celebratory Mass of Christian Burial.
"She exuded sweetness and tenderness, was filled with faith and thrived among all of you, her family and friends. She loved to say — and many of you have heard her repeat it often — 'am I blessed or am I blessed?' Even in her last days in the hospital, although she could not speak, she showed this gratitude with her eyes, even in the midst of her suffering, when she saw her four children together with her. Because of her we too, can say, 'Are we blessed or are we blessed?'"
Mrs. Cordileone was a full-time wife, mother and homemaker for most of her life. She was an avid bowler and in her later years she enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. "She was loved by everyone who knew her," her family said.
Mrs. Cordileone was born Mary Giardina in 1923 in Buffalo, N.Y., the oldest of four girls born to Sicilian immigrants Sam and Theresa Giardina. In 1947, when she was 23, she moved to San Diego and worked for Challenge Dairy. She married Leon, a World War II Navy veteran who had gone into business with his three brothers as a commercial albacore fisherman, on Nov. 13, 1949. Leon, who was born in San Francisco to Sicilian immigrants, died at age 86 in 2005 after 55 years of marriage, but the couple was able to attend together their son Salvatore's ordination as auxiliary bishop of San Diego in 2002.
Mrs. Cordileone is survived by three sisters, Angie LaRosa (Tony) and Connie Borsellino (Gino) of El Cajon and Joanne Czarnecki (Tom) of Santee; four children, Maria Scourten (Mike) of Flower Mound, Texas, Ben Cordileone (LuAnn) of Longmont, Colo., Archbishop Cordileone and Theresa Cordileone of Boise, Idaho; 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Burial took place at Holy Cross Cemetery, San Diego.
Brother M. Don Bosco Tardy
Brother M. Don Bosco Tardy, a former pastoral minister and chaplain in Concord, died April 26 in Fresno. He was 79 and a religious for over 60 years.
A native of Dubuque, Iowa, Brother Don served as director of the Brothers of Our Lady of Peace in Visalia for 10 years. He also spent nearly a decade in Thailand as a teacher and formation director at Our Lady of Fatima Seminary.
In the Oakland Diocese Brother Don was in ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Parish for 13 years. He served as chaplain to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Court De LaSalle 1934 in Concord for several years.
The funeral Mass was held May 3 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Concord. Burial followed at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette.
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