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placeholder July 7, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA

Sister Angela Marie Bovo, CSJ

Sister Angela Marie Bovo, CSJ

Sister Angela Marie (Mary Alice) Bovo, a longtime educator who also ministered as a beautician in her later years, died June 12 in Los Angeles at the age of 93.

Mary Alice Bovo was born in Oakland, the seventh of 10 children of Angelina and Antonio Bovo, immigrants from Venice, Italy, who came to the U.S. in search of work. When she was nine years of age her father died suddenly at the age of 42. Her mother, overwhelmed by the loss, had never learned English and who lived far from family, suffered a mental breakdown and was hospitalized for the rest of her life. While her oldest brothers stayed together in the family home, the younger siblings, including Mary Alice, were sent to live in an orphanage and later in foster homes.

While in the fifth grade at the orphanage school, Mary Alice found a role model and vocation in her teacher, Sister Angela, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Mary Alice joined the Carondelet Sisters at age 19. When Mary Alice received her habit in 1940, she chose Angela as her religious name, honoring both her mother and fifth grade teacher.

Sister Angela Marie was an elementary school teacher for 35 years before deciding to change careers to become a beautician. Sister Angela Marie had first been inspired to become a beautician as a girl growing up in the orphanage where she helped the Sisters braid the hair of the younger girls. She enrolled in the Paris Beauty School in Concord and graduated in 1977. For the next 22 years, Sister Angela Marie's cosmetology clients included the homebound elderly, patients in convalescent hospitals, prisoners at the detention facility in Martinez and the poor served by the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

In the years after their mother's breakdown, Sister Angela Marie and her siblings kept track of one another and they remained devoted to their hospitalized mother who died in 1977. Because they knew little about their family's history, Sister Angela Marie (with the support of her superiors) and a couple of siblings traveled to Italy to find their roots. Not only did they discover living relatives, they learned that their mother had been the model of the acclaimed Roberto Ferruzzi painting known as "Madonna of the Streets."

According to the story the artist was so taken at the sight of then 11 year old girl walking down a street carrying her baby brother that he stopped the girl and asked if he could paint her picture. While no one currently knows the whereabouts of the original painting, countless copies of the image have graced prayer cards, greeting cards and the like.

Sister Angela Marie suffered a stroke in 1999 and moved to the Carondelet Center in Los Angeles.

The funeral Mass was held June 18 at the Carondelet Center. Burial took place the following day at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.

Rev. David Tobin, CSSR

Rev. David Tobin, CSSR, familiar to many for his dynamic preaching at parish missions across the country, especially up and down the Pacific Coast, died June 27 after suffering a massive heart attack in Whittier. He was 77 and had been ordained 51 years as a member of Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Watching the priest stride vibrantly to the altar, parishioners knew they were in for a "courteous, kind and impressive message," said Archbishop Emeritus John Quinn of San Francisco. The archbishop remembered the parish mission Father Tobin had given in his own parish many years ago. "He was a great friend," the archbishop continued, "whom I always enjoyed meeting."

Father Tobin was born in Fort Fairchild, Maine, and grew up in Ocean Beach, Calif. with his five siblings. The Carondelet nuns were also in Ocean Beach and they made a lasting impression on the future priest. "They may have inspired his love for statistics, which were peppered throughout almost every one of his conversations," said an obituary released by the Redemptorist's Denver Province.

In 1951 Father Tobin followed his brother, noted social activist Rev. Joseph E. Tobin, CSSR, into the seminary. After ordination to the priesthood in 1963, he taught and worked with young seminarians at Holy Redeemer College in Oakland from 1965 to 1968. During this time, he also ran an energy-packed summer camp on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula. "Families vied with each other to put their youngsters into the program," remembered Rev. Don MacKinnon, CSSR, director of the Kmhmu/Laotian Pastoral and Cultural Center for the Oakland diocese. "He also gave memorable spiritual missions at parishes in Anchorage and Juneau."

The priest, who always had zest for preaching the Word of God, began his long preaching career in 1968 at St. Gerard Parish in Great Falls, Montana. He was assigned to St. Alphonsus Parish in Fresno in 1970, and served as a missionary in California for the next 44 years.

He covered both sensitive and controversial topics during those tumultuous decades, and was so popular that he booked missions three years in advance. He and Rev. Jim Farrell and Rev. Jim Schuster drew crowds of young people to hear their joyous, hard-hitting presentation of Catholic faith. He made lasting impressions on those who heard him preach in Portland, Santa Barbara, Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley and Whittier. Several religious and diocesan priests attributed their vocations to him.

"So many people are suffering needlessly," the Redemptorist priest often said. "They need to hear the Good News: You have been redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. You are a son or daughter of God because Jesus is alive and growing within you."

In recent years Rev. Tobin had been staying at the St. Clement Maria House, the Redemptorist residence in Berkeley.

The funeral Mass was held July 3 at St. Mary's Church in Whittier.

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