Sister M. Helen Hansen, SHF
Sister M. Helen Hansen, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Family for 65 years, died July 2 at the Motherhouse in Fremont. She was 98.
Sister Hansen was born in Moab, Missouri, and joined the Holy Family Sisters from St. Lawrence O'Toole Parish in Oakland. She spent a number of years teaching in the dioceses of Monterey, Fresno and Texas. Later in life she returned to the Fremont Motherhouse where she helped tend the sick and homebound in the infirmary.
A staunch advocate for peace on earth, Sister Hansen encouraged everyone she met to pray for peace. She was also a creative soul who crafted soft-sculpture dolls and she wrote and illustrated a series of children's books.
The funeral Mass was held July 7 at the Motherhouse Chapel in Fremont.
Sister Joseph Mary Galli, RSM
Sister Joseph Mary Galli, who brought comfort and peace to the patients and staff at St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco for over three decades, died June 8 in Oakland. This year she marked her 65th year as a Sister of Mercy. She was 89.
Irma Galli was born and raised in Switzerland through the Great Depression and World War II. She received her calling to religious life at an early age. She was 4 years old when she first saw two nuns with some children. She told her mother, "When I grow up, I want to be like them," according to the obituary supplied by her community.
Irma and her family moved to San Francisco in 1949. She joined the Sisters of Mercy in Burlingame in July 1954 and chose Sister Joseph Mary as her religious name. She professed her vows in January 1957.
Among her assignments, Sister Joseph Mary spent 33 years in ministry at St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco. She initially served as a sacristan and patient visitor and eventually became a chaplain in the hospital's pastoral services department. Her special ministry was to Italian-speaking patients. Often Sister could be found on night duty, moving through the hospital corridors with her walkie-talkie, looking for those who needed a comforting presence.
In 2003 Sister Joseph Mary moved to Marian Oaks in Burlingame, the Sisters' retirement home, where she continued her life of prayer and presence to her community sisters. Declining health prompted a move in 2012 to Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland.
"She will be remembered for her unique use of the English language, deep prayerfulness, untiring compassion for the sick and dying, concern for the poor and cheerful community presence," said the congregation's obituary.
Sister Joseph Mary is survived by her sister, Mary Boscacci, her nephews Eugene and Joseph Boscacci, other relatives and friends.
The funeral Mass was held June 16; she is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Sister Jean Denomme, OP
Sister Jean Denomme, formerly known as Sister Jean Bernard Denomme, died July 29 in Philadelphia. She was 83 and in the 64th year of her religious profession.
Sister Denomme was born in Detroit and educated in Detroit and Adrian, Michigan. She graduated with her master's degree in education from the University of San Francisco, She spent 11 years as a teacher in California. In the Oakland Diocese she was a teacher at St. Lawrence O'Toole Elementary School from 1951 to 1959 and at Bishop O'Dowd High from 1959 to 1962, both in Oakland. She also taught at two Congregation Institutes in Illinois and spent 22 years at schools in Detroit and in various other work.
Survivors include a sister, Beverly Gattari of Michigan, and a brother, Michael Denomme of New Jersey.
The funeral Mass was held at St. Catherine Chapel in Adrian, Michigan, followed by burial in the congregation cemetery.
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