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placeholder February 8, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA

Sister M. Joanna Connolly, SHF

Sister M. Joanna Connolly, SHF, a former teacher, hospice minister and story teller, died peacefully at the Holy Family Sisters' Motherhouse in Fremont on Jan. 18. She was 101 years old.

She was born in Los Angeles on March 4, 1914, and named Barbara Margaret Connolly. She joined the Sisters of the Holy Family at the age of 19 in 1934.

Sister Joanna served in various parishes in California until she was sent to Hawaii in August 1955. From then until her health required a return to California in 2001, she served in the parishes and missions of Hawaii.

In addition to her assigned ministries, Sister Joanna was a volunteer teacher in English as a Second Language and in hospice ministry.

The Saturday after her death, her family and many friends gathered for a celebration of her life. "Many people shared memories of her kindness, generosity and sense of humor," said Sister Aurora Perez, a close friend. "I loved her passion for life, thirst for knowledge and hunger to reflect the love of God to everyone she met."

The funeral Mass took place Jan. 23 in the Holy Family Motherhouse in Fremont. Interment will be at a later date at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma.

Deacon Jorge Lara

After a courageous seven-year batter with cancer, Deacon Jorge Lara, a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Oakland, died Jan. 28 at his home in Union City surrounded by his loving family. He was 62.

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, he married the love of his life and partner of 40 years, Gloria Gonzalez, at Maria Reparadora Church in Mexico City in 1975. He studied bookkeeping and worked as manager of administration and finances for a federally run community college system in Mexico until 1988, when he moved to Fremont.

In the United States, Deacon Lara worked as a construction laborer, but his true vocation was serving Jesus as a deacon for His Church. Ordained in 2000, Deacon Lara faithfully served the community of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (formerly St. Leonard-Santa Paula) in Fremont.

He leaves his wife Gloria; daughter Leslie and her husband Mario of Fremont; his daughter Alexandra and her children Eliana and Joaquin of Lawndale; his son Jorge of Fremont; and, his daughter Gloria of Union City. He is also survived by his mother Esther; his brothers Alfredo, Carlos, Miguel and Ignacio; and his sisters Rosa, Maria and Lucy; as well as several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

The funeral was held Feb. 2 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and burial was at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.

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