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placeholder March 28, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA

Rev. Domingos Jaques

Rev. Domingos Jaques, a former pastor of St. Ambrose Parish in Berkeley, died Feb. 22 at the age of 98.

Father Jaques was born and reared in Cuncolim Salcete, Goa, India. He was ordained in 1947 at the seminary in Goa. From 1947 to 1955, he ministered there. From 1956 to 1963 he served in Angola as a missionary and assistant pastor.

He came to the Diocese of Oakland in 1963 and served as an associate pastor at Holy Ghost Parish (now called Holy Spirit Parish), in Fremont; All Saints in Hayward; St. Paul in San Pablo; and Our Lady of Grace in Castro Valley. He spent 20 years (1975 to 1995) as pastor at St. Ambrose Parish in Berkeley.

In a reflection on the priesthood in 2007, Father Jaques wrote about his love for the faith community, and how he had a special empathy for those who were sick and bedridden. When he learned that the homebound members of the Berkeley parish were not receiving Meals on Wheels on the weekends, he started a committee of volunteers to provide meals on Sunday. The ministry, now called Sunday Homebound Meals, continues to this day.

"During all my priestly life, no matter where I was assigned, I took care of the elderly and sick, with sincere affection and I could very much feel their return of love for me," he wrote.

Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, presided at the funeral Mass on Feb. 26 at St. James the Apostle Church in Fremont. Rev. Nick Reina, SDB, preached at the Mass and Very Rev. George Mockel, vicar general of the diocese, performed the committal services at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.

Sister Mary Helena SanFilippo, RSM

Sister Mary Helena SanFilippo, a former development director at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland, died March 3, 10 days before her 87th birthday. Her identical twin sister, Rose Marie SanFilippo Meany, died four months earlier.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Sister SanFilippo grew up in Los Angeles and attended local Catholic schools before graduating from Catholic Girls High School in 1946. The following year she joined the Sisters of Mercy in Burlingame, and professed her vows in 1950. For the next 16 years she taught at Catholic schools in San Francisco and Santa Fe Springs.

In 1972, after graduating with a doctoral degree in American history, Sister SanFilippo became a faculty member at Russell College in Burlingame where she taught and mentored young sisters during their training period. She also served as academic dean at Russell College.

She responded to a call for volunteer sisters by the National Federation of Mercy Sisters in the 1980s to serve the poor in Appalachia. For the next nine years she along with three other sisters ministered to the people in Richlands, Virginia. During her time there Sister SanFilippo opened the Tri-County Health Clinic in Richlands in 1992. In appreciation for her efforts, three years later a grateful community presented her with the Citizen of the Year award. She was also honored with the Governor's Award for Volunteering Excellence for founding the clinic, which still serves the community.

Sister SanFilippo returned to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995 and was appointed development director for Mercy Retirement and Care Center, a position she held for five years. She also worked in the Mercy Community archives and served as adjunct professor of American history at Chabot College.

"During her very productive life, Sister Mary Helena was educator, academic, administrator and social worker with a warm and caring manner toward all those to whom she ministered and a generous, joyful presence to her Sisters in community," according to a tribute from her sister community.

She is survived by her nephew, Dan Meany, and nieces Angelina Meany and Rebecca Miraglia, their families and other relatives.

The funeral Mass was held March 9 at the Mercy Chapel in Burlingame; burial followed at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma.

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