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placeholder June 13, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA

Rev. Alexander Manville, OFM

Rev. Alexander Manville, OFM, a Franciscan priest for 66 years, died April 29 at Eden Hospital in Castro Valley. He was 89.

Born in Santa Monica, he first entered the archdiocesan seminary and then transferred to St. Anthony's Seminary. He was invested in the habit on July 14, 1948, with novitiate at Mission San Miguel. Later he was ordained by Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Manning at Mission Santa Barbara on Dec. 19, 1953.

He taught at several high schools administered by his community, including St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland.

Friar Manville is best remembered as pastor of Sts. Simon & Jude in Huntington Beach, 1982-1994. In 2001, he had a severe automobile accident on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and spent several years recuperating. He moved to Oakland's Mercy Care and Retirement Center in 2002 and died in Castro Valley surrounded by friars and his classmate, Friar Barnabas Hughes.

Friar Alex was a colorful person with a renaissance nature, and loved both reading historical works and classical music. He was a great addition to the community and to the Province, with numerous anecdotes of his heroic past deeds and sure-fire plans for the future of the Province.

The funeral Mass was held at Sts. Simon & Jude.

Sister Mary Declan Foss, OP

Sister Mary Declan Foss OP, an Adrian Dominican Sister for 67 years, died May 21 in Adrian, Michigan. She was 95 years of age.

Sister Foss, formerly known as Geraldine Foss, was born in Toledo, Ohio. She graduated from St. Ursula Academy in Toledo, and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in biology and a bachelor of science degree in education from Mary Manse College in Toledo, and a master of education degree from DePaul University in Chicago.

Sister Foss spent 27½-years ministering as an educator in Michigan, Chicago and Ohio. She served as an elementary school teacher at St. Louis Bertrand in Oakland from 1962-1963.

She also served as a religious education coordinator; worked in environmental services; as an assistant at her convent in Utica, Michigan; and as a recreational therapist in Ohio. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan, in 1993, where she volunteered her services for 12 years.

Sister Mary Declan is survived by loving nieces and nephews.

The funeral Mass was held May 26 in the Dominican Life Center in Adrian. The Rite of Committal followed in the Congregation cemetery.

Sister Mary Henry Williges, OP

Sister Mary Henry Williges, OP, a gifted educator who taught primary grade students from 1948 to 1966 in both Northern and Southern California, died May 18. She was 90.

A native of San Francisco who was named Claire Marie Theresa, Sister Williges was baptized at St. Anthony's Parish in The City. After graduating from Immaculate Conception Academy in the Mission District she worked for six years before joining the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose in 1943.

She spent 16 years at St. Vincent School for Boys in San Rafael, where according to the obituary released by her congregation, she spent her energies "inspiring often reluctant learners with a love of discovery and problem solving in the field of science."

Her love of teaching led her to develop and teach after school courses for science instructors in San Francisco. She also wrote the book, "Teaching Science on a Shoestring Budget."

Assigned to the Motherhouse in Fremont in 1982, Sister Williges again took on the role of science consultant. At the same time she developed a craft department, that was used later to produce ceramic items for sale at the Dominican Sisters Holiday Boutique.

During this period Sister Williges persuaded the frail, elderly Sisters, residing at the Motherhouse's St. Martin Community to become involved with the annual boutique by making sale items themselves for their own booth. "Sister's creativity developed projects that every sister could contribute to, no matter her limitations," said the congregation obituary.

In 2008, as her own health began to decline and she became a member of St. Martin's community where "her joyful, self-giving, awe-filled spirit continued to bless those with whom she lived as well as those who cared for her."

The funeral Mass was held May 24 in the Dominican Sisters' Chapel in Fremont. Interment occurred the following day in God's Acre at the Motherhouse.

Sister M. Josepha Baumann, SHF

Sister M. Josepha Baumann, SHF, died May 21 at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Holy Family in Fremont. She was 95.

Born in San Francisco, Sister Baumann joined the Sisters of the Holy Family from St. Peter's Parish there at the age of 19. Her first assignments were in day homes operated by the Sisters of the Holy Family in San Francisco and Oakland. From 1953 to 1961 she taught religion at various parishes in the diocese of Fresno, and worked in St. Genevieve Chinese Nursery School. Her love of the Chinese people and culture stems from that time, according to the congregation obituary which noted that "every year she distributed red envelopes to all the Sisters in honor of the Chinese New Year."

Later Sister Baumann served in Las Vegas, Reno, Mt. Shasta, and parishes of the Oakland diocese. She also served one year doing visual arts for retreats at the Sisters' House of Prayer in Marin County. Then for 11 years she coordinated the annual SHF Boutique at the Motherhouse in Fremont. She volunteered from 1989 to 1994 at Callison Day Home in Fremont, and then spent the remainder of her life in community ministry at the Motherhouse.

Proud of her Swiss heritage, Sister Baumann claimed the edelweiss as her favorite flower. She was also an expert at crafting crepe paper flowers that looked fresh enough to be glistening with dew.

The funeral Mass was held May 31 at the Holy Family Motherhouse in Fremont. Interment followed at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma on June 1.

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