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placeholder March 6, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 5   •   Oakland, CA

Sister Barbara Williams, SNJM

Sister Barbara Williams, SNJM, an educator who was also called to walk with others in their journey with God, came face-to-face with God herself Jan. 12 at the age of 90. She had just celebrated her 68th year of religious profession as a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

Sister Williams found great joy in being an educator, according to an obituary shared by her religious community. She spent 13 years as an elementary school teacher. In the Diocese of Oakland, she taught at Sacred Heart School, second grade from 1948 to 1949; St. Francis de Sales School in Oakland, grades 4, 5 and 6 from 1952 to 1954; Our Lady of Lourdes School, grade 7 from 1954 to 1956; St. Augustine, grade 7 from 1957 to 1958; Holy Names High School, 1962 to 1967; and Holy Names University, 1967 to 1986 and 1987 to 1992, all in the city of Oakland.

Sister Williams also served at schools in Kentfield and San Francisco.

As part of her journeying with others she served as spiritual director for the Institute of Spirituality and Worship and the School of Applied Theology during the 1980s and 1990s. In the 2000s, she was spiritual director for the 19th Annotation — an Ignatian Retreat with parishioners at St. Joseph Basilica Parish in Alameda.

She also journeyed with others as a facilitator of Christian Life Communities at Holy Names University, in being part of the SNJM Retreat Team, in her spiritual direction with countless individuals, and most recently in leading the 19th Annotation at Merrill Gardens in Campbell, a senior living community where a number of Holy Names Sisters reside.

"Sister Barbara will be remembered for her keen intellect, profound faith, depth of knowledge of spirituality, her laughter, her love of family and her gentle and loving presence," read the remembrance from her community.

She is survived by nieces, Monica Wilcox, Margaret Williams, Andrea Nelson, Roberta Williams, and nephew, Peter Williams, as well as other relatives.

The funeral Mass took place Feb. 19 at Holy Spirit Chapel in Campbell; burial was Feb. 21 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.

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