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Sister Barbara Anderson, SL

Sister Evangela Balde, OP

Rev. Gene Wilson, CPPS

Help honor your outstanding

placeholder April 17, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 8    •   Oakland, CA

Sister Barbara Anderson, SL

Sister Barbara Anderson, a longtime director of religious education who also ministered as support staff in social work and as a teacher, died March 8 at the Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary. She was 87 and in her 48th year as a Sister of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross.

Sister Anderson was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she attended public schools and was graduated from Technical High School in 1947. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1951 from American International College in Springfield, and with a master's degree in religious education from Hartford Seminary Foundation in Hartford, Connecticut. After graduation she began a career as director of Christian education in the Protestant tradition, serving as DRE for Methodist churches in Michigan and for Congregational churches in Massachusetts and in Orinda. She graduated with a master's degree in religious education from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968.

She joined the Catholic Church in July 1968, and in September of that year joined the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross from Holy Spirit/Newman Hall Parish in Berkeley. She made her first vows in 1971 and her final vows in 1977. Between her first and final vows she graduated with a master's in rehabilitation counseling in 1973 from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Then in 1989 she received a doctoral degree in ministry from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

She once wrote about her commitment to be a woman religious, "In becoming a Sister, I saw the opportunity of coming together in a total Christian commitment to Christ, the Church and the world, with other women of the same mind."

From 1968 to 1978 she served as a teacher in California and Missouri; after receiving her degree in rehabilitation counseling she worked in Tucson; worked with retirees at Loretto Motherhouse; and served the broader Loretto Community as a member of the Loretto Work Development Staff.

From 1989 to 1995, Sister Anderson was a member of the support staff of the Berkeley-based Pacific School of Religion. After retiring from full-time work, she served as sacristan at Holy Spirit/Newman Hall Parish in Berkeley.

Sister Anderson later moved to the St. Louis Loretto Center, where she served as sacristan from 2006 to 2012. In 2012 she moved to the Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary, where she carried out a ministry of prayer and presence until her death.

Burial was in the Loretto Cemetery at the Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Kentucky.

Sister Evangela Balde, OP

Sister Evangela Balde, OP, who spent 43 years as a Catholic school teacher and principal, died March 21. She was 92.

Born Juliette Mary Balde in San Francisco, she was baptized at Mission Dolores. Her early education was in the city's public school system and with the Sisters of the Holy Family on Saturdays. In junior high she transferred to St. James Parochial School, beginning her formal education with the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. After graduating from Immaculate Conception Academy in 1942, she entered the postulancy at Mission San Jose and eventually graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Queen of the Holy Rosary College in Fremont.

She professed her first vows in August 1944 as Sister Evangela Balde of the Sacred Heart and, in 1947, began 43 years as a Catholic educator. "Sister was a creative teacher, mentor and administrator," according to an obituary written by her community. "Her wonderfully upbeat personality, the twinkle in her eye and the mischief in her smile endeared her to her students and colleagues alike."

Sister Balde was called by her community to the Motherhouse in 1990 to serve as secretary general and congregational archivist. She served in that capacity until 2012 when she began mentoring her successor and then served as assistant archivist until her death.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held April 3 in the Dominican Sisters' Chapel in Fremont.

Rev. Gene Wilson, CPPS

Rev. Gene R. Wilson, CPPS, who served as an associate pastor at St. Barnabas Parish in Alameda and at St. Edward Parish in Newark, died March 30 of heart failure at Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky, Ohio. He was 88.

Born in Charleston, West Virginia, Father Wilson's family later moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he was raised. He joined the Missionaries of the Precious Blood in 1950. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1960.

After spending two years in parish ministry in Cleveland, Father Wilson attended Catholic University of America where he studied library science. A lifelong learner, he completed his coursework at other institutions.

Father Wilson briefly served as librarian at his congregation's high school seminary near Canton, Ohio, before returning to parish ministry. He served at parishes in Detroit, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. In the Diocese of Oakland he served as associate pastor at St. Barnabas from 1991 to 1994 and again from 2001 to 2002. He also served in the same position at St. Edward Parish in Newark from 1995 to 2000.

He was also a member of the formation team for the Province of the Pacific. He returned to Ohio in 2006 and resumed parish ministry there.

Survivors include two sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews.

The funeral Mass was held at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio, on April 3. Burial followed in Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland.

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