|November 6, 2017 • VOL. 55, NO. 19 • Oakland, CA|
Rev. Anthony Dummer, OMI
Sister Betty Shields, SNJM
Sister Betty Shields, also known as Sister Michele Therese, died Oct. 4 in Saratoga after battling cancer. She was 74 and had been a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for 53 years.
Sister Shields, born in Chicago, was 2 when her family moved to Alhambra, where she attended Catholic school with her siblings. She entered the congregation in 1961, and later graduated with a bachelor's degree in art from Holy Names University and a master's degree in Early Childhood Education with Montessori certification and training from Notre Dame University in Belmont.
During her years as an educator she taught at a number of parish schools conducted by her community including those in San Anselmo, Ocean Park, San Francisco, Venice, Los Gatos, Monterey Park, Alhambra and San Jose. In the Diocese of Oakland, she taught at St. Theresa in Oakland and St. Bede in Hayward.
"Sister Betty was an educator par excellence," according to an obituary that appeared on Legacy.com. "From inviting children at Casa Maria Montessori (Los Gatos) to find their 'heart space,' to the profound respect she showed to each person, Sister Betty was able to draw out the best and holiest in each child and each person she met. She was an educator of educators, mentoring numerous teachers with her wise teaching methodologies."
Survivors include her brothers, John, Tom and Don, and her sister, Mary Harkins, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral Mass was held Oct. 12 at St. Mary Church in Los Gatos. Burial took place the following day at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.
Sister Nicole Nguyen Thahn, DC
Sister Nicole Nguyen Thahn, a beloved teacher and social worker who served the Vietnamese community, died Oct. 17 in Los Altos Hills. She was 93 years of age and had been a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul for 76 years.
Born in Cholon, Vietnam, Sister Nicole attended high school in Saigon and entered the community at age 16. She was sent to Los-Lez-Lille, France, in 1950 where she received a bachelor of science degree in home economics. Upon returning to Saigon she taught nutrition, sewing and infant and child care to women living in poverty. She also helped in an orphanage for Vietnamese and Amerasian infants sponsored by her community.
In 1971, she founded Regina Pacis, the first women's junior college in Saigon. Eventually the U.S. Department of Education sent her to Washington, DC, to learn more about college administration. After the fall of Saigon in 1975 she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, attended San Jose State University and graduated with a master's degree in social work.
In 1975, Sister Nicole was assigned to Rosemead in Southern California where scores of refugees from Vietnam had settled. After leaving Rosemead in 1980 she served as an immigration counselor at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara. The following year she became a U.S. citizen. She moved to Hayward in 1991 and served the Vietnamese elderly as part of the Diocese of Oakland's Ethnic Pastoral and Cultural Ministries Centers.
In 2005 she moved to Lynwood, California, where she worked in a program that provided shoes for children. She moved to Los Altos Hills in 2012 where she resided until her death.
The funeral Mass was held Oct. 25 at St. William Catholic Church in Los Altos. Interment was at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos the following day.
Rev. Anthony Herrera
Rev. Anthony Herrera, a priest of the Diocese of Oakland who most recently served as parochial vicar at St. Theresa Parish in Oakland, died Oct. 25. He was 58.
A native of Hayward, Father Herrera was a graduate of Moreau Catholic High School. He attended Saint Mary's College in Moraga briefly before going to work in the catering business. He completed his college studies at St. Joseph College Seminary and attended St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park for one year. Then he went to teach in a southern California high school, worked as a laborer in Montana, and then became a chef and food adviser in northern California before returning to St. Patrick to complete his seminary studies.
Ordained to the priesthood on May 24, 1991 at St. Bede Church in Hayward, Father Herrera served as pastor at St. Columba Parish in Oakland (1998-99); parochial administrator at St. Barnabas in Alameda (2004-08); temporary parochial administrator at St. Joseph Basilica Parish in Alameda (2007-08); and as parochial vicar at All Saints Parish in Hayward and the Catholic Community of Pleasanton. He also had been a chaplain at Moreau Catholic High School.
In 2016, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his priestly ordination, the priest recalled being fascinated by the personalities of the priests at his parish throughout his youth. Ultimately it was his parents, especially his father who said "to 'always be open to what God wants us to be' that brought me to my life as a priest."
In that reflection Father Herrera went on to say that "Many times, over the course of the last 25 years, I have been touched by the presence of God at weddings, baptisms and in bringing someone to the faith just before death. My medical challenges coupled with life in parish ministry have given me hope and opportunities to recognize God at work around me. Every day is an opportunity to exercise my faith and give witness to who I am as a man of faith."
A vigil was scheduled for Nov. 5 at St. St. Theresa Parish, Oakland, with a funeral Mass at 2 p.m. Nov. 6 at All Saints Parish, 2284 Second St., Hayward.
back to top
|Copyright © 2017 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.|