DECEMBER 15, 2003
Official newspaper of the Roman Catholic
Diocese of Oakland, California encompassing all of
Alameda &
Contra Costa counties.






Sister Rosemarie Julie Gavin, SNDdeN
Sister Rosemarie Julie Gavin, an educator and administrator at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont (formerly College of Notre Dame) and who served briefly in the Oakland Diocese, died Nov. 23 at the Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland. She was 86 and had been a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for 64 years.

A native of Glendale, Sister Gavin graduated from Notre Dame High School in Alameda and attended the College of Notre Dame from 1935-37 before earning her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned a master’s degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and completed her doctorate in education at Stanford.

She taught in Notre Dame high schools for 15 years, including Notre Dame High in Alameda in 1942. She also taught at schools in Marysville, Belmont, Watsonville and San Jose before joining the faculty at Notre Dame de Namur University in 1952, where she worked as an English teacher, academic dean, vice president for academic affairs, director of the tutorial center, and director of graduate studies. In recognition of her 50 years of service, Gavin Hall, home of the art therapy department and faculty offices, was named for her.

The funeral Mass was held Nov. 30 at the university. Burial was at Mission Cemetery in Santa Clara. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Gavin Endowed Scholarship for Teachers, c/o Office of Development, Notre Dame de Namur University, 1500 Ralston Ave., Belmont, CA 94002 or to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Retirement Fund, 1520 Ralston Ave., Belmont, CA 94002.

Brother Theophane Ke, FSC
Christian Brother Theophane Ke, a former professor and librarian at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, died Nov. 2 in San Jose. He was 89.

Born in Phu-Luong, North Vietnam, he joined the Christian Brothers in 1930. He was a teacher of classical languages, music and theology at the primary, secondary and university levels there.

Following the fall of Saigon in 1975, he fled Vietnam in a small boat, which traveled across the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. aircraft carrier Denver picked him up and took him to the Philippines. He eventually arrived in Arkansas. Later that year he joined the Christian Brothers at St. Mary’s College in Moraga where he taught classical languages and served as assistant librarian until he retired in 1998. He also worked as a tutor until shortly before his death. He taught for a total of 62 years.

The funeral Mass was held Nov. 7 at Mont La Salle in Napa.

Father John Joseph Klaia, OP
Dominican Father John Joseph Klaia, a former pastor at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Berkeley, died Nov. 14 at age 79.

A native of Lancaster, New York, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1952 as a member of the Dominican Order. He served as pastor at St. Mary Magdalen Parish from 1964-67 and was also assigned there from 1957-59 and 1975-78. Elected prior at St. Albert Priory in Oakland in 1979, he was also a former superior at St. Dominic Parish in Benicia and a pastor at St. Dominic Parish in San Francisco.

The funeral Mass was held Nov. 20 at St. Dominic Church in San Francisco. Burial was at St. Dominic Cemetery in Benicia. Memorial gifts may be made to Father John Joseph Klaia Scholarship Fund, Western Dominican Province, 5877 Birch Ct., Oakland, CA 94618.

Father Wayne Maro, CPPS
Precious Blood Father Wayne Maro, a former associate pastor at St. Edward Parish in Newark, died Dec. 1 in Claremont after battling cancer and myasthenia gravis. He was 54.

Born in San Jose, Father Maro attended the University of California, San Jose State, and the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley. Ordained to the priesthood in 1986 as a member of the Society of the Precious Blood, he served as an associate pastor in Manteca before being assigned to the same position at St. Edward Parish in Newark, where he worked for over a year. He became a campus minister at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont and then assumed the position of Catholic chaplain at The Claremont Colleges in Claremont. He was also active in peace and justice ministries of his congregation.

Survivors include his father, Frank Maro, his brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew.

The funeral Mass was held Dec. 4 at Sacred Heart Parish in San Jose and a memorial service was held Dec. 11 at Garrison Theater, Scripps College Performing Arts Center in Claremont. A private burial will be held at Santa Clara Cemetery.

Sister Francis Eileen McDonald, OP
Sister Francis Eileen McDonald, a former principal at St. Louis Bertrand School in Oakland, died Nov. 26 at age 97. She was in the 77th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

The Los Angeles native earned her bachelor of arts degree in history from Siena Heights College in Adrian, Mich., and a master of arts degree in history from DePaul University in Chicago. She served as principal at St. Louis Bertrand from 1958-64. She also worked as a teacher at St. Lawrence O’Toole School in Oakland from 1953-58 and at St. Brendan School in San Francisco. She spent a total of 50 years as a teacher at schools in California, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico.

After retiring in 1976, Sister McDonald moved to Adrian, Mich., where she volunteered her services. She entered the Dominican Life Center there in 1995.

The funeral Mass was held Dec. 1 with burial following in the Congregation’s cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Dr., Adrian, Mich., 49221.

Brother S. Francis Verngren, FSC
Christian Brother S. Francis Verngren, a former teacher at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley (1959-69), died Dec. 2 in Napa. He was 85 and had been a member of the De La Salle Christian Brothers for 67 years.

Born in Hood River, Oregon, Brother Verngren left a legacy of 62 years as a teacher in Berkeley, San Francisco (St. Peter High School and Sacred Heart High School), Napa (Justin-Siena High School) and Reedley (St. La Salle Elementary School). He also served as a coach, administrator, and librarian.

He was inducted into the Sacred Heart-Cathedral Preparatory Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993 for his “outstanding athletic achievements” while serving there. The John Hopkins University also honored him for “exemplary work in the field of education.” Although he retired at the Holy Family Community in Napa in 1989 he continued to tutor and teach at a local elementary school until full retirement in 2002.

The funeral Mass was held Dec. 6 at Mont La Salle in Napa. Burial followed in the Brothers Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lasallian Education Fund, De La Salle Institute, 4401 Redwood Road, Napa, CA