"They whom we love and lose

are no longer where they were before,

they are now wherever we are."

~ St. John Chrysostom


Sister Helen O'Sullivan, SNJM

November 11, 1927 - January 4, 2018

Sister Helen O’Sullivan, SNJM (Sister Mary Margaret of the Sacred Heart) entered into eternal life on January 4, 2018.  She was 90 years old and a professed Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for 70 years.

Sister Helen was in elementary schools for all 46 years of her ministry in education. In schools she served as music teacher, girls coach, classroom teacher and principal. She taught at Marylrose (Oakland), Saint Gregory (Los Angeles), Saint Mary (Los Angeles), All Souls (Alhambra), Saint Augustine (Oakland), Saint Cecilia (San Frnacisco), Saint Monica (Santa Monica), Ramona Convent (Alhambra), Saint Anastasia (Los Angeles), Saint Andrew (Pasadena), Saint Anthony (San Gabriel) and Saint Gerard Majella (Los Angeles). For over 23 years Helen ministered at Villa Maria del Mar in Santa Cruz with her gracious hospitality.

Sister Helen loved her family and was a faithful friend. She is survived my nephews, nieces, grand-nieces, grand-nephews. 

She was a woman of the arts; she sought and created beauty through music, flower arranging and in the gardens created and lovingly tended at Villa Maria del Mar. We remember the twinkle in her eye, her quick quip, her love of travel and love of British dramas on PBS, perhaps from her background in theater and drama.

Gifts in her memory may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 907, Los Gatos, CA 95031 or on-line at www.snjmca.org.


Sister Betty Shields, SNJM

November 15, 1942 - October 4, 2017

Teaching has been my passion, joy and fun in life.
As a teacher there is nothing like seeing the "light go on,"
connections made or looking into the beauty of a
child's eyes or being part of bringing about the full
development of the human person.
Sister Betty Shields, 2001

Sister Betty Shields, (Sister Michele Therese), began her forever journey after a noble battle with cancer.  Sister Betty’s life was characterized by her gentleness, unfailing trust in her God and love of children. She was 74 years old and celebrated 53 years of profession as a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

Sister Betty was an educator par excellence. 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 draw out the best and the holiest in each child and each person she met. She was an educator of educators, mentoring numerous teachers with her wise teaching methodologies.

She shared her presence and gifts at Saint Anselm (San Anselmo), Saint Clement (Ocean Park), Saint Cecilia (San Francisco), Saint Mark (Venice), Casa Maria Montessori (Los Gatos), Saint Stephen (Monterey Park), Saint Theresa (Oakland), Saint Bede (Hayward), Saint Theresa (Alhambra), Saint Christopher (San Jose) and Saint Mary (Los Gatos).

She is survived by her brothers, John (Vui), Tom (Claudia) and Don, and her sister, Mary Harkins, and many nieces and nephews. She is remembered with great love and respect by the Sisters and Associates of the Holy Names.

The Mass of Resurrection for Sister Betty will be on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 3:30 pm at Saint Mary Church, 219 Bean Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030. Her burial will be at 10:15 am on Friday, October 13, 2017 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Hayward, California.

Gifts in her memory may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 907, Los Gatos, CA, 95031 or on-line at www.snjmca.org.


Sister Mary Berchmans Trentacoste (Rosalie Trentacoste)

March 16, 1931 - April 15, 2017

To be a missionary has been the
only desire of my life and everything else
has always been geared to this end.
In a way, I will never fully understand
my vocation as a Holy Names Sister
or feel like a complete person
unless it reaches fruition.
          ~Sister Mary Berchmans, 1963

Sister Mary Berchmans (Rosalie Trentacoste) waited until Holy Saturday, April 15, 2017, to make her entrance into heaven. Perhaps so she could add her voice to the heavenly Alleluias. Sister Mary Berchmans was 86 years old and celebrated 61 years of profession as a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

For five years, at the start of her religious life, Sister Berchmans was an educator at Saint Anthony (San Gabriel), Ramona Convent Secondary School (Alhambra) and Saint Mary (Los Angeles).

Sister Berchmans, from a young age, was drawn to missionary life and to the love of those who were poor. These two “loves,” as she described them, became the cornerstones of her life. She served in Lesotho in Southern Africa for 17 years as nurse, mid-wife, educator including teaching at Mazenod Training College. She started the “Winter School” for the education of sisters of many religious communities in Lesotho which continues to this day.

After returning from Lesotho in 1980, Sister Berchmans was drawn to another ministry which allowed her to serve those who were poor as a nurse at Saint Anthony Medical Clinic in San Francisco’s Tenderloin for 16 years.

She is survived by her sister, Palma Trentacoste, nieces, nephew and other relatives. Her quiet and steady presence was a beacon to others.

Gifts in her memory may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 907, Los Gatos, CA 95031 or on-line at www.snjmca.org.


Sister Marion Patrick Connors (Lillian Connors)

January 25, 1934 - April 14, 2017

With the grace of God,
I hope to be a faithful daughter
of Mother Marie Rose
during my life.
          ~Sister Marion Patrick

On April 14, 2017, Sister Marion Patrick (Lillian Connors) was called forth into the loving hands of our God. She was 83 years old and celebrated 64 years of profession as a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

Sister Marion Patrick had a keen mind for numbers. So here is her ministry by the numbers. She spent 9 years ministering in elementary education at Saint Cecilia (San Francisco), Our Lady of Lourdes (Oakland), Sacred Heart (Oakland), Saint Ignatius (Sacramento), Saint Gregory (Los Angeles) and Holy Spirit (Fremont). She worked 18 years in the Provincial Treasurer's Office; 10 years in the Finance office at Ramona Convent Secondary School (Alhambra) including the time of rebuilding after the 1987 earthquake in Southern California and 13 years in the SNJM Development Office.

Sister Marion Patrick's love of family was evidenced in her care and concern for them. She was loyal to friends and committed to the Marie Rose Guild, especially the Tuesday Group and their activities. She loved sports, by sight she could identify the make and model of cars and in the last couple of years an artistic side of her developed at Fatima with her clay creations.

She is survived by her sister Marie Wood, nieces and nephews Chris Wood, OP, Gary Wood, Brian Wood, Dennis Wood, Lindsay Wood , and Sharon Wood Urias and brother-in-law Daniel O'Neill, nieces and nephews Lawrence O'Neill, Rita O'Neill, Louise O'Neill, and Timothy O'Neill.

Gifts in her memory may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 907, Los Gatos, CA 95031 or on-line at www.snjmca.org.


Sister Barbara Williams (Sister Roberta Marie)

Sept 29, 1926 - Feb. 12, 2017

Give me only your love and your grace.
That’s enough for me.

     ~Saint Ignatius Loyola

Sister Barbara Williams, on February 12, 2017, met face-to-face the God to whom she had long ago given her heart. Sister Barbara was 90 years old and just celebrated her 68th year of religious profession.

Sister Barbara was called and found great joy in being an educator.  She spent 13 years in elementary education including teaching at Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Lourdes (Oakland), Saint Anselm (Kentfield) and Saint Joseph (San Francisco). From elementary education, she moved to secondary education where she ministered at Marin Catholic and Holy Names High School.  For 25 years she taught and served at Holy Names University.

Just as she was called to be an educator she also was called to walk with others in their journey with God. From the early 1970’s until her death she did this. This journeying with others found expression in the Christian Life Communities she facilitated at Holy Names University, in being part of the SNJM Retreat Team, in her spiritual direction with countless individuals, including those at the Institute for Spirituality and Worship and the School of Applied Theology and very recently, in her leading the 19th Annotation - an Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life at Merrill Gardens in Campbell.

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.

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

Gifts in her memory may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 907, Los Gatos, CA 95031 or on-line at www.snjmca.org.