"They whom we love and lose

are no longer where they were before,

they are now wherever we are."

~ St. John Chrysostom


Sister Nora Christian (Sister Thaddeus Mary)

July 31, 1925 - October 20, 2016

I have another day
There may be nothing heroic in it.
But it’s mine.
The steps - the words -
The things I’ll touch -
The faces I’ll see -
They are part of the fabric of my life.
Life is this - no more - steps, touch, small deeds,
eloquent or not ..... it’s up to me.
      ~ Sister Nora Christian, 1986

Sister Nora Christian (Sister Thaddeus Mary) a native of Cleveland, Ohio, entered into eternal life on October 20, 2016. She was 91 and a professed Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for 71 years.

Sister Nora was in elementary education for over 46 years. She taught in 12 different elementary schools in Northern and Southern California. Eleven of those years she was librarian and led reading groups at Saint Andrew Elementary School in Pasadena. She thoroughly enjoyed her years teaching. For 12 years in her “retirement” she tutored adults in literacy in the Hayward Public Library.  

Sister Nora is remembered for her gentleness of heart and sensitive spirit. She had a deeply contemplative side that found expression in poetry. She crocheted many baby blankets for hospitals, enjoyed all of nature, especially, being at the ocean, gardening and birding.

She is survived by her sister, Katie, and brother-in-law, David Godino.

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 Margaret Campbell (Sister Lawrence Mary)

Sept. 24, 1932 - Oct. 2, 2016

To Winter’s somber night
Life-light comes streaming
All of life’s darkness is vanished away.
As fern frond waits, hidden,
Tight-wound with promise
To unfold its green splendor
In the love-light of day.
Child - now call us
To awaken, refreshed...
Let all of Creation in hope be now blessed.
      ~Sister Jackie Graham, PBVM

Sister Margaret Campbell entered into eternal life on Sunday, October 2, 2016. She was born in Oakland, California. She just had celebrated her 84th birthday in September and was a professed Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for 62 years.

Sister Margaret spent 18 years in secondary education teaching history, Spanish and theology at Marin Catholic (Kentfield), Holy Names High School (Oakland), Saint Andrew (Pasadena), Saint Monica (Santa Monica) and St. Bernard (Playa del Rey). For 24 years she was on the Holy Names University faculty. There she helped found the Masters Program in Pastoral Ministry. Sister Margaret was a consummate theologian and thinker and always a scholar, story-teller and student. She loved to teach, to learn and to invite others to ponder matters of theology, of the world and of the heart.

She enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors, especially as she hiked and backpacked in the Sierras. She played the dulcimer and for years drove a light blue VW Bug. She had great pride in her Scottish heritage.

She is survived by her sister, Angela Backman, nephew Mark Backman (Adriana), great-nephew, James, and other cousins and relatives. She will be missed by the Sisters, SNJM Associates, friends, former students and her peers.

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 Guadalupe Maria Johnston (Jean Constance Johnston)

December 6, 1934 - July 23, 2016

Quien a Dios
tiene nada le falta.
Sólo Dios basta.

~Saint Teresa of Avila

Sister Guadalupe Maria Johnston was born on December 6, 1934 in Los Angeles, California. Sister Guadalupe Maria passed into eternal life on July 23, 2016 in Saratoga, California. She was a professed Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for 61 years. Sister Guadalupe's ministries included music education at Holy Names High School (Oakland) and Saint Cecilia (San Francisco). For 27 years she was an educator Ramona Convent Secondary School (Alhambra) teaching music, Spanish and Latin American culture. She also taught secondary school at Saint Andrew (Pasadena), Saint Lawrence (Santa Clara) and in Arequipa, Perú. In 1995 Sister Guadalupe helped establish a Sisters of the Holy Names ministry of prayerful presence among the low-income families of the Santee Mission. Putting contemplation into action, Sister performed innumerable works that included education, social justice, faith formation, music ministry, liturgy planning and journeying with many people. When the Santee mission was joined to Our Lady of Refuge Parish in 2012, Sister transitioned as pianist and director of the Spanish-singing choir. In her neighborhood, at Santee Mission and Our Lady of Refuge Sister Guadalupe's gentle simplicity and quiet presence was a source of strength for each person she met. She will be remembered affectionately by friends, the parishoners of Our Lady of Refuge, the Sisters of the Holy Names and their Associates.

Gifts in Sister's 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 Kathleen McDonough (Sister Eileen Catharine)

June 25, 1930-March 5, 2016

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the
hollow of God’s hand.
           Irish Blessing

Sister Kathleen McDonough, (Sister Eileen Catharine), entered into eternal life in the early evening of March 5, 2016. She was 85 years old and had celebrated her 64th year of her religious profession.

Kathleen Delia McDonough, SNJM, was born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 25, 1930, to Irish Catholic parents Eileen Catherine Ryan, a schoolteacher, and Walter Thomas ("WT") McDonough, a firefighter. She attended Prospect Cleveland Public, Christ the King Elementary, and Notre Dame Academy. Moving to California in 1945, Kathleen completed secondary education at Saint Monica High School in Santa Monica, where she met the Sisters of the Holy Names. After one year at Santa Monica City College, she entered Holy Names Convent in Oakland. At her reception into the Novitiate, Kathleen chose her Mother's name as her religious name: Sister Eileen Catharine. She earned her BA from Holy Names University, an MA in Education Administration from San Francisco State University, and a Certificate in Pastoral Counseling from Mount St. Mary's University in Los Angeles.

With a CA Elementary Teaching Credential, Kathleen taught at Our Lady of Lourdes, Oakland; St. Cecilia, San Francisco; All Souls, Alhambra; St. Mary, Boyle Heights. She served as Principal at St. Elizabeth, Altadena; St. Cecilia, San Francisco and St. Anastasia, Los Angeles. In 1973 Kathleen transitioned to parish ministry, serving at Saint Monica, Santa Monica; St. Elizabeth, Altadena; Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Montebello; and St. Bede, La Cañada. In retirement, Kathleen volunteered at San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity and was a member of Southern California Partners for Global Justice, who educate and advocate for the abolition of human-trafficking. Retiring from active ministry in 2011, she moved to the SNJM retirement community in Los Gatos. Kathleen died peacefully on March 5, 2016, at Our Lady of Fatima Villa, Saratoga, CA.

Pre-deceased by her beloved parents, brothers Walter, James, Richard, and nephews Timothy, Stephen and Ryan. Kathleen is survived by her sister-in-law Sharon McDonough, nieces Susan Bierlich, Kathleen McDonough, Peggy Honoré and Mary Claire McDonough, and by her nephews Joseph and James McDonough, many friends, former students, colleagues and her Sisters and Associates of the Holy Names.

We remember Sister Kathleen’s love of her Irish heritage, her fidelity to friendships, her commitment to peace and justice work both within the community and in parishes, her service as a spiritual director and her love of travel.

Gifts in her memory may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 907, Los Gatos, CA 95031 or online.


Sister Margaret Spiller (Sister Jonathan Mary)

October 5, 1943–February 6, 2016

“And still after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with love like that. It lights up the sky.”

Sister Margaret Spiller, SNJM (Sister Jonathan Mary) entered into life on October 5, 1943 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Sister Margaret entered into eternal life on February 6, 2016 in San Gabriel, California. This spring she was to celebrate her 50th Jubilee as a professed Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
Sister Margaret’s ministry included one year as an elementary educator at Saint Augustine (Oakland). She ministered at Holy Names High School (Oakland) and Saint Monica High School (Santa Monica) as teacher and vice-principal. For a total of 29 years, she served at Ramona Convent Secondary School (Alhambra) as teacher or principal.  She was an outstanding educator able to bring whatever she taught to life.

Within her religious community, she served on countless committees both at the provincial and congregational levels. Sister Margaret was the provincial leader of the Sisters in California before they merged with other provinces in 2006. She will be remembered very affectionately by the Sisters of the Holy Names and their Associates.

Sister Margaret delighted in her large and loving family. She is survived by her sister, Mary Anne Barnheiser (Joe) and brothers, George Spiller (Kathy), Charley Spiller (Chris), John Spiller (Marianne), Henry Spiller (Michael) and many nieces, nephews and other relatives whom she loved deeply.
Gifts in Sister Margaret’s memory may be made to the Sister Margaret Spiller Scholarship Fund at Ramona Convent Secondary School. (1701 W. Ramona Road, Alhambra, CA  91803.)