Jul 30

To Our Parish Community


“ For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And he will be called: wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

( Isaiah 9:6 prophesied about 700 years before the birth of Jesus)

So, 2020 has been an amazing year for me! Skiing in the Alps, a marvelous day at the Louvre Art Museum in Paris, an Archeological dig for artifacts in South America, surfing the Hawaiian waters, rowing down the Amazon ( not on line🤣), and qualifying for the talented world of Riverdance.

I write this, respectfully, in the hope that we have some residual humor and optimism for the future. Of course, the above is mere fantasy!!

What I do know is that our optimism resides in our relationship with God, for which we are so blessed. As we prepare for the birth of Jesus, our Savior, our hearts may be more accessible this year, because we are home and can experience the deepest meaning of Christmas with less distractions. We can pray and experience the power of peace and resilience. When we face, with humility, our limitations, we can reach for God and lean on Him.

As we witnessed the brightest minds in the world, make herculean efforts to control the Corona Virus, we turned to prayer to accelerate their work. We, as the faithful, know God is ultimately in control and for that, we remained more certain of a solution.

I am honored and so grateful to have the anchor of prayer and the nearness of God. I am also so excited for the opportunity to share these, my timely thoughts, with all of you.

These thoughts may be yours or not, may have been yours every year, but for me, it was a year of revisiting much more prayer in my life.

Happy Holidays and wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.

Barbara Crowley


Gladys Gramling, Fr. Gerard Brady and Fr. Michele Raimondi

With sadness we learn of the death of Gladys Gramling, for decades the second grade teacher at St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School. Mrs. Gramling had a perfect mix of Catholic school sternness and motherly care for her students. Mrs. Gramling was raised in Pennsylvania– Philadelphia, I believe. Her authoritative voice was rounded by mid-Atlantic vowels and, when roused to full diapasonal tone, could halt the spinning of the earth on its axis or, even more improbably, bring immediate order to a classroom of 45 second graders. Since children respond above all to sincerity, her greatest asset in preparing them for First Communion was her transparent personal faith. Years ago, I visited her house and spotted a copy of Gilbert Highet’s “The Art of Teaching”, the “bible” of the teaching profession and still well worth reading today; she was a dedicated professional. Later, Mrs. Gramling suffered the double sadness of widowhood and the loss of a son within two years. She continued to serve as a lector at Mass, which was a great source of pride and consolation. She moved resolutely up to the lectern, cane in hand, and read with the care of an elementary teacher and the authority of Moses. RIP. 

We also mourn the passing of Msgr. Gerard Brady, the former pastor of this parish during the 1980’s. Msgr. Brady was born in Oakland, and was ordained for the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1959, before the creation of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, which he joined. He served, at different times, the far ends of the diocese, from Crescent City and Eureka in the north to Petaluma and Napa in the south. Early in his priesthood, he served as a chaplain in the Armed Services. Msgr. Brady was dedicated, gracious and well-read, and was known in the communities where he lived by his long walks around town and for dining in simple restaurants while reading history books. A priest for 61 years, he died in Eureka on December 1st, age 87. RIP.  

Fr. Michele Raimondi came from a family noted for service to the church. He was ordained in Italy in 1950 by his paternal uncle, a bishop; his maternal uncle was pastor of his family’s local parish for 58 years. Before joining the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1970, Fr. Raimondi was a teacher in Italian public school, a seminary and a college. Perhaps the biggest undertaking of his priesthood was the pastoral leadership of 60,000 parishioners in Rio Grande del Sul, the southernmost tier of Brazil, a crossroad of Italian, Portuguese and German immigration. He was an accomplished pianist, a gift which, like his priestly ministry, he shared well into retirement, which he spent in Petaluma. Fr. Raimondi radiated joy and serenity rooted in a deep conviction that nothing can separate us from the love of God. A priest for 70 years, entered into eternal life at age 94. RIP.