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First Anniversary of Death

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

June 13, 2020

In this culture we celebrate birthdays and don't pay much attention to anniversaries of death. We call a funeral a celebration of the life of the deceased. But in many cultures, the death anniversary is important, even more important than birthdays.

In the church tradition, the memorials of saints usually fall on the dates that they died. Because it's the day they enter into eternal life. During the month of November, we reflect on the communion of saints, who have gone before us.

A year ago today, June 13, 2019, the Founding Bishop of San Jose, Pierre DuMaine, passed away. In his 18 years as bishop in San Jose (1981-1999), Bishop DuMaine focused on the laity and their formation, establishing the Institute of Leadership in Ministry. He also supported women religious and lay women, giving them opportunities to serve the Diocese and parishes.

In an interview with The Valley Catholic, the diocesan newspaper, on the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination, Bishop DuMaine said that the theology of the Second Vatican Council was made real in the nascent diocese. To him, the key among the guiding principles put forth by the council was the active role of the laity and women religious “and a permeating spirit of collaboration.”

In the same interview, the bishop said that during his years as the shepherd of the diocese, “I have often been asked for a ‘vision’ or goal for our diocese and have generally responded: ‘to keep the family together.'”

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