Fr. Steven Ochoa, St. Thomas Aquinas pastor, dies at 59 Funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 29 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Ojai, for Augustinian Father Steven Ochoa, 59, who died Aug. 24 in Ojai of complications from congestive heart failure and kidney failure. Father Ochoa, ordained in 1983, had served in recent years as a teacher at Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, followed by three years as a parish priest at St. Thomas Aquinas, the last two as pastor. “In his priesthood he was a friendly presence to the young and old alike,” said a statement from the Augustinian community. “Physically, Father Steve was somewhat of an imposing presence, but imposing was certainly not the style of his leadership. He was a man of prayer and sought an inner peace only attained by a genuine relationship with God. He is now reaping the rewards of that sacred relationship.” Born in Los Angeles, on July 2, 1953, Steven Ochoa professed vows in the Order of St. Augustine in 1974. He graduated from Villanova University in 1977, obtained a Master’s Degree from the Washington Theological Union in 1981 and was ordained a priest on May 7, 1983. From 1981-87, he was a missionary in Peru. In 1988 he spent his first term of service at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ojai, then returned to the Peruvian missions in the Diocese of Chulucanas (1989-92). In 1993 he suffered his first massive heart attack while assigned to Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, Los Angeles. As soon as he regained strength, his love for the missions and particularly his love for the poor called him to return to the Peru (1994-97). The next two years he served as the priest minister for Villa Nueva Apartments (low income housing) in San Ysidro. In 1999 he was elected the prior provincial of the western province of St. Augustine. During eight years in that post, he and other Augustinians pioneered a focus group called Augustinians in Hispanic Ministry. His community recalled that Father Ochoa had a great love for the poor in Peru, and that “his eyes would glisten and his soft voice would bellow when the orphans of Hogar Infantil, an Augustinian-sponsored orphanage in Tijuana, surrounded him.” Father Ochoa is survived by his mother Mary, brother Rick and sister Cindy Smith. His father Richard and brother John predeceased him. Burial will be at the Augustinian plot at Holy Cross Cemetery, San Diego. Memorial donations may be made to the Augustinian Guild or the Hogar Infantil orphanage, 1605 28th St., San Diego, CA 92102, or to St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 185 St. Thomas Drive, Ojai, CA 93023. Fr. Patrick McPolin, CMF Funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 18 at Mission San Gabriel for Claretian Father Patrick McPolin, 96, who died Aug. 15 in San Pedro. A former provincial of the Claretian Western Province, Father McPolin served in the archdiocese for 47 years. Ordained in 1943, he was appointed the provincial of the Claretian Western Province in 1965. During his term, the Claretian Renewal Center in the mid-Wilshire area was opened and served Claretians until 2007. Father McPolin ministered locally at Our Lady of Solitude Church in Los Angeles and Dominguez Seminary in Rancho Dominguez. He was instrumental in restoring the Dominguez family homestead, raising its profile as California’s first Spanish land grant. He founded and was curator of the Dominguez Adobe Museum in Carson. Today, Dominguez Rancho Adobe is a California State Historical Landmark and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Well-known among U.S. and Mexican movie stars and artists, Father McPolin invited them to Claretian events to encourage the financial support of the congregation’s local and global ministries. He was a member of many civic organizations and familiar with several Los Angeles city officials, whom he was not shy about asking for favors, according to his fellow Claretians. Sr. Ignatia May, OP Funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 21 at the Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse chapel in Fremont for Dominican Sister of Mission San Jose Ignatia May, 99, who died Aug. 20 at the congregation’s Saint Martin’s Residence. A native of Clifton, New Jersey, Sister May was a Dominican Sister for 77 years. Her principal active ministry was elementary education, which brought her to Catholic schools in Oregon and California. In Los Angeles, she taught at Sacred Heart, Santa Teresita, St. Michael and St. Ignatius. She also taught at San Gabriel Mission elementary school and served in the resident department at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in Pasadena. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund or the Mother Pia Backes Education Fund, 43326 Mission Boulevard, Fremont, CA 94539, or the Vision of Hope Fund, 1555 34th Ave., Oakland, CA 94612. Loretta Vogel Funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 20 at St. Dorothy Church in Glendora for Loretta Vogel, 89, who died Aug. 17. Family survivors include her son, Father John Vogel, pastor, St. Dorothy Church. Fr. Frank Pyka, CMF Funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 27 at Dominguez Seminary in Rancho Dominguez for Claretian Father Frank Pyka, 91, who died Aug. 23 following a brief illness. Born in Miami, Arizona, he made his first vows as a Claretian in 1940 and was ordained at Santa Barbara Mission in 1946. Father Pyka’s availability and dedication as a missionary led him to accept assignments in England, Arizona, Washington and California. In the archdiocese, Father Pyka served as an associate pastor at San Gabriel Mission Church from 1972-78 and later in the ’90s. From 1995-96, he ministered as associate pastor at Casa Claret Dominguez Retreat Center in Rancho Dominguez. Donations in memory of Father Pyka, CMF, may be sent to the Claretian Missionaries at 10203 Lower Azusa Rd., Temple City, CA 91780.