Fr. Joseph Gaffney, veteran associate pastor, dies

Born in Darby, Pa., he attended St. Augustine School, Culver City, and spent two years each at Loyola and Venice High Schools. He completed his seminary studies at St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo, and was ordained April 29, 1967, by Cardinal James Francis McIntyre at St. Vibiana’s Cathedral. He served as an associate pastor at St. Dorothy, Glendora; Corpus Christi, Pacific Palisades; American Martyrs, Manhattan Beach; St. Bede, La Ca√±ada; St. Cornelius, Long Beach; St. John Eudes, Chatsworth; and St. Paschal Baylon. From 1972-77, he was also involved with the Cursillo Movement in San Diego. On the occasion of his silver jubilee celebrated at St. Paschal Baylon, he told The Tidings: “I have been a parish priest all the years of my priesthood, since that is why I was ordained: to be in the parish with the people.”

Sr. Sharon Ann Breden, CSJ Funeral Mass was held May 4 at Carondelet Center in Los Angeles for Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet Sharon Ann Breden, 65, who died in San Jose following a brief illness April 21. Born in Alton, Ill., she studied singing and piano from an early age under the tutelage of her mother. Sister’s family moved to Los Angeles, where Sharon and her younger sister, Mary Catherine, enrolled in St. John’s School. A couple of years later, the family moved to St. Lawrence Martyr in Redondo Beach, where Sharon was part of the first graduating class. Sharon continued her education at Bishop Montgomery High School, where she excelled in musical activities and developed her love of history. In searching out her own family history, she discovered that Bishop Montgomery (after whom the school was named) was her third cousin. Following high school graduation, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph, where she received the name Sister Marie Edwin. For four decades, she ministered in elementary and secondary schools throughout California, serving as teacher, assistant principal and principal. She earned a BA in music from Mount St. Mary’s College in 1968 and, a decade later, received an MA in music from Temple University in Philadelphia. A talented musician and director, she said that music was “the basis of [her] ministry whether [she] was teaching a class, administering a school, bandaging a knee, supervising a study hall or just ‘being’ with [her] school colleagues.” Last summer, she accompanied her sister Mary, director of the Loyola Marymount University choir, to Europe to sing at the Vatican and other venues. Her courageous spirit enriched and inspired those with whom she came in contact. She continued to minister on a part-time basis; to volunteer at the San Jose Opera Company where she developed their library; and to serve the American Choral Directors Association where she held various leadership roles for over 30 years. Burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Fr. Joseph Haley, CM Funeral Mass was held recently for Vincentian Father Joseph Vincent Haley, 83, who died April 28. He had been a member of the Vincentian community for 65 years. Born in LaSalle, Ill., he entered the Congregation in Perryville, Mo., and was ordained on May 29, 1954. He went on to earn two master’s degrees: one in 1956 in Latin and Greek at The Catholic University of America, and another in 1968 at DePaul University in Guidance and Counseling. He began his ministry serving as spiritual director at Queen of Angels Seminary in Mission Hills. In 1958, he moved to St. Vincent’s Seminary in Lemont, Ill., as vocation director, a position he held until 1971 when he returned to California to serve six years as principal of St. Vincent’s Seminary in Montebello. Father Haley held other positions in Phoenix and northern California. When his health declined, he moved to Apostle of Charity Residence in Perryville. He is buried there in the community cemetery. Sr. Mary Ferguson, CSJ Funeral Mass was held May 2 at Carondelet Center in Los Angeles for Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet Mary (Francis Joseph) Ferguson, who died April 25. She had been a member of the CSJ congregation for 74 years. After taking her first vows, she began teaching fifth grade at St. Patrick School in Los Angeles, where she learned the realities of life as lived by the students in the inner city. She ministered as a teacher as well as a principal in all areas of the Los Angeles Province for the next 31 years. When St. Cyril’s School in Encino opened, she was appointed principal and third grade teacher. As teacher of St. Cyril’s first graduating class in 1956, she had 72 students in one classroom, more than half of whom gathered in 2006 for a 50-year reunion with their beloved “Sister Francis Joseph” in attendance. Sister Ferguson also served as principal and eighth grade teacher at St. Jane Frances School in North Hollywood, and as a district supervisor in the archdiocesan Office of Education. In 1977, she began training for a ministry in clinical pastoral education. After completing her studies and serving as a staff chaplain at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, she began a 23-year ministry as chaplain, than director of the pastoral care department at Lourdes Health Network in Pasco, Wash. She moved to Carondelet Center in 2006 due to declining health. Burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery. Fr. Paul Banet, SSJ Burial services were held May 9 at St. Charles Center of the Precious Blood community in Cartagena, Ohio, for Josephite Father Paul Herbert Banet, 89, who died April 30. Born in Fort Wayne, Ind., he joined the U.S. Army Infantry Ordinance and Signal Corps in 1942, and was part of the “long tail” of men and supplies moving inland from Normandy during WWII. His war experiences included participation in the Battle of the Bulge and time as a POW until he was freed by the Russian Army. He was discharged as a corporal with the Purple Heart and combat badges. After the war, he continued in pre-med at St. Joseph College, gaining degrees in biology and chemistry in 1948. However, he changed his mind about becoming a doctor, explaining to friends that the war’s brutality led him to the priesthood. In 1949, he began studies with the Josephites, was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1955, and served as a vocation director for years, ministering in Baltimore and Houston. Father Banet came to St. Brigid Church in Los Angeles in 1984. According to current pastor, Josephite Father Thomas Frank, Father Banet was “known for his constant humor, fostering hospitality, and an open rectory welcoming anyone who came in the door to sit and eat. He reconciled many, helped expand the ministries to more than 50 and attempted to deputize every parishioner to serve in one.” The parish during this time received the NAACP award for community service as well as a “Prophet Award” for carrying on the dream of Martin Luther King. In 1992, he moved to Holy Rosary Church in Galveston, Texas, where he was pastor for many years before he retired in 2008. Sr. Maria Hernandez, OP Funeral Mass was held April 13 at the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose in Fremont for Dominican Sister Maria Victoria Hernandez, 95, who died April 8. She had been a Dominican for 74 years. Born in Los Angeles, her principal active ministry for 27 years was elementary education followed by various ministries in Mexico. Locally, she taught at the following Los Angeles schools: Sacred Heart, Santa Teresita and St. Frances X. Cabrini, plus San Gabriel Mission School. Her retirement years were devoted to researching and writing the history of the Sisters’ work in Mexico and the apostolate of prayer at the Motherhouse in Fremont. She is the author of the book, “Ministry Under Fire,” which depicts the Dominican Sisters’ foundational work in Mexico. Burial was at the Dominican Sisters Cemetery in Fremont. Memorial donations may be made to the Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund or the Mother Pia Backes Education Fund, 43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont, CA 94539, or the Vision of Hope Fund, 1555 34th Ave., Oakland, CA 94601 Fr. Martial Luebke, OFM Funeral Mass was held May 23 at Mission Santa Barbara for Franciscan Father Martial (George) Luebke, 96, who died May 17. Born in Los Angeles, he entered St. Anthony’s Seminary in Santa Barbara in 1928, was invested with the Franciscan habit in 1933 and was ordained a priest in 1939. His first assignment was to St. Anthony’s Seminary as professor, vice rector, choir director and prefect of discipline. In 1955, he was assigned to the administrative office of the Franciscan Province of St. Barbara in Oakland, where he served for 30 years as secretary and treasurer of the province, and as commissariat for the Holy Land. He moved to St. Joseph’s Friary, Los Angeles, in 1986, and to Mission Santa Barbara in 2010. A man of few but wise words, he served his Franciscan province and fellow friars faithfully throughout his life. Burial was in the friars’ vault at Mission Santa Barbara. Memorial donations may be made for the care of senior friars to: The Fraternal Care Trust-Province of St. Barbara, 1500 34th Ave., Oakland, CA 94601.