By Kathy Fanger
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.”
In last month’s article, we wrote about Jean Therese Mulloy, youngest girl of 12 children from an Irish Catholic family in San Francisco. She felt called “to do something for the war effort,” and followed the lead of her four brothers’ by enlisting in the US Navy. In her Naval Seaman clerical position, Jean’s personal mission was to “keep up the morale of the armed forces.” Her dedication to serve her country caused her to seek positions in the Civil Service until her retirement.
Today we share another part of Jean’s story and legacy, told by her daughter, Mary Ellen Bray. A story of faith, family, and sacrifice.
Jean returned to San Francisco from Germany as a single parent, moving into her parents’ basement. She secured a position with the Marines. Rising early, Jean caught the streetcar with two children in tow to take them way across town to be cared for by the nuns at Mission Dolores. She so desired a Catholic influence for them!
Jean sacrificed for years to provide Catholic elementary and high school education for Mary Ellen and her brother. Between Civil Service positions, she often worked as a domestic to make ends meet. Jean’s devout Catholic faith and participation in Sunday Mass, sacraments and parish life were important parts of their family.
After retirement, Jean moved to San Jose to live closer to Mary Ellen. When she needed to move into Assisted Living at 83 years old, Jean insisted that her funeral home arrangements for cremation be made. She always wanted to be close to Mary Ellen and not forgotten in a cemetery. She begged that her ashes be buried in Mary Ellen’s backyard. Mary Ellen explained the Catholic Church’s teachings – that ashes need to be interred in sacred ground, not kept home, scattered or separated. The body as a whole is to be honored. Mary Ellen arranged for Jean to rest at Gate of Heaven Veteran’s Section, where she and Doug purchased a niche right next to her mother’s.
What legacy does Mary Ellen treasure from her mother?
Her Catholic Faith and Sacrifices “are pearls of great price she passed on onto me. Despite difficult times and hard roads, my mother always held on strongly to her faith in God.” Mary Ellen and husband Doug share her mother’s deep Catholic faith and active participation in their parish. They attend Gate of Heaven’s 11 a.m. Monthly Memorial Mass on the second Saturday of each month. Mary Ellen then has lunch under the tree near her mother’s niche and prays the rosary. It’s their special time together, now on earth, and one day in eternity.
For more information, please visit www.ccdsj.org or call (650) 428-3730 x508.
Pre-Planning Your Christian Funeral
30 minute presentation after Masses
June 11-12 at three parishes:
• Queen of Apostles
4911 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
Sat. 5 p.m.
Sun. 7:30 a.m.; 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m.
• Christ the King
5284 Monterey Hwy, San Jose
Vietnamese: Sat. 4 p.m.; Sun. 4:30 p.m.
English: Sat. 6:15 p.m.; Sun. 10:15 a.m.
Spanish: Sun. 8:15 a.m.; 1 p.m.; 7 p.m.
• Holy Korean Martyr
1523 McLaughlin Ave, San Jose
Korean: Sun. 8 a.m.; 11 a.m.
English: Sun. 9:30 a.m.
Give the gift of peace of mind by pre-planning your funeral or that of a loved one. We are here to assist you.
Having Faith During Difficult Times
St. Victor Parish Library
3108 Sierra Road, San Jose
June 18, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Presenter: Monsignor John Sandersfeld
How has faith helped me at difficult times find Jesus as the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, to come to know my own giftedness and that of others, and live life more fully in the joy of the Kingdom?