They were teachers, scholars, mentors, ministers to the troubled.
They devoted their lives to God and helping others. After they grew old, they came to a secluded campus in the hills of the Santa Clara Valley to spend the rest of their days in quiet contemplation.
One by one, the retired priests succumbed to COVID-19.
In the span of a month, beginning in early December, eight residents of Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos died.
As each man grew sicker, fellow residents entered the infirmary one at a time, anointed him with oils and said a prayer.
The center’s archivist, Brother Dan Peterson, wrote the obituaries.
“When that phone rang, it was haunting,” Peterson said. “You didn’t know who was next. Sometimes the deaths were so quick you didn’t have a chance to say goodbye, and others lingered in pain.”
Sacred Heart was home to more than 80 retired priests and brothers, some able-bodied, and others who required frequent medical care. As in other facilities, elderly people living in close quarters provided fertile ground for the coronavirus.
Father Scott Santarosa, head of Jesuits West Province, said officials did everything they could to prevent a coronavirus outbreak….
Last November, as the pandemic worsened in California, the coronavirus found its way there. Peterson, the archivist, tested positive, along with four retirees.
A full lockdown ensued. The chapel, dining room, gym and library were closed. The retired clergy ate alone in their rooms. Instead of exchanging greetings in hallways, they caught up by email and phone.
The first to die was Bob Mathewson, 89, on Dec. 6….
Bernard “Bernie” Bush, 86, followed the next day….
Joseph Fice followed Bush to the grave, succumbing to COVID-19 on Dec. 13 at age 82….
A few days later, on Dec. 16, the virus took Silvano Votto, 78, a teacher and scholar of classical languages who was born in Italy….
The day after Votto, Michael Cook, a longtime professor at Gonzaga University who wrote three books on theology, died at 84….
Joseph Oneal McGowan, 80, and died Dec. 23….
Father Chuck Peterson, 82, died on Christmas Eve….
Ten days passed before COVID-19 took its last and oldest victim, 95-year-old Gerald Gordon. He died of COVID-19 on Jan. 4….
Over the course of the outbreak, 15 Sacred Heart residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 and survived….
The above comes from a July 13 story in the L.A. Times.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
The vaccines are doing a great job of preventing tragedies like this among the vaccinated. But the vaccines don’t appear to be preventing spread of the virus itself, and the unvaccinated will pay the fatal price for their decision. Just look at the spike in cases in California, especially populated counties like LA and SF, in just the last couple of weeks. Please get vaccinated if you are eligible. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/california-covid-cases.html
And yes, of course, I echo the remarks of Anonymous at 10:48 AM. Indeed, may these men find perpetual light and peace.
Husband tested positive for covid in December, no symptoms, got 2nd shot of Moderna in May, wound up in the emergency room, sick as a dog, no booster for him this fall no matter what the government will recommend. He already had antibodies and should not have bothered taking the shots.
What the news and the government are hiding is that the spike in cases is among the vaccinated. The vaccine isn’t working as they said it would, so now they are pushing a possible third booster. Look at Great Britain and Israel, both spiking, and both heavily vaccinated countries.
No jab for me. I’m fine. I’m living life normally. Never had the virus. Not afraid of it.
About half those testing positive had been vaccinated. About 99% of those dead in the last month were unvaccinated.
And all those that died had comorbidities that made them susceptible to death from flu. Watch Dem politicians push lockdown 2.0 this fall. No way will i yield.
The repuklicans are promoting misinformation about the vaccines. They want Biden to fail regardless of the costs in human life. They do not care about the country, only their power. How unpatriotic and disgraceful. Country over party!
Are you familiar with the concept of psychological projection?
Yes, I can easily agree that the vaccine wards off death from the coronavirus. However, to say that 99% of the dead were unvaccinated gives the impression that the unvaccinated will likely die if they get the illness. This, of course, is blatantly false.
The only way a person takes that “impression” is if they can’t read.
May the souls of these priests and all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
YFC the vaccines are causing sickness and death… good job
These people were all old enough to die from old age. Why blame Covid?
And now Los Angeles County has to mask again. It will never end. You have to oppose these communists and refuse to go along with the covid religion. I’m going to Mass without a mask. I’m not vaccinated. I don’t care about any of this malarkey.
Please wear a mask. If you can. It is such a little thing that you are being asked to do. It is not communism. It may not make a difference. But it might. It might keep a child from losing a parent. It might save a pregnant woman and her baby.
Offer it up.
If a child loses a parent from the coronavirus, it’s likely because they were unvaccinated. This responsibility to get vaccinated falls on the parent: not on society.
I wear a mask when suitable, but one of my objections is that many of them are made in China, the very country that started this whole thing, or in other Communist countries. More of them should be made in the United States, or other non Communist countries.
Thank you AnneTE for masking. However, Had Trump stimulated domestic Mass production of masks and PPE, We wouldn’t have to rely on Chinese or other imported masks. But hat tip: there are good South Korean masks.
Pro life Catholics get vaccinated. Prolifers do not want to spread the virus and be responsible for the deaths of others.
I have to disagree with your statement: it’s too simplistic.
Pro-Life Catholics take care not to spread the virus to others. This may or may not involve the need to get vaccinated which is based on a person’s personal risk assessment. Please keep in mind that the vaccine has not received approval from the EPA and the long-term risks are not yet fully known.
Strike EPA. I meant to say FDA.
Listen to Patrick Madrid on Relevant Radio-very Catholic.
The covid virus does not distinguish between political parties or religions. The new variant is causing a new surge in hospitalizations and crowding the ICUs. The increase in cases, and thus hospitalizations and deaths are in areas with large numbers of people who have not had the vaccine. Look at Alabama, Mississippi, and similar areas. Look at LA which has a large unvaccinated population. The new variant is causing health departments to urge, once again, that people wear a mask indoors. A mask is not a communist thrust by the government. It is one of the time-tested steps used to slow down the spread of a virus. It has been used for hundreds of years. There is nothing in the vaccine that will change your DNA, there is no chip inserted into your bloodstream or other crazy notion promulgated by the lunatic fringe talking heads. Good Americans should get the vaccine to protect their fellow men and women. We should be fighting this virus as a united country. Those who make it a political issue are not doing it in the best interest of the country.
Those who would force people to get an unapproved and untested vaccine are tyrannical.
They are tested and approved. Some would say that they are only approved on an emergency basis, which is true, but the FDA has explained that medicine is not approved on an emergency basis if it isn’t going to be totally approved down the road. That is how most drug approvals work. Some crazy “doctor” in Ohio told the legislature that the vaccines would cause the body to become magnetic. Some believed her. Nut nuts are taking all this in. Crazy.
Sadly, Hycroxychloroquine hesitancy contributed to these deaths. If HCQ (+Zinc) had been used on a prophylactic basis or as treatment, the odds are most of the priests would be alive today; likewise, via a dozen or so other successful treatments/prophylactics like Ivermectin.
Quack quack quack
How tragic the medical establishment denied them early treatment with HCQ or Ivermectin protocols.
Most would have likely survived.
Surely you jest!
There is no scientific evidence that these things work. Only quack doctors suggest using these “house cleaning” products to inject into people.
Ivermectin is working all over the world.
even the Jebs refer to los gatos
as the “finishing school”