Obituaries

Sr. Flavia Buersmeyer; was teacher, principal and musician

A memorial Mass was celebrated Aug. 6 for Sister Flavia Buersmeyer, a longtime educator, in the School Sisters of Notre Dame Motherhouse chapel in Lemay.

Sister Flavia died July 26 at Anna House–The Sarah Community in Bridgeton from renal failure. She was 92.

The funeral was celebrated by Father David Buersmeyer, a Michigan pastor and Sister Flavia’s nephew.

Sister Flavia was born in Westphalia, Mo. She entered the  School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1938, professed first vows in 1941 and final vows in 1947. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Webster College in Webster Groves in 1953.

Bishop Domingos Lam Ka Tseung, first Chinese bishop of Macau

MACAU (CNS) — Retired Bishop Domingos Lam Ka Tseung of Macau, the first Chinese bishop of the 433-year-old diocese, died July 27. He was 81.

Bishop Lam became ill in March and was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News. He had been hospitalized since May, according to Bishop Jose Lai Hung-seng, his successor.

Bishop Lam led the diocese, created in 1576 as the first Catholic diocese in the Far East, through Macau's political transition from Portuguese to Chinese rule in 1999. Portugal administered the special administrative region of China for more than 400 years.

A funeral Mass is scheduled for July 31 at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady.

Father Joao Evangelista Lau Him-sang, a priest at the cathedral, described the late bishop as “not only a Chinese native, but also (a person) influenced by Portuguese culture and Western education, enabling him to become a bridge between the church and Chinese society” in Macau.

Sr. T.M. Wilkerson dies; taught at Seven Holy Founders

A funeral Mass was celebrated July 30 at Mount St. Joseph in Maple Mount, Ky., for Ursuline Sister Theresa Marie Wilkerson, a retired educator who taught at Seven Holy Founders School in Affton.

Sister Theresa Marie 89, an Ursuline Sister of Mount St. Joseph, died July 27 at Mount St. Joseph in her 69th  year of religious life. She was a native of Owensboro, Ky.

An educator for 37 years, she taught at Seven Holy Founders School in Affton, 1955-57.  She also taught in schools in Kentucky and Nebraska.

Sister Jean Fontbonne Sandweg; served as longtime educator

A funeral Mass was celebrated for Sister Jean Fontbonne Sandweg on July 16 at the chapel of Nazareth Living Center in South St. Louis County.

Sister Jean Fontbonne, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 69 years, died July 10 at Nazareth Living Center. She was 93.

A St. Louis native, she was baptized Catherine Sandweg. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy and Fontbonne College, earning a bachelor’s degree in English in 1937.

After teaching for two years at Ursuline Academy in Arcadia, Mo., she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in September 1939. She made her final profession in 1945. She earned a master’s degree in English literature from DePaul University in Chicago in 1949.

For most of her ministry, Sister Jean Fontbonne was an educator. In 1942 she taught briefly at Rosati-Kain High School, then at St. Louis Cathedral School, both in the Central West End. In 1947 she began teaching at St. Joseph’s Academy, then became the first principal at the school’s Frontenac location. She also taught and was principal at St. Francis de Sales High School in Denver.

Sister Helen Alwes, CSJ; served as teacher, chaplain

 A memorial Mass was celebrated July 1 at Nazareth Living Center in South County for Sister Helen Alwes, a longtime teacher and chaplain.

Sister Helen died of chronic heart failure June 28 at Nazareth. She was 89 and had been a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 63 years.

Born in St. Louis, Sister Helen entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1945 and made her final profession in 1951. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Avila College in Kansas City, Mo., in 1960. In 1965, she earned a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University in New York.

Sister Helen began her teaching career in 1948. She taught at schools in Peoria, Ill., Kansas City and St. Joseph, Mo., until 1963.

After working on her master’s degree, she went to work with children with special needs at St. Joseph Male Orphanage in Washington, Ga., where she served as administrator. She also was in Atlanta for several years, where she served at Village of St. Joseph as administrator. She also was the administrator of the social service department for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Fr. Raymond H. Reis; world’s oldest Jesuit

Father Raymond H. Reis, a retired priest at St. Louis University who was a longtime professor and also had worked as a nurse, died July 19 at age 104 at his university residence.

He was the world’s oldest Jesuit.

A funeral Mass was to be celebrated July 23 at St. Francis Xavier “College” Church, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery in North St. Louis.

In 2005, when he turned 100, Father Reis told the university’s magazine: “I have had an enjoyable life and I have done a lot that I wanted to do. I used to like to travel, but now I have no plans. I just let things happen.”
Asked if he had any advice for reaching the century mark, he responded with a chuckle: “That’s something that’s a gift from God.”

Born March 25, 1905, in St. Louis, the young Raymond joined the Jesuits in Florissant in 1926 after college. He earned a doctorate in biology in 1940 at St. Louis University and went on to teach at Marquette University in Milwaukee and what is now Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., both Jesuit institutions.
From 1961 to 1973, he taught biology at St. Louis University.

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