Father Michael J. Mandala, SJ, emeritus president of Verbum Dei High School, Los Angeles, died September 9, 2018 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California. He suffered from pancreatic cancer. He was 71 years of age and had been a member of the Jesuit Order for 54 years, 41 years a priest.
Mike was born in Los Angeles on December 7, 1946, the son of Samuel Mandala and Rose Criscione Mandala. He graduated from Cantwell High School, Montebello, and entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Los Gatos in 1964. After the usual course of Jesuit studies Mike was ordained a priest at St. Anne's Church, Santa Ana, on March 26, 1977.
His priestly ministry began as a community organizer at the Orange County branch of what later became the PICO National Network. He later served as Associate Director of the organization. He was twice in charge of the Social and Pastoral Ministries for the California Jesuits. From 1988-1995 he was pastor of the predominantly African-American parish of Christ the King in San Diego and of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Hollywood, 1998-2011.
In 2012 Fr. Mike, affectionately known as "Padre," joined Verbum Dei High School as Director of Community Relations and Social Outreach. His goal was simple - to open Verb's blue gates to Watts and the surrounding communities. And, he did just that. His leadership and smile connected Verbum Dei to other non-profits, faith-based organizations and local government offices. In 2014, Padre was appointed President of Verbum Dei High School. Verb's faculty, staff, and students were the recipients of his pastoral care. He stepped down in April 2018 due to failing health.
Mike is survived by his brother, Jim, of San Dimas, CA.
Services: Funeral Mass, Saturday, September 22, 10:00a.m., at Blessed Sacrament Church, 6657 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028-7121. Burial will take place on Monday, September 24, 10:00 a.m., Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln St., Santa Clara, CA 95050
Donations in memory of Fr. Mike Mandala, SJ may be made to Verbum Dei High School's Adopt-A-Student scholarship fund, 11100 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90059
October 11, 2018 - TESTAROSSA Winery, located at the former Novitiate Winery in Los Gatos, Calif., hosted a 130th Anniversary luncheon commemorating the 1st harvest of grapes at the Novitiate Winery, October 11, 1888. TESTAROSSA owners, Rob & Diana Jensen invited the Sacred Heart Jesuit Community and Staff for wine tasting and buffet lunch.
October 9, 2018 - Father Robert Joseph Schlim, SJ, longtime teacher in Spokane schools, died at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California, October 3, 2017. He was 90 years of age, 68 years a Jesuit, and 56 years a priest.
September 30, 2018 - Jesuit Scholastics studying Philosophy spend their first summer on service immersion programs. The rural villages of Alakanuk, Bethel and Newtok in western Alaska were the frontier destinations for Shane Liesegang, SJ, John Meyers, SJ, Jason McCreery, SJ, Raymond Parcon, SJ, and James Millikan, SJ. Their mission was to contribute their talents wherever needed.
September 17, 2018 - Ms. Kim Cavnar, Principal of St. Francis Xavier School, received Loyola University of Chicago’s 2018 Damen Award from the Institute of Pastoral Studies on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.
September 5, 2018 - Father John J. (“Hex”) Kindall, SJ, longtime high school teacher/principal and pastor in schools and parishes throughout the Pacific Northwest, died August 25, 2018 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California. He was 91 years of age, a Jesuit for 74 years, and 61 years a priest.
September 2, 2018 - The Jesuits West Prayer for September centers on St. Peter Claver, SJ, whose feast day is September 9. From 1610 until his death in 1654, Peter Claver, ministered to the slaves brought from Africa to Cartagena, Colombia. Peter signed his name, “slave of the slaves forever.”