Sister Mary Euphemia O’Connor was born in San Francisco in 1919.  She was number six of nine children given as a blessing to Tom and Nellie O’Connor of County Kerry, Ireland. She attended the Academy of the Presentation and then entered the convent of the Sisters of the Presentation on July 1, 1937. She was professed on January 2, 1940. Two of her sisters also joined her in becoming Sisters of the Presentation and another sister entered the Daughters of Charity.

The O’Connor Sisters in 1944.

Sister Euphemia received her Bachelor Degree in Science from the University of San Francisco. Her education was further enhanced by the summer seminars given by the Taft Institute and the Freedom Foundation in Pennsylvania. She would travel by Greyhound bus where she said that she learned so much from fellow passengers. Having the opportunity to travel and to meet new people brought a new perspective to her life and a fresh approach to her teaching.

Sister taught and cared for more than thirty boarders at St. Mary’s in Gilroy and taught two grades. She mended little hearts and wiped tiny tears. Mother Mary Olivia Hargardon, knowing of her love for the boarders, sent her back to St. Mary’s the last year the boarding school was open.  Sister Euphemia kept in contact with a number of the students and their families and was always interested in what was happening in their lives.

Sister Euphemia O’Connor with Fr. Tom Martin at Sister’s 100th birthday celebration in 2019.

Sister Euphemia was among the first Sisters missioned to Saint Charles School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she stayed for four years. Her high school teaching experience began at Bishop Conaty Memorial High School in Los Angeles. The Presentation Sisters staffed the Social Studies Department. From there Sister continued to teach Social Studies at Daniel Murphy Boys High, Salesian Boys High and Bellarmine Jefferson County Memorial High School, Los Angeles. She had a passion for teaching and wanted each student to reach his or her potential.

All her students, their families and the other people she met remain an important part of her life. She loved them all and kept in contact with many throughout the years.

Although it grieved her to see the closure of the schools in which she taught and to witness so many changes in her Presentation Community, she believes that community is where the heart finds a home.

Sister Euphemia died on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Her funeral will be celebrated January 27, 2023, 11:00 am, at the Presentation Motherhouse, with interment at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. The Mass will be livestreamed at https://vimeo.com/event/2806945

Sister Euphemia at her 100th birthday celebration with her sister, Sister Kieran.

 

Ministries

1939 – 1940 Teacher, St. Anne School, San Francisco
1940 – 1941 Teacher, St. Agnes School, San Francisco
1941 – 1942 Teacher, Our Lady of Lourdes School, Los Angeles
1943 – 1950 Teacher, St. Mary School, Gilroy
1950 – 1951 Teacher, St. Patrick School, San Jose
1951 – 1952 Teacher, St. Anne School, San Francisco
1952 – 1953 Teacher, St. Benedict School, Montebello
1953 – 1954 Teacher, St. Joseph School, Berkeley
1954 – 1958 Teacher, St. Charles School, Albuquerque
1958 – 1959 Teacher, St. Mary Magdalen School, Los Angeles
1959 – 1961 Teacher, St. Benedict School, Montebello
1961 – 1964 Teacher, St. Joseph School, Berkeley
1964 – 1965 Teacher, Nativity School, Menlo Park
1965 – 1967 Teacher, St. Christopher School, San Jose
1967 – 1968 Teacher, Our Lady of Fatima School, Seattle
1968 – 1969 Teacher, St. John the Baptist School, San Lorenzo
1970 – 1975 Teacher, Conaty Memorial High School, Los Angeles
1975 – 1977 Teacher, Daniel Murphy High School, Los Angeles
1977 – 1979 Teacher, Salesian High School, Los Angeles
1979 – 1980 Teacher, St. Benedict School, Montebello
1975 – 1977 Teacher, Daniel Murphy High School, Los Angeles
1977 – 1979 Teacher, Salesian High School, Los Angeles
1979 – 1980 Teacher, St. Benedict School, Montebello
1980 – 2006 Teacher/Faculty, Bellarmine-Jefferson High School, Burbank
2006 – 2007 Volunteer Services/Seniors, Hotel Dieu, Los Angeles
2007 – 2009 Volunteer Services, Showing God’s Glory, Los Angeles
2009 – 2010 Volunteer Services, Hotel Dieu, Los Angeles
2010 – 2011 Teacher, Volunteer, Motherhouse, San Francisco
2011 – 2012 Volunteer Teaching, Epiphany Center, San Francisco
2012 – 2015 Prayer Ministry for Past Students and Friends, Motherhouse, San Francisco
2015 – 2017 Ministry of Communications, Motherhouse, San Francisco
2017 – 2019 Prayer and Outreach to Past Pupils and Families, Motherhouse, San Francisco
2019 – 2022 Ministry of Prayer, Motherhouse, San Francisco