Sr. Mary Bernadette Pendola

Published by SND CA on

With hearts filled with sadness, but rejoicing that she is now free from pain, and resting in the arms of God, we share the news that Sr. Mary Bernadette passed away peacefully this morning. She has spent the last few years at Mary Health of the Sick Nursing Hospital in Newbury Park, on a journey with Parkinson’s Disease.

Born on June 22, 1945 in Richmond, California, Gloria was the only daughter of Charles and Mary Dilena Pendola. She attended St. Cornelius Elementary School and St. Joseph High School in Berkeley. However, at the beginning of her junior year, she became an aspirant at Notre Dame Academy in Los Angeles. She entered the community in February, 1963 and professed her first vows in 1965.   Although Sr. Bernadette spent the next 24 years ministering in elementary and secondary education, her first love was caring for the sick. Subsequently, she became a licensed vocational nurse and during her studies, she met Lois Harrion, a dear friend who became a member of the pioneer class of SND Associates. Her long-time dream to serve at an SND mission came true in 2000 when she was assigned to the dispensary in Jamalpur, India. Later, she ministered as the school nurse at St. Julie School in Buseesa, Uganda.  

In 2007, she joined the community at Notre Dame Center because of a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. She served as a receptionist and provided secretarial support services. A thrill of her life was traveling to Lourdes in 2013 under the auspices of the Knights of Malta.  

Sr. Bernadette was a talented artist as seen through her liturgical banners and greeting cards. She designed a ceramic plaque of St. Julie Billiart for St. Andrew’s Abbey, Valerymo, and it is available at the abbey’s book store. In her prayer and concerns, her deep love for the missions was always evident; she delighted in Eastern spirituality and “all that is Indian.”  

Sr. Bernadette’s funeral was private due to the rising COVID cases. The recorded livestream (including Eulogy) can be viewed at this link.

In recognition of Sr. Bernadette’s passion for the SND mission fields, memorial contributions to the SND Global Missions Fund will be appreciated. Please also consider sending a testimonial of Sr. Bernadette’s impact on your life to  

Knowing that Sr. Bernadette was always devoted to the community and to her many friends, we can be confident that she joins Our Lady in intercessory prayer for us each day.

May she rest in peace!  


Mwesige Norbert · December 16, 2021 at 2:08 pm

We have lost a great instrument indeed.
My student number was 25A am one of the pioneer students at St Julie Model Primary School Busesa who has ever felt how her services were, soo greate and caring,she loved her work and she always encouraged and motivated all persons of all ages.
May the almight forgive her where she went wrong and then grant here happiness with the angels in heaven.I will miss you always Sr.God be with you till we meet again.

Alinaitwe Immaculate · December 16, 2021 at 9:25 pm

Sr will be missed so much,more so her service she used to offer to the community shall be dearly missed, may the angels welcome her with joy till we meet Sr.eternal rest.

Kaggwa Francis · December 17, 2021 at 12:14 am

We will live to remember u Sr in Buseesa

Kaggwa Francis · December 17, 2021 at 12:16 am

Rest in peace May the God welcome u in his Kingdom u really taught us at St Julie

Murungi Clare · December 18, 2021 at 2:15 pm

To love and serve. May you live to be remembered forever. MHSRIEP😔

Sr. Mary Beena, S.N.D · January 22, 2022 at 6:09 am

Enjoy your New Life dear Bernie with our Lord… We remember you fondly as you spent time with us in India… I am so glad that I could see you again in 2017.. Even though you were not keeping well, what Joy we had in sharing some of the old experiences in India.. My deepest sympathy and prayers to all our Sisters in California province.. .

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