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Presentation Sister Bernice Gotelli to receive JST honor

May 1, 2015

Presentation Sister Bernice Gotelli will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in ceremonies May 23. Sister Bernice, this year celebrating 60 years as a religious, is also the day’s commencement speaker dispatching the school’s 2015 graduates. Sister Bernice has been chaplain to the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland for 26 years.

“In Sister Bernice, JST honors a true leader in pastoral ministry,” said Jesuit Father Thomas Massaro, Jesuit School of Theology dean. “Few people have given more time and expertise to JST students over the years than Sister Bernice.”

During her 26 years at the hospital Sister Bernice has helped critically ill and dying children as well as following through with their families. She is a member of the hospital’s medical ethics and palliative care committees.

Sister Bernice additionally supervises students from the Graduate Theological Union’s pastoral care field program including more than 30 students from JST who are engaged in supervised ministry at the hospital.

“Working with the Jesuit School of Theology has been a real gift in my life,” Sister Bernice said in a statement. “Not only are the students a help to my ministry, but it is also a blessing seeing their pastoral skills develop as they minister to children and families in need of knowing God’s presence in their illness.”

Sister Bernice, who holds a graduate degree from Seattle University and certification from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, received clinical pastoral education at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco.

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