Birth: May 4, 1929
Profession: June 17, 1962
Death: October 13, 2012
Rosenda Mesa, RSCJ, had a variety of interests and enjoyments, chief among them quiet service to her beloved God and care of his creatures. Her death Saturday, October 13, at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart’s elder care center in Atherton, California was as quiet as her life. She will be remembered in a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 30 at Oakwood, 140 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton, CA 94027. Burial will be at Oakwood.
Rosenda Mesa was born in Los Angeles on May 4, 1929 to Rosendo and Antonia Mesa. The fourth of five children, she was pre-deceased by brothers Manuel and Lupe Mesa and a sister, Rosenda, who died before Sister Mesa born. She is survived by her sister, Domitila Mesa, of Baldwin Park, Ca. She entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at the San Diego College for Women in 1953 and professed final vows in 1962.
Sister Mesa’s lifelong ministry was in service to her religious community, as housekeeper and dishwasher. She lived in communities in El Cajon, California; Seattle, Washington; Menlo Park, California; and Albany, New York. She served at the Schools of the Sacred Heart in Atherton, California for many years and later served the Oakwood community as sacristan, caring for the chapel. She also volunteered for 23 years at the St. Francis Center, serving low-income Hispanic families.
As the product of a migrant farm family during the Great Depression, Rosenda began work at an early age, with jobs sorting dates, filling popcorn bags and sorting and testing balloons. At the same time, she was taking classes in agriculture, cooking, sewing and bookkeeping. She had variety of interests and did nothing half-heartedly. From a very young age, she loved music and amassed a large collection of classical albums. She loved to read and had shelves teeming with books. She loved nature, and could frequently be found sitting quietly outdoors or by a window to admire God’s creation. She had a love of animals, particularly cats, of which there were always many on the Atherton campus; she had a name and a feeding station for each. And she loved sports, cheering enthusiastically for the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Lakers.