Cover photo for Sr. Maria Elena Gonzalez's Obituary
Sr. Maria Elena Gonzalez Profile Photo

Sr. Maria Elena Gonzalez

August 20, 1941 — October 31, 2020

Sr. Maria Elena Gonzalez

Ramona Elena Gonzalez was born to Bernardino Gonzalez and Joaquina Garcia Gonzalez, in Amarillo, TX on August 20, 1941. Sister Elena had four brothers; Chief Master Sergeant Ignacio (Nacho), Father Antonio (Tony), Bernardino Angel (Bernie), and Dr. Juan Carlos (Charlie) and four sisters; Maria del Refugio (Cuca), Maria Esperanza (Lancha), Maria Guadalupe (Lupe), Dr. Rosa Margarita. Sister's parents worked hard to educate their children in Catholic schools. They ensured their children were all educated to achieve success with the values of hard-work, discipline, honesty, and high moral ethical standards. Through faith and working together her family developed a great love and respect for each other and to be of service to others.Sisters earliest education was at Our Lady of Guadalupe elementary school in Amarillo, TX. She attended high school at St. Mary's Academy in Amarillo. Sister received a B.A. in Education at Webster University in St. Louis, MO and a Master's in Theology at St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Tx. She received recognitions and Certificates for Theological Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA; Spiritual Direction at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA; and a Doctor of Humane Letters at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX. Sister received Honorary Degrees in Humanities at Humanitarian Award NCCJ; Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Edward University in Austin, TX; Doctor of Humane Letters from Salve Regina University, Newport, RI; and Doctor of Humane Letters from Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ.Sister Elena entered the Sisters of Mercy on September 8, 1959 at Frontenac, MO and made her profession of final religious vows on August 16, 1967. In 1964 through 1968 she taught elementary classes at St. Ambrose School in Chaffee, MO; Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Mission, TX; and St. Joseph School in Slaton, TX. In Plainview, Tx from 1969 to 1970 she was Vicar Coordinator; and CCD at St. Alice Catholic Church - Sisters Convent from 1970 to 1972 as Director of Child Development – Migrant Worker Center. Sister was missioned to St Louis, MO from 1972 to 1974 with the Renewal Team of the St. Louis Province; 1974 to 1976 as Provincial Councilor and Development Director; and from 1976 to 1979 as Assistant Provincial Administrator. She was missioned in 1979 to 1985 as Pastoral Associate at Santo Thomas de Aquino in Izabal, Guatemala C.A. She became the first woman Chancellor from 1986 to 1993 with the Diocese of Lubbock in Lubbock, Tx. Sister Elena was the first woman President of the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, TX from 1993 to 2007. Sister continued as a Retreat/Spiritual Director in San Antonio, TX from 2009 to 2010; and she provided Spiritual Services at Haven for Hope (residence for the homeless) from 2010 to 2012. Sister was missioned in 2013 to the Mercy Health Center Convent in Oklahoma City. She enjoyed her volunteer work as a Translator at the Mercy Good Samaritan Clinic from 2013 to 2015 in Oklahoma City. From 2014 to 2015 she assisted with the Sabbatical Program at Oblate School of Theology and with the Sisters Intercultural Studies, as well as Deaconate Program at the Mexican American Catholic College. Sister remained an active faithful, prayerful Community member and enjoyed participating in activities such as playing cards, games and special group outings. Sister continued her close relationship with her family and enjoyed visiting with her brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews.She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers Reverend Monsignor Antonio Gonzalez and Ignacio Gonzalez and wife Myra Ann; her sisters Maria del Refugio Renteria, Rosa Margarita Gonzalez, and husband Daniel Gonzalez.Immediate survivors include her brothers; Bernardino Gonzalez and wife Donna, Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez and wife Sonia; her sisters; Maria Esperanza Perez and Maria Guadalupe Alderete; brother-in-law Tony Renteria (Cuca); and many beloved nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, cousins and their families, Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Associates, Co-workers, Faculty of MACC, friends, former students, compassionate physicians, and caregivers.Masses and/or Memorials may be made in lieu of flowers to the Mexican American Catholic College, 3115 W. Ashby Pl., P.O. Box 28185, San Antonio, TX 78228-5104.Christian burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery at 1:00 pm, on November 5, 2020 and memorial service was held at Mercy Health Center Convent, OKC. Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a future date. Celebrant: Father Paul Kodakarakaran.
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Thursday, November 5, 2020

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