May 29, 1930 – February 18, 2018
Sister Karen Stern, SHF, died peacefully at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Holy Family in Fremont on February 18 at the age of 87. She was born Jacqueline Frances Stern on May 29, 1930, in Spokane, Washington, and entered the Sisters of the Holy Family from Saint Francis of Assisi Parish there on January 6, 1956, at the age of 25.
Sister Karen served in catechetical ministry and day homes in the Dioceses of Oakland, San Francisco and Nevada, including from 1970-1976 as a staff member of the Santa Clara County Catechetical Office of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, before the Diocese of San Jose was formed. Then she was called by her Sisters to serve in congregational leadership. She served as Councilor from 1979 to 1983, and was elected President of the congregation in 1983, a position she held until 1991.
After a sabbatical, Sister Karen went to Park City, Utah, in 1992, where she served as pastoral associate until 2002. She returned to California that year, and in 2004 moved to the Motherhouse in Fremont, where she was active in Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement, and also worked tirelessly as a volunteer at Washington Hospital in Fremont.