Sister Catherine Nessi, SNJM

(Sister Francis Venard)

September 20, 1930 – August 18, 2020

Sister Catherine Nessi, SNJM departed this life on August 18, 2020 in at the Villas of Saratoga in Saratoga, California.

Sister Catherine celebrated 89 years of life and 70 years of religious profession.

A Mass of Resurrection was celebrated in her memory.

Sister Catherine Nessi, SNJM

Sister Francis Venard

September 20, 1930 – August 18, 2020

Sister Catherine Nessi, SNJM (Sister Frances Venard) passed away in the early morning of August 18, 2020. Sister Catherine was 89 years old and celebrated 70 years of her religious profession as a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. 

Sister Catherine was an elementary school educator and for over 57 years she ministered in schools both in Northern and Southern California.  She taught at Saint Monica (San Francisco), Saint Anastasia (Los Angeles), Saint Elizabeth (Altadena), Saint Monica (Santa Monica), Saint Ignatius (Sacramento), Saint Theresa (Oakland), Sacred Heart (Oakland), and Holy Spirit (Fremont). She taught at Saint Stephen (Monterey Park) three times for a total of 14 years and Saint Cecilia (San Francisco) for 18 years ministering there as teacher, plant manager and substitute teacher. During her years in elementary schools she coached many sport teams and also was known to give trumpet lessons to music students.

Additionally, she ministered at Convent of the Holy Names, Los Gatos, as plant manager for 3 years and Activities Director at Saint Mary’s Garden in Oakland for 3 years.

She loved her Swiss-Italian heritage and her family. She had a spirit of unassuming service and generosity. Sister Catherine’s quick and dry wit, her keen perception of people in an understated way, her acceptance of every person and her ability to speak directly in a disarming manner endeared her to many. Her mischievous smile and twinkle in her eye hinted at her fun-loving side. She loved sports and enjoyed watching, playing and coaching them.

 She is survived by her nieces, Rita Gordon, Theresa Woerman, Tina Figueroa and her nephews, George Nessi, Jim Nessi and their families. She will be remembered fondly by many friends, colleagues, former students and the Sisters of the Holy Names and their Affiliates.

A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated in Sister Catherine’s memory at a future date.

Gifts in her memory may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 907, Los Gatos, CA 95031 or on-line at