Br. Didacus Clavel, OFM, 91, passed away on April 24 at Summit Medical Center in Oakland California. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 30 in the Serra Chapel at Santa Barbara Mission (Old Mission Santa Barbara), California, beginning with the praying of the rosary at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m.  

Br. Didacus chose to write his own obituary prior to his death. The story of his life, in his own words, is below: 

The year was 1947 when four of us lads from St. Francis School in Spokane, Washington, wanted to enter St. Anthony Seminary in Santa Barbara. In those days, the seminary had a full student body of about 150 young men of high school age. It was an adventure leaving home at a tender age for the first time. We kind of left society behind!  

After I completed high school, Br. Herbert Patterson, OFM, called me into his office to inform me that I did not measure up to the curriculum and had to leave. I still wanted to be a Franciscan, so instead of giving up, I entered our formation program for brothers in 1950 at the San Antonio Mission in Jolon, California, under the direction of Br.  Bartholomew Welsh, OFM, a very holy friar. There were about 10 of us young men. We had classes and worked on the grounds. 

In 1952, I received the tertiary brother habit with Br. Timothy Arthur, OFM, and entered the novitiate in 1954. It was a wonderful experience. There were 22 men in our class, and our novice master was Br. Reginald McDonough, OFM, a great Irishman. 

After novitiate and making first vows, the clerics went on to studies. I was assigned to St. George in Seattle, Washington, for a very short time. As the years passed, I served in Delano, California; Serra High in Salem, Oregon; St. Mary in Phoenix; Santa Barbara; St. Boniface in San Francisco; St. Mary in Stockton; and Ascension in Portland.  

My favorite assignment was at Ascension, where I got my shoe in the door, so to speak, to work in the parish visiting the sick, becoming involved in the liturgy, lecturing and giving the occasional reflection, and singing in the choir under the direction of my sister Celeste. Back at St. Boniface, I helped in the parish by visiting the sick in the Tenderloin and at St. Francis Hospital and working at St. Anthony Dining Room. I also worked at the Portiuncula Chapel in North Beach giving tours for three years.   

The years passed quickly, and I began to feel my age and health catching up with me and showing up in various ways. I do want to mention that the late Br. Jeff McNab was a special friend and inspiration.  

My life has been quite a Franciscan journey. There have been some side roads that I would never take again. As my life closes, I have done little. The rest is up to the good Lord. Let’s see what He does with me. All aboard for heaven! 

My hobbies were cycling and model railroading. I am grateful for my brothers and sister: Bob, Ronnie, Julie (Sr. Celeste, OSF) and Joanne. We were very close.