Sister Julie Carmel Mingoia, 1917 – 2016

For almost 99 years of life and 76 years as a Sister of Notre Dame, Sister Julie Carmel Mingoia reflected God’s goodness to everyone she met.

She was born in San Jose on July 28, 1917, as the fourth of five children to Italian parents, Frank and Rose Mingoia, Carmela attended Notre Dame High School in San Jose, then entered the novitiate in Saratoga in 1940. As Sr. Julie Carmel, she became an excellent teacher, positive, energetic and patient.  For more than thirty years, she worked with children and families in many Notre Dame schools from Covina in southern California to Portland, Oregon, before being missioned to Madonna del Sasso in Salinas.  

There, for an additional thirty years, she loved the children and families in the school and parish. Sr. Barbara Matasci, principal at Madonna for many of those years, said that Sr. Julie Carmel was happy serving wherever she was needed — as a classroom teacher, teaching assistant, librarian, computer teacher, art teacher, yard duty supervisor. She was also a parish greeter and Eucharistic Minister, and she especially enjoyed bringing Communion to the homebound.


In 2003, Sr. Julie Carmel became one of the founding members of the Province Center Community in Belmont.  She quickly adapted to her new community and made friends with the Province staff and with the neighbors.  For months after she left Belmont, neighbors continued to ask about “the friendly Sister who used to walk by every day and always stopped to say hello.”  The Sisters are grateful for the gentle care Sister later received at the dementia centers at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland and at Palm Villa, in Redwood City, where she died on June 21, 2016.

Fr. Dick Hilliard with Sr. Julie Carmel
Fr. Dick Hilliard with Sr. Julie Carmel

Sister Julie Carmel was blest with a large and loving family. To her niece, Barbara Torrison, “Aunt Carmie was a joy to be with.”  Predeceased by her brothers, Manuel, Ben, and Joe, and a sister, Jay, her joyful spirit will be greatly missed by her nieces, nephews, numerous cousins, and by her Sisters of Notre Dame.

After a Rosary at 10:30, Mass was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29, at the Notre Dame Province Center in Belmont.  Burial at 2:00 at the Mission Cemetery in Santa Clara.  A celebration will also be held in Salinas at a later date.


For 62 years Sister Julie Carmel shared her generous, loving spirit and tremendous teaching skills with elementary school children and families in Notre Dame schools from Covina in southern California to Portland, Oregon. Nearly 30 of those years were spent at Madonna del Sasso School and Parish in Salinas.

Former principal at Madonna, Sr. Barbara Matasci said that “Sr. Julie served as classroom teacher, librarian, computer teacher, teacher aide, yard duty supervisor.  She gave generously, had lots of patience with her students, was ready to hear of special circumstances that made each student’s ‘excuse’ acceptable. In the parish she was a greeter and Eucharistic Minister; she found joy in bringing Communion to the homebound.”

Carmela grew up in the San Jose area where she graduated from Notre Dame High School, before entering the Novitiate at Saratoga. She loved her family and often shared happy memories of growing up with her brothers and sisters, especially times at their ranch near Mt. Hamilton. “Having Sr. Julie/Aunt Carmie as a member of our family has always been a blessing to us,” says, Barbara Torrison, a niece. “My sister Julie and I were always so proud we had an aunt who was a nun.  And not just any nun either.  She was special. When we were children and would visit her, we loved sitting on her lap and scratching her white starchy 'bib'.  We got the biggest kick out of that.” Aunt Carmie made sure that they always went home with the treasured medals, rosaries and holy cards.

When the Province Center opened in Belmont in 2003, Sr. Julie became a vital part of the founding community. Because of her daily walks she also came to know many people in the neighborhood.  After she moved to Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland, neighbors frequently asked about “that friendly Sister who walked by every day and always stopped to say hello.”

As Sr. Julie Carmel celebrates 75 years as a Sister of Notre Dame, her Sisters, family, and friends are grateful for every minute of these years and for her generous and loving spirit.