Rev. Paul Waldie, Former O’Dowd Principal, Recalled for Energy, Empathy

By Mike McGreehan | Correspondent, Originally Published by the East Bay Times  


(Re-posted with permission)

OAKLAND — Whether serving as a parish pastor, educator, missionary or in whatever other capacity during his religious life, Rev. Father Paul Waldie, a member of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, had a special way of relating to the people he served.

A modern, forward-thinking priest by any measure, the former Bishop O’Dowd High School principal often worked the popular music of the time into his Masses. He tailored his sermons to touch on current events and the concerns of his congregants. Widely respected and well-loved by many, Waldie died Nov. 11 at the Lebh Shomea House of Prayer near Sarita, Texas. He was 84.

“He changed with the audience; he adapted his sermons to who he was talking to,” said Jack Dold, a former dean of boys at Bishop O’Dowd who cemented a lasting friendship with Waldie in the late 1960s. “If he was talking in a (Hispanic) parish, it was all mariachis and Spanish songs. He adjusted to the times and the audience.”

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