Father Michael J. Mandala S.J.,
1946 - 2018
{ "" }
Share Michael's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
December 7, 1946 - September 9, 2018 Father Michael J. Mandala, S.J., emeritus president of Verbum Dei High School, Los Angeles, died September 9, 2018 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California. He suffered from pancreatic cancer. He was 71 years of age and had been a member of the Jesuit Order for 54 years, 41 years a priest. Mike was born in Los Angeles on December 7, 1946, the son of Samuel Mandala and Rose Criscione Mandala. He graduated from Cantwell High School, Montebello, and entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Los Gatos in 1964. After the usual course of Jesuit studies Mike was ordained a priest at St. Anne's Church, Santa Ana, on March 26, 1977. His priestly ministry began as a community organizer at the Orange County branch of what later became the PICO National Network. He later served as Associate Director of the organization. He was twice in charge of the Social and Pastoral Ministries for the California Jesuits. From 1988-1995 he was pastor of the predominantly African-American parish of Christ the King in San Diego and of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Hollywood, 1998-2011. In 2012 Fr. Mike, affectionately known as "Padre," joined Verbum Dei High School as Director of Community Relations and Social Outreach. His goal was simple – to open Verb's blue gates to Watts and the surrounding communities. And, he did just that. His leadership and smile connected Verbum Dei to other non-profits, faith-based organizations and local government offices. In 2014, Padre was appointed President of Verbum Dei High School. Verb's faculty, staff, and students were the recipients of his pastoral care. He stepped down in April 2018 due to failing health. Michael is survived by his brother Jim Mandala (Sue Teeple Mandala) of San Dimas, and his niece Mary Mandala (Dustin Abrams), nephew David Mandala (Taylor Jacobs Mandala), niece Sarah Mandala, and great-nephew Maverick James Abrams. Services: Funeral Mass, Saturday, September 22, 10:00a.m., at Blessed Sacrament Church, 6657 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028-7121. Burial will take place on Monday, September 24, 10:00 a.m., Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln St., Santa Clara, CA 95050. Donations in memory of Fr. Mike Mandala may be made to Verbum Dei High School's Adopt-A-Student scholarship fund, 1100 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90059.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Los Angeles Times from Sep. 12 to Sep. 19, 2018.
Funeral Mass
10:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
6 entries
October 11, 2018
The Brown family are an ancillary group to the Tweedy Clan. Father Mike has been in our lives for half a century. He was so wonderful when Mom died and beautified the process of her funeral by his guidance and presence.

I cannot ever remember seeing him without a smile. He epitomized to us what a dedicated priest of the Jesuit Order should be. He set a high bar for us all as loving Christians.

He is an will be missed not only for his presence, but for his dedication. We are blessed by his brushes and touches with our lives.
Barbara Brown-Neville
September 21, 2018
Sentiments of Serenity Spray
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Maria Lozano-Corral
September 19, 2018
My condolences go out to the Mandala family and friends. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies. John 6:40
September 15, 2018
Oh, it was just too soon to lose this wonderful, light-filled friend! Michael Mandala has been a friend and support for so many years, especially when our own special Lupe Gomez fell stricken by cancer. In good times and in sorrow, he stood straight and strong, willing to shoulder so many sadnesses, as well as the joys. Too soon, Miguel, too soon! But you've left us with the memory of your wonderful and ready smile, as well as the music of your laughter, and for this we're grateful beyond words. Too soon, my friend, too soon!

Tu amiga para siempre,
Graciela Limon
Simi Valley, CA.
Graciela Limon
September 14, 2018
Oh how saddening it was to hear of Fr. Mandala's passing... I was a former CFO of PICO National Network and worked with dear Mike from 2015-2017. He always challenged me to do better in my position, to think more deeply and as a result to better myself professionally, all while doing it so with gentle integrity and genuine desire for PICO's success. I was blessed to have had this little time with him, and I am so deeply sorry I did not get a chance to say goodbye. I will be forever grateful for our encounter and will pray that dear Mike's soul rests in peace.
Lovingly, Mariam Khaziuri
Mariam Khaziuri
September 13, 2018
Psalms 90:10 says that the days of our years are 70 years, And if because of special mightiness they are 80 years. May vthe memories of the wonderful times you shared together bring a smile and joy in your heart.
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences