Fr. Peter Bergen was one of the priests from Old St. Mary's Cathedral (Grant and California Streets) that was involved with the YMI (Young Men's Institute). When mom and dad got involved with the the Chinese Community, both at Old St. Mary's and St. Mary's Chinese Mission, it became a lifetime connection for the two of them. After Fr. Bergen left, they connected with another great Catholic Priest, Father Charles Donovan CSP.
Here is a brief history of Fr. Bergen from the Paulists.
Father Peter Bergen, CSP, was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, on August 28, 1904. He attended his local parish school and then entered the Paulist minor seminary in 1918. He completed his studies at St. Paul's College at a very young age (he was "a fine student, blessed with a clear mind") and was professed on September 15, 1926. He was then sent to Rome to complete his education. Having obtained a dispensation for his age, he was ordained a Catholic priest at the Lateran Seminary in Rome on April 16, 1927, at the age of 22.
Father Bergen's first priestly assignment was to work among Chinese students in San Francisco, imbuing them with the faith so that they would serve as catechists when they returned to China. In 1932 he joined the mission band based at Saint Paul the Apostle parish in New York, and in the late 1930's he moved to the Apostolic Mission House in Washington, D.C., becoming its director in 1940. In the mid-1940's he taught at Catholic University and St. Paul's College, and was also Superior of Lake George.
In 1946 Father Bergen was appointed pastor of Good Shepherd parish in New York, but declining health forced him to resign this position in 1949. Reassigned to Boston, he balanced the needs of the Paulist Center on Park Street with the demands of his fragile health. He was confined to a wheel chair much of the final decade of his life. He died in Boston on March 31, 1966, at the age of 61 nearing his 39th anniversary of ordination.
Fr. Peter Bergen to Alice Seibel Murphy , 11/8/1951
Fr. Peter Bergen to Alice Seibel Murphy, 1/18/1953