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Maria del Carmen Tapia

Maria del Carmen Tapia (“Carmen”) passed away peacefully on September 7, 2016 at the age of 91 after an uphill battle with pneumonia. On September 21 she was laid to rest in the cemetery of Miraflores de La Sierra, Spain in the burial plot of her family. Carmen was born in Cartagena, Spain in 1925. After growing up in an aristocratic family, in 1948 she joined a religious group called Opus Dei and took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. She joined the organization during an expansive period and traveled with it through Spain, Italy and Venezuela. Carmen became a Venezuelan citizen in 1960. She eventually departed Opus Dei and wrote of her experiences in a book that has been translated into several languages. Always a citizen of the world, Carmen was deeply interested in religion and studied throughout her life. She moved to Santa Barbara to work as an assistant to Dr. Raimundo Panikkar in the Religious Studies Department at UCSB. She then served as an Administrator of Faculty Exchanges for the UC Education Abroad program. She proudly became a United States citizen. Carmen was a passionate, generous and loyal friend to many. She welcomed people into her home in Santa Barbara and stayed in regular contact with her many friends from around the world. She is survived by her two younger brothers, Javier and Manolo, and their families, all of whom live in Spain. At Carmen’s request, a simple mass will be held in her name at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church at 1300 East Valley Road, Montecito, California on November 15, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. No reception is planned. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

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