Paul Maria Filipelli, CSJ
Sister Paul Maria Filipelli, CSJ died on October 11, 2022 in the 65th year of her religious life.
We come together to celebrate the life of Sister Paul Maria Filippelli, a Sister of St. Joseph for 65 faithful and fruitful years ~ and certainly, a vibrant and colorful one!
Family was a sacred and treasured experience for Sister Paul ~ Aunt Janet. We welcome each of you here this morning to celebrate her giftedness and blessings in your lives. She took enormous pride in your life accomplishments ~ and shared that news with everyone she met.
As one of 15 children born to Alfonso and Rosina Filippelli, Paul was named and baptized Ginetta and called Janet. That fact gave rise to many a good story. With St. Mary’s Parish, Woodside as the anchor of their life, values of faith and family were central to the Filippelli household.
Gracious hospitality and a “must have” sumptuous Italian meal, accompanied by lively conversations, melodious music and a sense of the holy shaped Paul’s future years.
Paul worked for three years before she entered and to no one’s surprise, it was in Loft’s Candy Company.
Paul’s love of children and her passion for teaching, coupled by her affable, jovial, manner were a wonderful backdrop for her nearly five decades of ministry as an elementary school teacher in the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre over the years. Seeds of the call to live meaningful Gospel lives, watered by Paul’s prayers and God’s grace blossomed in her students.
Paul’s sense of mission and the call to active service of God’s people brought her into the heart of parish and community life wherever she lived. Her involvement knew no bounds! She became a master Teacher of Religious Education and was on the road when needed to train catechists ~ yes, after a full day of teaching!
She served as CYO Girl’s Moderator of Softball and Basketball, Moderator of countless Rosary Societies, Chaplain of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary and Moderator of the Sisters of St. Joseph Guild.
In later years her greatest joy was found playing cards and praying the rosary with Senior Citizen groups.
At every civic gathering that focused on improving the quality of life in the area ~ especially in her beloved Brooklyn, Paul had a seat at the table ~ and definitely a front row one!
Talk about a Sister of the Neighborhood! Paul had the dear neighbor close to her heart and active life.
When health challenges impacted Paul’s life she found a welcoming and peaceful home at Sacred Heart Convent and later at Maria Regina Residence. Paul entered wholeheartedly into all community activities with daily Eucharist and personal prayer centering her life. Wherever Paul went, there was candy to follow. Her greatest joy was sharing her candy and cookies ~ even with her doctors!
Paul enjoyed the art of the game ~ football and baseball. Her famous wager pools engaged everyone and always involved a celebration ~ win or lose!
And, she’d want me to say in her name ~ Go Yanks!
For a reflection on Paul’s favorite role as Aunt Janet, her niece, Louise will now share some words.
Thank you, Louise, your Aunt Janet was a living witness to a deep love of family born of God’s immense graces lived within her religious commitment.
As our constitution is placed in Paul’s hands, we give thanks for her 65 faithful and full years as a Sister of St. Joseph, Brentwood.
In her Spirit, may God open our hearts to the needs of the “dear neighbor” in our midst and compel us to prayer and action.