Carmella Anne Rapillo was born in Brooklyn to Margaret and Andrew and she attended St. Joseph’s parish school. After attending the Juniorate in high school,, Millie entered our congregation in 1953 and her faith in God’s unconditional love guided her life as she became a teacher. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Joseph’s College and a Masters in mathematics from Syracuse University.
Millie taught elementary grades in St. Michael’s, St. Frances de Chantel, St. Mary Mother of Jesus, St. Gabriel’s, St Thomas Aquinas and St. Athanasius. She taught Mathematics for eleven years at Bishop Kearney High School and then began her almost forty year presence at The Mary Louis Academy as teacher, finance officer, mentor and friend to countless students and faculty.
Millie’s life had purpose and pattern. Her spiritual life was nourished by daily Eucharist and devotion to the rosary and St. Joseph. She was a dedicated teacher and her students came first. She was persistent in getting them through regents exams and few would escape her diligent coaching. An alumna noted that S. Anne Carmel taught her pedagogy before she even knew what that was and she was made to feel capable, loved and willing to learn and laugh. Sister Anne Carmel was an excellent math teacher but many alumnae remember her for life lessons, of respect, dedication, consistency, self-confidence and life-long learning. One of her former students noted that she made the world a better place, one girl at a time.
Millie’s own life reflected that dedication and consistency. Family was so important to Millie so the ritual Sunday trips to Staten Island were a beloved pattern. But before leaving the convent, there would be the call to her sister, Josephine or Patricia for the bread order from Grimaldi’s or cake from Rudy’s. Once a year it would be to get a cake and I quote “for someone” right around December 31st, her own birthday. On special occasions it would be the pastry order and no one could say sfogliatelle like Millie.
We could not celebrate Millie without celebrating her famous meat loaf, a beloved recipe that is now used for all of our guests in Hampton Bays. She also made it for her sisters here at Immaculate Conception Convent the evening she was called home to God.
The heart of today’s celebration is Millie’s unassuming, faith-filled, dedicated life as a Sister of St. Joseph for sixty seven years. Her love of family, friends, students and colleagues witnesses to her awareness that God was truly her way, her truth and her life. Millie, an amazing teacher, beloved sister and dear friend we thank you for sharing life with us and we know you are enjoying eternal peace with the God who accompanied you on your life’s journey.
Sister Anne Carmel Rapillo died on January 6, 2020 in the 67th year of her religious life.