We come together to celebrate the life of Sister Anne Michel Pavell, a Sister of Saint Joseph for sixty-four years. Anne was born in Astoria to her parents Anne and Michael and attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and Blessed Sacrament High School in Manhattan. After entering the congregation, Anne received her Bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College and a Masters in Social Studies from Queens College and a Masters in Theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington.
Anne used her many talents as teacher and coordinator of Religious Education.The word coordinator is key to recognizing Ann’s great organizational skills and practical ways of thinking. But what is most important is that Anne used those skills wherever there was need and that included audio-visual coordinator at St. John’s Hospital, transportation coordinator at Maria Regina and the role of Transportation Liaison for the congregation. In that role Anne’s clever wit, care for others and deep sense of justice had the opportunity to shine.
Anne loved the outdoors and all of nature. Her faithful care and daily walks with Sandy, the dog, nurtured her intimate relationship with God the Creator. Anne had a deep sense of God’s justice and early each day she could be found at the computer writing to government officials on behalf of those who are poor, displaced, violated or excluded. She encouraged any of our sisters who were engaged in ministries that would transform unjust structures and provide for the needs of the oppressed.
Each one of us is unique and loved in God’s eyes and we know that is true for Anne. When she celebrated her 50th Birthday, Anne was surprised by the sisters who invited her sister Pat, who is with us today, to come. Part of the prayer that day read:
“We are all like rough diamonds, jostled about together, polishing one another in community. Only a diamond is strong enough to smooth the rough edges of another diamond, thereby bringing out its different facets and lustre.”
Anne in your beloved uniqueness, you have jostled us, served us and enabled so many to shine. As we celebrate you today we know that a daily prayer of yours is already answered:
I am asking. I am seeking. I am knocking. I am hoping. That at every turn, every challenge I meet, I will be guided and protected, safe in the arms of a faithful and loving God.
Sister Anne Michel Pavell, CSJ died on January 5, 2016 in the 65th year of her religious life.