Sister Flora Marinellii, a woman of deep faith, enduring love and exceptional kindness, was a Sister of St. Joseph for fifty seven years.
At last evening’s vigil prayer, we heard Jesus proclaim the greatest commandment: “You shall love the lord your God, with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with your whole mind. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Flora enfleshed this command with her whole life. She was born here in Long Island City to Fiorinda and Ubaldo. She lived our congregation’s mission of unity as a teacher in parish schools in Brooklyn, and principal of Our Lady of Lourdes in West Islip. She responded to serve our congregation as a Regional Superior and also helped women to discern a call to religious life.
Flora was passionate about spreading the gospel message and earned a Masters in Religious Education from Fordham University. After teaching Religious Studies at Fontbonne Hall Academy, Flora came back to Long Island City and began her thirty-five year ministry here at her beloved St. Patrick’s. Her very life preached the gospel and for Flora it was all about relationships and presence.
All of you here could name how Flora revealed God’s love to you ranging from never forgetting to send a birthday card to visiting you at home, in the hospital or giving honest counsel while enduring a life’s struggle. Ever present, ever wise and ever compassionate, Flora spent her life building community and was actively engaged in community organizations to insure that all were included and everyone’s needs would be met. She truly was a sister of the neighborhood.
The lessons Flora taught all of us revealed her deep faith and intimate relationship with her loving God. She trusted in God’s profound love even as she faced her last illness and witnessed to all of us that God companions us in all of our joys and struggles. Her sisters here in St. Patrick’s and all who supported them were God’s presence to Flora enabling her to die peacefully at home.
God calls each one of us to be like Flora, selfless, inclusive and tireless in reaching out to bring God’s comfort and peace to others. She lived our congregation’s mission of unity through love of God and neighbor without distinction every day of her life. We are grateful to Flora for showing us the way and we honor her today knowing the immeasurable influence she has had on countless lives.
Sister Flora Marinelli, CSJ died on November 30, 2018 in the 54th year of her religious life.