Sister Jean de Sales Tito, CSJ
We come to celebrate the life of Sister Jean de Sales Tito, a Sister of St. Joseph for seventy two years. How fitting that we celebrate this Eucharist here in Our Lady of Hope because S. Jean brought hope and healing to so many in this neighborhood and far beyond. Jean has left us but by her life she inspires us to minister as she did in Jesus’ name.
Born to Pasquale and Lucy, Italian immigrants, Jean grew up in Queens. After graduation from high school she entered our congregation and soon began her ministry of care and healing as an infirmarian in our Motherhouse in Brentwood. Even then, Jean’s compassion was obvious as she stayed with the dying to allay their fears and encouraged them knowing God was with them through it all.
Jean studied nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Yonkers and then began her lifelong ministry first at St. Joseph’s Convent In Flushing, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Far Rockaway, our Motherhouse in Brentwood and then for so many years at St. John’s Hospital In Elmhurst. In all of these places Jean was ever-present to patients, calming their fears and prodding them with her humor. She attended to anxious family members and I am sure regaled them with stories and wisdom from her parents.
Jean’s ministry was not confined to hospitals because she truly was a sister of the neighborhood, answering the questions we will hear in Matthew’s gospel today: When did you see me hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked or ill?
Jean saw the needs of so many who were lonely, suffering, anxious or struggling. Once she saw them, she responded, yes with food, clothes and perhaps a little wine but most of all with her presence. If Jean asked you “How are you?” She truly wanted to know and the answer “fine” would be questioned until she got to the core of your need.
Well Jean, all of us here today can respond that we are really fine because we have known you and now know with confidence that you are at peace with your loving God who has told you that “What you did for the least among us, you did for me.” We have learned from you and in your honor will go out into our neighborhoods and do the same.
Sister Jean de Sales Tito, CSJ died on May 27, 2019 in the 72nd year of her religious life.