We come together today to celebrate the life of Sister Madeline Therese DiCarlo, beloved teacher, administrator and mentor to the parishioners of Our Lady Of Perpetual Help and a Sister of Saint Joseph for sixty-three years. Madeline was raised in a family where faith, loyalty and care for one another, along with some famous culinary skills, were instilled at an early age. Her education here in Brooklyn at Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph’s High School affirmed these values and prepared her to excel in degrees in Business and Administration
The strong faith of her parents grew deeper in Madeline and she entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph in 1951. . The Sisters of Saint Joseph are committed to carry on the mission of Jesus to heal, redeem and liberate people where there is suffering, doubt and lack of tolerance or respect for all of creation. Madeline was a dedicated teacher and administrator for over forty years and ministered in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish until October of this year. Capable and committed in her desire to bring out the best in her students, she held high expectations which she enforced with honesty and certainty because she wanted them to be the best they could be. She was strong in her commitment but even stronger in her compassion for the people of the parishes where she served.
The Sisters of Saint Joseph carry on the mission of Jesus by looking lovingly at the needs of the people and doing anything necessary to meet them. As Jesus welcomed the ill, the lonely, the lost and the excluded, we strive to bring all into union with God and one another knowing that God loves all without distinction. Madeline cared deeply for anyone who came into her presence and was tireless in her efforts to reach out to them. She embodied our congregation’s tradition of hospitality through her concern and yes through her careful preparation of wonderful meals.
How significant that we celebrate Madeline’s life in this season of Advent when we wait and hope for a deeper understanding of God’s unconditional love for all of us. We will soon hear of God’s promise in the first reading from Isaiah that “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines… and He will destroy all death forever…and wipe away tears.”
Madeline’s deep faith, keen mind and strong convictions gave her the strength to bear her last illness with trust and hope. Her life models for us how we are to live with faith, integrity, honesty and the intention to be God’s presence to all without distinction. She can live on in each of us if we commit to do the same.
Sister Madeline Therese DiCarlo, CSJ died on December 11, 2014 in the 64th year of her religious life.