We celebrate the life of S. Mary Cecilia Giannitti, a Sister of St. Joseph for seventy one years. She now enjoys the fullness of life revealed in Christ’s resurrection. Born to Vincent and Anna, Mary’s giftedness and love of music was nurtured from her early years and she earned a degree in Music Education from NYU before entering the congregation. Love of music and love of teaching formed the core of Mary’s ministerial life.
As Sisters of St. Joseph we strive to bring all into Union with God and one another. Mary lived this by encouraging her students to use their gifts, do their best and above all trust their instincts and do the work of God.
As teacher, mentor and administrator, Mary shared her talents in our congregation’s schools, St. Angela Hall, Fontbonne Hall, St. Agnes Seminary, administered the middle school at Sacred Heart Seminary and was the Music Supervisor for the schools in the Brooklyn Diocese. With her love of learning, Mary pursued doctoral studies in Administration and Instructional Leadership at St. John’s University and gave workshops on Learning Styles as well as collaborating on textbooks in the field.
Mary’s passion for music led her to play for many, especially Senior Groups and here in St. Joseph’s Convent. Her zeal and the pursuit of perfection were often expressed in her many projects and productions, especially with her students.
We all know that Mary did not take no for an answer and that became clear once when the leadership team asked Mary to accompany them in their annual, “non-professional,” Christmas entertainment for the motherhouse community. A fifteen minute practice for our “Broadway Review” turned into a three hour rehearsal. So you see we could not say “no” to Mary.
But on the eve of celebrating the Triduum leading to Easter Sunday, Mary could not say “no” to the invitation of her loving God to enter into eternal happiness. We will hear in today’s Gospel, Jesus asking Peter, “Do you love me?” three different times. I am sure that as Mary looked into the loving gaze of her God, she did not answer “No” but a full-hearted “Yes” that I am sure was greeted with choirs of angels singing a chorus of Alleluias with all now united with Mary.
Sister Mary Cecilia Giannitti, CSJ died on March 23, 2016 in the 72nd year of her religious life.