Sister Rose Miriam Pelletier, CSJ

Jan 23, 2021

Standing with me today are the 51 women who companioned Rose from 1964 to the present with fidelity and love. Quite providentially this liturgy is taking place in the space where it all began- our Postulant Room.  And of course, our wisdom figures – our mistresses –  who today –  join us in spirit! So Rosebud, you have come full circle!

“I Will Never Forget You”  (ISAIAH)
These simple, yet profound words from the prophet Isaiah capture the heart of our ever-loving and faithful God.
These words were the cornerstone of Rose Miriam’s life- and words that had deep meaning for her and the party of 1964- They were celebrated in song and sometimes in dance!. And for the record, Rose Miriam was our unofficial Mayor and holder of all truths and stories.

Fond memories and deep sympathy to Rose’s family who joins us virtually today. You have a distinguished place in our formative years in Brentwood as being the #1 supplier of Fanny Farmer and Russel Stover candy on visiting days- an honor that brought great joy to your beloved Rose. One never spoke with Rose without hearing a story or a remembrance of her treasured Pelletieri family. You could be sure every detail, event, time and date would be included- and her accuracy was never questioned! Her family was her heart- as the only girl with 4 wonderful, fun-loving and adventurous brothers their antics, relationships and acts of kindness were always the source of tales that regaled, entertained and inspired- stories that never grew old. The next generation walked proudly in their legacy- the bar was high and in Rose’s eyes you always surpassed the expectations of big shoes to fill. She loved you so!

“I Will Never Forget You”

In life the gift of a meaningful supportive friendship is exactly that- a true gift! Rose found that in Paul Marie, her lifelong faithful companion-  and Paul found the same in Rose. In planning to go anywhere or do anything it was always a seat for TWO!  They would arrive at Maria Regina or the Motherhouse – always loaded with goodies for everyone – and they would leave money for ice cream as they departed. Bonded by prayer their nightly saying of the rosary continued right to the end.

“I will Never Forget You”

As a proud member of the Party of 1964- better known as the Party- Party, Rose was omnipresent to catalog every detail of our lives from postulancy to the present. She never missed a beat in recalling an event, a humorous incident or a near tragedy- guaranteed there were grand embellishments of facts and personalities. For every party reunion, and she joked we took a 4th vow to have them, and the days in between Rose was always ready to hold forth as the storyteller par excellence!

“I Will Never Forget You”

Rose loved being a Sister of St Joseph and she lived her 56 years in total commitment as a Sister of the neighborhood- in the classroom or on the streets of the parishes she served- and without a doubt, in Rose’s opinion the best streets were claimed by her treasured Brooklyn. As a real people person Rose knew everyone’s story and offered her sincere advice asked for or not and prayers in abundance- her words were always couched in her witty and straightforward manner. Spending time with the Senior Citizen Groups at St Cecilia- St. Frances parish was the highlight of her later years. They were her dear neighbor world. When she returned to Brooklyn to celebrate her Golden Jubilee the neighbors turned out in droves- and as one woman aptly put it- “Sister Rose will always be our Rock Star- we miss her and Sister Paul- they were God’s Tag Team in our midst”.

“I Will Never Forget You”

Rose’s transition to Sacred Heart Convent was definitely a community effort and little short of a CSJ miracle. Eventually the choice was embraced with gratitude and lots of side-bar conversations! She was home! In recent years a phone call from Rose was guaranteed to be filled with a long running list of  the who, what where and why’s in the life of Sacred Heart Convent, the Pelletieri Family and the wider CSJ world.

She was very direct-

“Tesa, make sure you and Carole are praying  for Sister- so and so- she fell and it’s serious.”
“Tesa, one of our aide’s children is ill and money is tight.” – Rose Miriam took care of it!
“My sister in law is grieving and yet she always thinks of me.”
“Chris Maher is an absolute saint and deserves a raise.”
“Elizabeth Myles works too hard she needs time off.”

And the list goes on and on- making sure that all were remembered in prayer. Rose loved when she was called the CNN News Anchor of the CSJ world-
Although she quickly quipped that it was an unpaid position.

“I Will Never Forget You”

Ave Regina,  upon hearing of Rose’s death wisely said that Rose was a woman accustomed to sorrow but graced by God to transcend it.
The epitome of Rose’s triumph over the struggles and challenges that often touched her life was made clear during a visit while she was in Mercy Hospital. It was immediately evident that Rose was the celebrity of the ward. After verifying that Rose was in fact a real nun, the residents spoke of her kindness, affability, quick wit and her ability to make them feel special. Rose knew everyone’s name and spoke freely about God’s personal love for them. Indeed, Rose’s sincerity and sense of the holy were balm for their healing.

In life certain people are truly unforgettable-
Thank you Rose for being one of them-
Your love of life…..
Your passion for inclusiveness and connectivity-
Your active real life love of God and the dear neighbor-
Your joy in making people laugh-
Your triumph over adversity . . .  All add up to a life well lived.
The God who loves you tenderly now welcomes you home with unfailing love.
And we,  your family, friends and community join with Isaiah in saying-

“We Will Never Forget You” ! 
(Sister Tesa Fitzgerald)

Sister Rose Miriam Pelletier, CSJ died on January 22, 2021 in the 57th year of her religious life.

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