Rosine Pustizi, CSJ

We remember her in the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring.

  “I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am; there you also may be.”  

                                                                                                                 John 14: 3, 4                                                                                          

December 21, 1924 – April 12, 2018

 Almost seventy –two years ago, Sister Rosine answered God’s call to religious life, to follow Him as a Sister of St. Joseph. By following Jesus, Sister Rosine was able to live as God the Father willed. Following Jesus was a life-changing decision for her.

Many years ago, Sister Rosine prepared her funeral Liturgy. I am guessing that it was so many years ago that computers and copy machines were not even invented. Her program was done on a typewriter and printed on what many of us here would remember as a rex-o-graph machine.  The Mass program we are using this morning includes the Scripture, the music , the quotes and the graphics of  Sister Rosine’s original program which was entitled:  Eucharistic Liturgy Commemorating the Glorious Entrance of Sister M. Rosine Pustizzi , CSJ into the Fullness of Eternal Life.

As I reflected on the Scripture and music that Sister Rosine  had chosen, it became apparent to me that in her own prayerful preparation for her funeral Liturgy she had two  distinct messages for all of us who  would be gathered together for this celebration. First – Sister Rosine believed that at the end of her earthly life, her loving God would have prepared a place for her to live in His presence for all eternity and secondly; how it was she would live her life in preparation for her “Glorious Entrance” into eternal life.

Throughout our Liturgy the Scripture planned by Sister Rosine detailed these messages out for us. In our first reading from the Prophet Micah we will hear the question “With what gifts shall I come into God’s presence? God’s answer, “Do good, love kindness, and humbly walk with your God.” Goodness, kindness and humility are words that readily come to our minds and mouths when describing Sister Rosine. We cannot estimate the number of young lives that Sister Rosine touched as an elementary school teacher. She not only had the privilege to nurture in young children a love for learning but also the sacred trust of helping them to know how much their God loved them. Sister Rosine personified goodness, kindness and humility.

Our responsorial Psalm reminds us that we are lifted up and held in God’s hands throughout our lives. Sister Rosine was confident that her loving God was holding her in the palm of His hand and raising her up on every step of her journey.

The enduring message of our second reading from the Book of Revelation is a message of hope and consolation that our life of fidelity and Faith here on earth will someday bring us to dwell in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race… God himself will be with them.” Sister Rosine’s Faith never wavered throughout her life as a Sister of St. Joseph even as her health declined and she lost her ability to walk and speak, her grateful eyes and tender smile expressed her message of gratitude and love to her devoted brother, Sal, her nephews, her visitors and those who cared for her.

When Sister Rosine was able, she loved to talk about her family, especially her brother, Sal. Sal being the youngest in the Pustizzi family and the only son when they were growing up, was adored by his big sisters, Carmela and Maria and Sal dearly loved his sisters. I came across a card that Sal sent to Sister Rosine that expresses this sentiment poignantly. It reads “The best thing about those long-ago days is what we know now… time flies, but love stays” to my sister, my forever friend! Sal, Sister Rosine’s love for you now last forever in eternity and she will always be your forever friend. !

The paths taken in all of our lives include pain, suffering and disappointments along the WAY. In today’s Gospel from St. John, Jesus says to each of us as he spoke to Sister Rosine. “Walk with me, because I am the WAY, follow me because I am the LIGHT, believe in me and you will have LIFE. (paraphrased) and today for Sister Rosine, it is eternal life.

I am certain if Sister Rosine could speak to us this morning, her message would be the words of today’s Gospel “Do not let your hearts be troubled: trust in God…you shall not be alone. To prepare a place for you, I go, but shall return so that you may be with me in the mystery of rising to new life. God is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

In Baptism Sister Rosine died with Christ and rose with Him to new life. May she now share with Him eternal life.

Rest in peace, Sister Rosine!

Given by: Patricia E. McCarthy, CSJ