Sister Francis
Sister Francis

Sister Francis Lillian Riley, S.C., a Sister of Charity, Halifax, for 72 years, died Oct. 19 at Mount St. Vincent Motherhouse, Wellesley, Mass. She was 93.

Locally, she taught second and sixth grades at Our Lady Help of Christians School in Midwood, 1942-51. She was also responsible for preparing parish altar servers.

She served in the guidance department at Bishop Reilly H.S., Fresh Meadows, 1963-67.

She retired to the Mount St. Vincent Motherhouse in August, 2006.

Immediate survivors include her brother, Francis X. Riley of Milton, Mass.

Interment was at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Needham, Mass.


A Mass of Christian Burial for Peg Maron was celebrated Nov. 14 at St. Boniface Church, Downtown Brooklyn. She died in Rochester, N.Y., where she had moved to be close to her son.

A long-time parishioner of St. Boniface, she was active in the parish’s Social Justice and Adult Faith Formation committees.[hr]

Cardinal Bartolucci
Cardinal Bartolucci

Italian Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, who had devoted most of his priestly life to music and served as director of the Sistine Chapel Choir for more than 40 years, died Nov. 11 at the age of 96.

He had retired from the Sistine Chapel post in 1997, but he continued composing music, including “Benedictus,” a piece written and performed in 2011 for retired Pope Benedict XVI, who had named him to the College of Cardinals a year earlier.

Already a student of music and an assistant choir director, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1939 and the same year earned a diploma in composition and orchestra direction from the Florence Conservatory of Music. In 1942, he went to Rome to refine his knowledge of sacred music and soon was helping direct the choir at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

After a brief term as a parish priest near Florence, he was called back to Rome to serve as choir director at the Basilica of St. Mary Major and to teach composition at the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music. In 1952, he became the assistant director of the Sistine Chapel Choir.

Appointed director of the choir by Pope Pius XII in 1956, he reorganized its musical program, formed the Sistine Chapel boys’ choir, took the group on the road to give concerts around the world and continued composing works for both choir and orchestra.

His death leaves the College of Cardinals with 200 members, 109 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave.[hr]

Dominican Father Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost scholars of the New Testament, particularly the writings of St. Paul, died in the early hours of Nov. 11 in Jerusalem – a city where he had spent more than 45 years of his life. He was 78.

Father Gregory Carroll, provincial of the Irish Dominicans, described Father Murphy-O’Connor as “a colossus” in the world of Scripture study who “never forgot his roots.”

Born in Cork, Ireland, in 1935, he entered the Irish province of the Dominican order in September, 1953 and was ordained a priest July 10, 1960.

He received his doctorate from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland in 1962 and a year later began doing research on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the universities of Heidelberg and Tubingen, Germany.

From there, he went to Jerusalem to the Dominican-run Ecole Biblique, the French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem, which was to become his religious, scholarly and personal home for the rest of his life. He was appointed professor of the New Testament there in 1972.

He wrote a highly acclaimed guide to the Holy Land, which was published in 1980 and translated into numerous languages, and he was as comfortable leading pilgrims around the Holy Land as he was in the lecture hall. He also enjoyed entertaining guests at the Ecole Biblique, in the heart of East Jerusalem.

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