Obituaries, Week of Aug. 13, 2022

Father Joseph P. Quigley, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, died Friday, July 29, at age 88.

He was born September 15, 1933, in Brooklyn and was ordained on May 28, 1960, by Bishop Bryan McEntegart. He attended elementary school at St. Brigid, Ridgewood, and Bishop Loughlin High School, Fort Greene; then City College and Cathedral College before Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York, where he was ordained in 1960.   

Father Quigley’s assignments included St. Augustine, Brooklyn (1960-1977); Our Lady Of Sorrows, Corona (1977-1984); and chaplain at Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn (1984-2015). 

According to Father Quigley’s brother, Patrick, while serving at St. Augustine, the priest traveled to Puerto Rico to study Spanish to better communicate with the parish’s growing Hispanic population. Later, when he served at Our Lady of Sorrows, Father Quigley saw a need for French-speaking priests to reach the growing Haitian population in the parish, so he traveled to Canada to study French.

Father Quigley was a priest at St. Augustine on Dec. 16, 1960, when two airliners collided midair above Brooklyn and Staten Island, killing 128 people aboard the two aircraft and six people on the ground. The wreckage of one of the planes plummeted into Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, a short distance from St. Augustine Church. Patrick said Father Quigley responded to the crash scene and administered last rites to numerous crash victims.

Father Quigley’s last ministry was at St. Mark-St. Margaret Mary Church, Brooklyn, where he served as chaplain at nearby Coney Island Hospital, a position from which he retired at age 79.

Father Michael Panicali, who served as parochial vicar at St. Mark-St. Margaret Mary parish while Father Quigley was assigned there, called the priest “a very kind-hearted, gentle and quiet priest, who utilized his knowledge of Spanish to help people who would come to our rectory and for whom English was not their first language. And he was beloved by the Coney Island Hospital community, who he served as chaplain for 30 years.”

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Aug. 1 at St. Mark-St. Margaret Mary Church. The church pastor, Father Robert Mucci, was the homilist. A cremation service was private, and Father Quigley’s remains were to be interred in St. John Cemetery, Middle Village, New York.

Sister Rita Anne Sculti, OP, formerly Sister Christine Mary, died July 27 at age 90, after almost 72 years of faithfully serving the God she loved.

Sister Rita was born on February 8, 1932, and grew up in Hollis, Queens. During her high school years at Dominican Commercial, Sister Rita first felt the call to religious life. On September 8, 1950, she entered the Sisters of Saint Dominic at Amityville. She was clothed in the Dominican habit on August 4, 1951, and received her religious name, Sister Christine Mary. She pronounced her first vows on August 6, 1952, and her final vows on August 6, 1955.

Sister Rita earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at St. John’s University, Jamaica, New York; a Master of Arts degree at the Catholic University of America, Washington; and a Clinical Pastoral Education Certificate in Chaplaincy at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. 

From 1952 to 1974, Sister Rita’s ministry was in education. She taught elementary grades at St. Ignatius, Hicksville, New York; St. Michael, East New York; and St. Francis of Assisi, Long Island City. She also served as principal at Cure of Ars, Merrick.

Sister Rita taught high school business subjects at her alma mater, Dominican Commercial, and at St. Michael High School, East New York. From 1974 to 1982, she ministered as a diocesan supervisor of schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn. 

From 1984 to 2006, she ministered at St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn. Her fellow Sisters said Sister Rita was “a truly prayerful woman” whose quiet demeanor drew people to her. 

For the last 10 years of her life, she was cared for by her aides in Carlin Hall.  

Sister Rita was predeceased by her parents, her sisters Margaret and Gloria, and her brother Bill. She is survived by her brother Leon and her sisters Eleanor, Ginny, and Kate, by her many nieces and nephews and their families, and by her sisters in community.

A wake and funeral took place in St. Albert Chapel, Queen of the Rosary Motherhouse, on Tuesday, August 2. A prayer service was held, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial. Interment followed in the Sisters Cemetery.