Obituaries, Week of September 9, 2023

Sister Yolanda Kinsella, CSJ, died Aug. 8 at age 87, after almost 69 years as a Sister of Saint Joseph. She was baptized Ann, and grew up in a loving home in Brooklyn. She graduated from her parish school, Saint Teresa of Avila, and in 1954 from the Juniorate of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. 

Sister Yolanda began her teaching ministry at Immaculate Conception School in Jamaica followed by a year teaching fourth-grade boys at Holy Cross in Brooklyn. In 1961 she was missioned to Puerto Rico where she taught at Colegio Santa Teresita in Ponce and Academia San Jorge in Santurce. On returning to New York, Sister taught seventh grade at Saint Philip Neri in East Northport. 

Feeling a call to the monastic life, she spent a year at the Poor Clare Monastery in Memphis, Tennessee. Sister Yolanda realized that her true vocation in life was to be a Sister of Saint Joseph, and so she returned to Brentwood and taught in the Academy of Saint Joseph. 

She earned a BA from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico and an MA in Religious Education prior to serving as Director of Religious Education at Santa Teresita for five years, and five years at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Southampton. During her years of outreach to the families of her students, Sister Yolanda became more acutely aware of the needs of the people who sought her guidance and assistance, and so she studied Social Work at Adelphi University, earning an MSW, and Family Therapy at Fordham University and the Institute de Terapia Famigilia. 

For the next quarter century, she poured out her loving care and compassion at the Family Reception Center of Good Shepherd in Brooklyn, the Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan, Hour Children in Astoria and Bishop Kearney High School in Brooklyn. 

On Aug. 14, 2023, the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Sister Yolanda’s family, friends, and colleagues gathered in Sacred Heart Chapel in Brentwood to remember a prayerful woman of loving service. Msgr. David Cassato presided at the celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial and shared how he had witnessed Sister Yolanda reaching out to all in God’s love.

Sister Lucille D’Amelio, OP, passed away on Aug. 16, 2023 at age 80, having served as a Sister of St. Dominic of Amityville for 60 years. 

She grew up in a warm and close-knit Italian family in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Lucille graduated from All Saints School in Brooklyn, after which the family moved to Cambria Heights. Lucille made the daily trip from Queens to Bishop McDonnell High School in Brooklyn where she continued to be taught by the Dominican Sisters and where she made lifelong friendships. 

On Sept. 9, 1962, Lucille joined almost 70 other young women and entered the Novitiate at Amityville. On Aug. 5, 1963, she received the habit and her religious name, Sister Peter Magdalen. Her “set” became known as the Peonies. Sister Lucille professed her First Vows on Aug. 7, 1964, and her Final Vows on Aug. 7, 1967. 

Sister Lucille received a Bachelor of Arts in History/Social Studies from what is now known as Molloy University in Rockville Centre, and a Master of Theology degree from St. Michael’s College, Winooski, Vermont. 

Sister Lucille began her long ministry as an educator in 1964 at St. Agnes Cathedral School in Rockville Centre. She continued teaching in Notre Dame School in New Hyde Park before being appointed as Principal in American Martyrs School in Bayside. After two years teaching in St. Agnes High School in Rockville Centre, Sister Lucille moved into five years as Director of Religious Education in St. Sylvester Parish in Medford, New York. 

The Community asked her to continue her education at the Institute for Religious Formation in St. Louis before becoming the Director of Novices in Amityville from 1982 to 1985. 

From 1985 to 1991, Sister Lucille was Director of Religious Education in Good Shepherd, Holbrook, New York, and in 1991 assumed the position as Pastoral Associate in St. Andrew Parish, Sag Harbor, a position she held until 2004. 

Lucille moved on to become a Dorm Pastoral Facilitator and Presence at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. 

The wake and funeral for Sister Lucille D’Amelio was scheduled to take place in St. Albert Chapel on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023. The Mass of Christian Burial was to be followed by interment in the sisters’ cemetery.