On February 11th, during the Vigil for Pat, Patricia Scileppi's home was filled with friends and relatives who gathered to pray together as a community, to share our memories and joy in knowing Pat, and our grief of her passing -- as well as the realization that her time on earth was completed.
The next morning, on February 12th, there was a large gathering of friends and relatives at St. Catherine's of Alexandria Church in Riverside to celebrate the "Liturgy of Resurrection" presided by Fr. Tom Porter. The church was filled and included about 60 FCCW members, many being the Facilitators and Co-Facilitators of our FCCW
groups from surrounding communities, including Barbara Cheddar from Holy Spirit Church located in Fairfield Northern California).
Fr. Burdick’s homily/eulogy was beautiful and illuminated Pat's vision and love that she embedded in the fabric of the Fellowship of Catholic Christian Women. Sister Eileen Rafferty, Spiritual Director of Riverside’s FCCW group, also eulogized Pat with elegance, grace, and thoroughness in the spectrum of Pat's dreams and desires for the ministry of FCCW.
After Mass, everyone was invited to a luncheon whose food was provided by our FCCW groups. While we all enjoyed a bountiful and delicious meal, we listened to eulogies given by Pat's son, Eugene, and daughter, Victoria, followed by two of Pat's accomplished Communication students. Interment followed immediately after
While the remembrances of Pat were very fitting and beautiful, and the funeral liturgy was grace-filled and sacred, the Vigil Rosary and sharing were heartfelt, the floral arrangements of FCCW-colored flowers and the floral arrangements of red roses were all so appropriate...there still was a feeling of sorrow and loss when all was said and done.
We are blessed, as Catholics to have such a rich faith-filled tradition that gives us rituals to use to hallow the hard
reality of when a loved one passes. Our Catholic tradition gives us the foundation of knowing that God is with us always, including in our sorrow and loss. Pat is now with our Lord, and we are here to carry-on.
Pat was a visionary who used her God-given gifts to frame, develop, and nurture the gift that she has left with each of us, namely, the sisterhood-support to live a life in growth through the Holy Spirit to help us walk closer to Christ Jesus.
Although Pat's life on earth has passed, we, as members of the FCCW ministry are all called to continue the development of our spiritual journey and to share that opportunity with other women...through the benefits of being part of the ministry of Fellowship of Catholic Christian Women.
By Carolyn Nelipovich, Southern CA Regional Outreach Representative