|Birth: ||Apr. 20, 1905|
|Death: ||Nov. 30, 2002|
New Jersey, USA
Travelled from Naples Italy on the SS Conte Di Savoia in Sept 1938, per copy of the ships manifest. Expanded date per SSDI.
Article below and picture courtesy of NJDOC Newsletter Issue 4, No 1, Winter 2003.
Little Angel + + +
Nun Who Brought Joy to Inmates Fondly Remembered.
Sister Sophia Agabiti -- all four-feet, nine-inches and 70 pounds of her -- loved to relate the story of how, at age 80, she became a volunteer to minister inmates serving life sentences at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.
"The way she tells it, her Mother Superior at Villa Victoria Academy (in Trenton) came to her and said, 'Sister Sophia, I want you to go to the prison.' She thought she was being punished," says longtime friend Christine Dill, an executive assistant for the New Jersey Department of Corrections who was taught by Sister Sophia as a sixth-grader at St. James in Trenton. "Her first day in the prison, she was scared, and she didn't know what to expect," Dill continues. "Then she met the inmates. Before long, she had them singing, drawing and reciting poetry. Remember, these were lifers.
"Anyway, visiting them became the joy of her life. She was someone who only saw the good in people, and she began referring to them as 'my men.' She treated them with the utmost respect, and they loved her for it. In fact, when she retired from the prison in the late 1990s and they gave her a reception, the inmates were in tears when they thanked her for all she gave to them."
Sister Sophia, a member of the Religious Teachers Filippini who devoted eight decades to educating grade-school children, high-school students and, ultimately, inmates at a maximum security prison, died on November 30 at Villa Walsh Infirmary in Morristown. She was 95.
"I loved her smile," says Dawn Franks, a NJDOC secretary. "I felt as if her smile could light up a room. I'm sure the lifers would agree." Franks remembers that visits from Sister Sophia invariably would be punctuated with the presentation of a gift or trinket. One such present -- a small, framed photograph of the Blessed Mother -- is displayed above Franks' desk.
Sister Sophia, who was born in Ferentillo, Italy, lived in Trenton and attended St. Mary's High School before becoming a member of the Religious Teachers Filippini in 1922. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Georgian Court College and a master's degree in Italian from Columbia University.
Her teaching assignments included elementary grades and secondary-level music and Italian at various parochial schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
In her 80th year, she began a new and different chapter in her life at New Jersey State Prison, where she brought joy and happiness to a population in which those commodities are in short supply. "She was more than a beautiful person, more than a role model," Dill says. "I think of her as a little angel."
Villa Walsh Convent Cemetery
New Jersey, USA
Created by: P. Reilly
Record added: Jun 02, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14479299
St. Lucy Filippini Pray for God's Servant, your Sister in Teaching, and Pray for me, my Family and Friends. + + +|
Added: Apr. 19, 2010
Added: May. 4, 2007
Riposare Di Pace.|
Added: Aug. 1, 2006
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