Sister Elizabeth Correia, 86

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MARLBOROUGH – Betty A. Correia was born in Taunton, Massachusetts to Fannie (Vargas) and Anthony Correia.

This October 21, she would have been 87 years of age.

Sister Elizabeth is survived by her niece Christine Buonopane (Manchester, NH), her cousin Stephen and his wife, Mary Kirkland, and her dear friend Diana Coady (Mastic Beach, NY).

Betty joined the Sisters of the Good Shepherd on July 22, 1960 as a contemplative Sister in Mount Florence, Peekskill, NY and made her First Profession on July 22, 1963.

At that time, she received the name Sr Elizabeth of Jesus Emmanuel. She made her Final Vows on September 14, 1969 and was missioned to Boston, MA until 1977. In Boston, Elizabeth learned the details and steps of making Altar Breads hand in hand with the intricate patterns of vestments and garments in the Machine Room.

There, in Boston, Elizabeth also continued to be immersed in prayer as a way of life, as a conduit to express her vow of zeal; in Peekskill and Boston and later on in Trenton, NJ, Elizabeth was taught that prayer is engagement with the world-God-so-loves; prayer is to be an integral part of an entire Universe longing for transformation in the ways of compassion and mercy, love and forgiveness. All in the context of an ordinary, hidden life. Being who one is, wherever one is.

Returning to Peekskill, NY where she was elected as a Councilor in her local community, Elizabeth was also made the Vocation Person for the contemplatives of the NY Province.

From 1986-1989, Sr. Elizabeth was in Trenton, NJ and appointed to be the Formation Directress.

From 1989-1993, Elizabeth called Marlboro, home, and then moved yet again to Harwichport, until 2013. Continuing with the Altar Breads, continuing with prayer.

When the convent in Harwich was closed, Elizabeth returned to Marlboro, and when Marlboro closed in 2018, Elizabeth was missioned to the convent of the Sisters in St. Chretienne, Marlboro.

Done with Altar Breads but continuing to pray and, becoming prayer. Elizabeth loved to say that ‘change has followed me all my life and changed me’. Indeed. If one were to look at the many moves her journey took her, a possible image could be one of dancing particles, here, there, everywhere. Upwards, downwards. Dots of no consequence. Or like the wind: now you see it, now you don’t. But in her heart, within the story of her contemplative call, Elizabeth knew that all the changes drew her to the Center so that she’d be Loved enough to be sent forth yet again. And again. She knew that when everything fell apart, it was only so she could be re-shaped and made anew — more like the Christ, her Shepherd-God. More human, and so more divine. Thus, Elizabeth could laugh! Oh, anyone who knew Elizabeth knew her laughter: a rich, throaty splash of sound rumbling up and down like arpeggios on a piano. Anyone who knew her also heard, underneath her passionate engagement with everything around her, from politics to exclusivism, to the abounding inequalities and the distresses of the many, so very, very many, the fervor of her prayer. Dear, dear Elizabeth. Pray for us who prayed with you, who also love those you loved.

Remember our world that seems to have fallen all apart with Covid-19, racism and every form of inequality. Let us soon hear the laughter of hope because it is a hope enkindled by God to whom we belong and who will restore our Common Home unto a new Creation. A hope meant to be answered because God who saves is God Who is Love. Dear, dear Elizabeth … your name means ‘House of God’. Now, you are home. Here. There. Everywhere.


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