Sister Michaela De Loia, RSM, 96, died on March 17, 2019 at Mt. St. Rita Health Centre, Cumberland. She was the daughter of the late Michael and Ernestina (Ricci) De Loia. She leaves behind her nephew, David De Loia and his wife Nancy. A Sister of Mercy for almost 76 years, she lived her life in service to others. Her religious motto, “All my heart subjects itself to Thee” says much about her attitude to service and mission in Mercy.
Small in stature, her accomplishments were huge and multitudinous. After serving as a teacher in various schools in the Diocese of Providence for ten years, she volunteered to serve in the missions of Belize for five years and for 41 years in Honduras. Her warm Italian nature served her well as in ministering she welcomed all with open arms. In whatever capacity she ministered.….founder and principal of high schools, administrator, social worker, counselor of persons on death row, visiting villagers on the mountains…, she brought mercy and compassion to all. She is the only non-Honduran woman to be named “Woman of the Year” in that country.
Not one to relish such an honor, she credited the people of Honduras with giving her a profound love for and solidarity with the poor and marginalized. Sister Michaela often said, “The greatest lesson I learned from the poor is that life is a celebration.” And that is what she taught all those who knew her: celebrate life!
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. in St. John Vianney Church, 3609 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland. Visitation in the Church will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a Mercy Prayer Service at 10:15 a.m. Interment will be at Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Sister Michaela’s memory sent to Casa Corazón de la Misericordia, c/o Sister Eva Lallo, 243 Crescent View Ave., Apt. D119, Riverside, RI 02915 or to the Sisters of Mercy, 15 Highland View Road, Cumberland, RI 02864 will be appreciated.