Sister James Christine Steppello, CSJ
Sister James Christine Steppello, CSJ, 83, died Saturday, February 22, 2014, in St. Peter"s Hospital, Albany. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 65 years.
Sister James Christine, the former Laura Marie Steppello, was born in Detroit, MI, on May 15, 1930, daughter of the late James Vincent and Elizabeth Cramer Steppello. The family moved to Utica when Sister James was a young child, and she graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School. On March 19, 1949, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and professed final vows on August 15, 1956. Sister James received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education, both from The College of Saint Rose. She taught for 42 years in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including: Keveny Memorial Academy, Cohoes; St, John’s School, Oswego; Blessed Sacrament School, Johnson City; St. Mary’s School, Little Falls; St. Francis de Sales School, Utica; St. John the Evangelist School, New Hartford; Rome Catholic Junior and Senior High Schools; St. Mary’s School, Clinton; and West Side Catholic School and North Side Catholic Jr. High School, Syracuse; in addition, Sister James Christine worked in the Medical Records Department at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica. In 1993, she moved to St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, where she served as receptionist and in many other community in-service positions.
Sister James Christine was a strong, steady, conscientious woman of prayer. Proud of both her Catholic and her Jewish heritage, she celebrated the common ground and the points of connection and drew spiritual sustenance from both traditions. Sister James Christine's love for her God, her family, her friends and her religious community was deep and faithful. Her vigorous approach to life manifested itself in her love of travel, her courage in illness and her ready and hearty laugh. Her dedication to the ministry of education inspired in many young people a lifelong love of reading. Witty and fun-loving, Sister James Christine enjoyed nothing more than preparing a party for her local community or going out for Chinese food with a friend. The Sisters of St. Joseph joyfully celebrate Sister James Christine's life and give thanks for her wholehearted, generous response to God's call.
Sister James Christine is survived by her beloved family, all of Utica: her sister-in-law, Eleanor Steppello; her nephew, James V. Steppello, Jr.; her niece, Laura Tehan (Louis) and family; by many dear friends; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister James was predeceased by her brother, James V. Steppello, and by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister James Christine’s funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds. Contributions in Sister James Christine’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.