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Sr. Nancy Caroccia

Dominican Sister of Peace Nancy Caroccia (87) died at Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH on October 14, 2016. She was born in 1929 in East Pittsburgh, PA and entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in January, 1957.

Sr. Nancy Caroccia

In the years that followed, Sister Nancy compiled an amazing record of varied, joyful and productive ministries.  Among the more memorable were her years spent in patient care at Mohun Health Care Center, as Director of Food Service at St. George Hospital in Cincinnati, and as Kitchen Manager for the Dominican Friars at St. Joseph Priory in Somerset, OH.   She earned an Associate degree in Food Service Management at Columbus Technical Institute and then became Director of Food Service at St. George Hospital in Cincinnati (1971-79), and later at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT (1979-82).  Her time at Albertus grew to include seven additional years as Director of Plant Services.  Returning to Columbus, Sister Nancy spent 11 years in ministry to the elderly at Nazareth Towers. In her final ministry before retirement, she managed the Congregation's property at Dominican Acres, Blacklick, OH.

Sister Nancy wrote about her ministry as Property Manager for the community newsletter:

Taking care of the property for the community is awesome.   So many people enter into this ministry, be it the gravel man, the sewer man, the garbage man, the tree man, the Columbus Police Force, the Jefferson County officials, the furnace man, the water man. I thank God every day for this wonderful ministry and the grace and strength to serve for the sake of the Kingdom.

In her final years Sister Nancy was a gracious and generous presence throughout Mohun Health Care Center, delivering the morning newspaper on her "scooter," bringing hot coffee to those in the early breakfast group, visiting those in need, and always looking forward to visits from family and friends.

Sr. Germaine Conroy entered the congregation the same year Sister Nancy did. In her reflection at the Mass, Sr. Germaine said:

The readings Sister Nancy chose for her funeral are so very appropriate.

 "There is an appointed time for everything and a time for every affair under the heavens."

"If God is for us, who can be against us."

"I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Sister Nancy entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs from the vocation cradle of Pittsburgh. Instead of entering enter right out of high school or college, she waited and worked for a few years. She was 27 when she entered and, being the oldest in our group, she became our unofficial mother.

As Nancy moved from one ministry to another - teaching, cooking, managing, from grade school, to health care at St. George Hospital, to housing for the low income at Nazareth Towers, to the college setting at Albertus Magnus and to management projects at the Motherhouse, she carried with her a heart bigger than herself and a gift for bringing so many people together.

Nancy’s family was so important to her. Over the years we heard many stories of her parents, her brothers, nieces and nephews – Mike and his latest bowling achievements, or namesake Nancy and her different jobs, celebrations at home, sicknesses and examples of caring for one another. In all, she had "a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."

Just as Jesus gathered his flock around the table, Nancy was always gathering people around the table for a meal, usually spaghetti and meatballs with her special sauce, which cooked for hours. These were times of sharing, laughter, and acknowledgement of the love of God, who is for us and with us.

Nancy may not have preached from the pulpit, but she preached by her very life of encouragement, suffering, joy, prayer and interest in all that was going on around her.

Sister Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Michael Caroccia and Maria Antonia de Paolo Caroccia, and her brother Michael. She is survived by her sister-in-law, niece and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance and the Mass of Christian Burial were held at the Columbus Motherhouse on October 19 and 20, 2016. Burial followed at St. Joseph Cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sister Nancy’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219.

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