Elaine Rose Funari, born on September 29,1945 in Fitchburg, Massachusettes, was the second child of Ivo and Helen Funari. Elaine had an older sister Enricha, and a younger brother Ralph. In 1950, Elaine's parents moved the family to Pennsgrove, New Jersey. Here, Elaine attended St. James Elementary School and two years in St. James High School. The family moved back to Fitchburg, MA in 1961. Elaine graduated from St Bernard High School in June, 1963. She then started work as a telephone operator with the New England Telephone Company. Two years later, on September 12,
1965, at age 20, Eiaine was accepted as a postulant with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Newark. She was received into the community on July 2,1966, and took the name Sister Kristin. Her two year novitiate program continued at St. Michael Novitiate in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, and on June 20,1968, Sister Kristin Funari pronounced her First Vows.
After her First Profession, Sr. Kristin served for four years as a Social Worker at St. Joseph Village in Rockleigh, NJ. She continued to minister in Mental Health services for 2 more years as a Psychiatric Social Worker. Her special counseling skills were recognized and strengthened when she enrolled and graduated from St. Peter's College with a degree in Sociology, and then completed requirements for a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University in June, 1974, Sr. Kristin stated that the most crucial part of her education took place outside the college and university walls. She worked in parish ministry at St. Boniface parish in Jersey City. She also enrolled in a total immersion Spanish program in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In February, 1985, Sr. Kristin was asked to assume a very different role when she became the Project Manager of the York Street Project Building Program. Often wearing her hard hat, she worked with and oversaw the progress of construction with managers, architects and others. Consultations were held with State and local governing representatives. When the construction building program was completed in 1988, Sr. Kristin was appointed Director of the Transitional Housing Program at St. Joseph Home. She continued in this office until February, 2002, when she became Executive Director of the York Street Project. Sr. Kristin's final years with us were given to Congregational Leadership. The words of her first employer were prophetic when he said about 20 year old Kristin, "I can recommend her for any job or assignment because she would devote her entire life to the task." Kristin entered every phase of her life with great passion.
The entire CSJP Congregation was shocked and saddened when Sr. Kristin was diagnosed with Stage Four lung cancer. It was hoped that a multitude of prayer would bring a positive return to health. Sr. Kristin was dedicated to the work of the Congregation Council until her death on Nov. 11th, 2016. Her wake and funeral Mass were held at St. Anastasia Church in Teaneck, NJ. Fr. James McDonald was the celebrant at the Mass. Sr. Kristin was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, NJ. She was survived by her brother Ralph, his wife Philomena, her nephew Anthony, and nieces, Felicia and Renata.
"The Spirit sounds herself in so many voices: sometimes Her whisper is persuasive and easy to follow; sometimes Her cry is fiery and threatening. But She must be listened to."
Dorothy Vidulich, CSJP