Sister Linda Vendetti, 80, died at St. Joseph Provincial House on March 9, 2022. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph for 57 years.
Sister Linda was born in Schenectady, NY, on February 6, l942, daughter of the late Frank and Mary Theresa Giammattei Vendetti. After graduating from Niskayuna High School in 1959 and SUNY at Albany, NY in 1963, Sister Linda taught for one year in Rochester, NY. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in September, 1964, professing final vows on August 6, 1970.
In addition to her bachelor’s degree in Business Education from SUNYA, Sister Linda received a Master’s Degree in Counseling-Guidance from Siena College in 1969. Several years later she studied Pastoral Ministry at Siena College, followed by further studies in Sacramental Theology at Boston College and Misericordia College in Dallas, PA.
Sister Linda began her ministerial service at Catholic Central High School in Troy, NY, as a business teacher. After three years and further studies, she became a Guidance Counselor at Catholic Central, then at Cohoes Consolidated Catholic Schools. In 1976, Sister Linda became a Pastoral Associate, serving at St. John the Baptist, Greenville, St. Mary’s, Crescent, and St. Helen’s in Schenectady. Sister also served on the Community Life Team at St. Joseph’s Provincial House before retiring in 2014.
During her 28 years of ministry as a parish Pastoral Associate, Sister Linda did, as her CSJ vocation asks of her: “All of which woman is capable.” She directed religious education programs for youths and adults, including preparation for the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Communion, Confirmation, and Matrimony. A gifted musician and vocalist, S. Linda led and participated in liturgical music activities. She led workshops on family life, prepared Advent and Lenten programs, visited and brought Communion to the sick. She served on parish, diocesan and ecumenical councils – and more. In all that Sister Linda did, generosity and compassion flowed from her heart.
Always Linda treasured being loved by her God and she brought the message of God’s love to all she met. In explaining the heart symbols that adorned her surroundings and her wardrobe, Linda said, “For me the heart is the great symbol of love. I think that once we understand and really know deep down inside that we are loved, the world is ours.”
As family member, sister, friend, teacher, counselor, parish associate, administrator, retiree, and, lastly, patient, Sister Linda’s constant message was love. When asked what empowered her ministry, Linda named her vow of non-exclusive love and the gift of life in community -- religious community, parish community and family community: “The key is community life and the support of community life—what you give and what you receive.” For Sister Linda, that was love.
Sister Linda was a faithful friend, gladly remembering others with cards and calls, always thanking them for their presence in her life. Another way that Linda expressed her love for friends and family was with her professional-level cake baking skill. For many a Sister’s jubilee and for every family celebration, Linda brought a layer cake with wondrous decorations. For weddings the cake was, as required, many layers high. And, family members add, Aunt Linda’s cakes were not only beautiful but also delicious. Sister Linda’s close bond with her family was expressed when numerous members from near and far gathered for her 50th Jubilee weekend celebration at the Priory in Chestertown, NY.
In addition to her parents, Sister Linda was predeceased by her brother, Lewis Vendetti, and her sister, Carol O’Connor. She is held in love by her many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews, as well as by her many friends and by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
A Vesper Service for Sister Linda will be held on Thursday, March 17, at 7 p.m., followed by a funeral Mass on Friday, March 18, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Provincial House. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, the wake and funeral are open to the Sisters of St. Joseph and the immediate family.
Contributions in Sister Linda’s memory may be made to The Office of Mission Advancement, St. Joseph Provincial House, 385 Watervliet Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.
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