Sister ZIta Torlai dies at age 97

Sister Zita Torlai
Sister Zita Torlai, MPF

MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY—Sister Zita Torlai, of the Religious Teachers Filippini, died March 22. She was 97.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held March 25 at the Saint Lucy Chapel at Villa Walsh. Interment was at Ave Maria Cemetery.

Sister Zita was born in Lupinaia, Italy, the daughter of the late Amadeo Torlai and Josephine Bonugli Torlai. Sister Zita entered the Religious Teachers Filippini in 1936. She received her habit in 1937, and made her final religious profession in 1940. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the College of St. Elizabeth.

Sister Zita served in pastoral ministry at St. Francis in Hackensack; Holy Rosary in Jersey City; St. Anthony in Dunmore, Pennsylvania; and St. Joseph in Lodi, New Jersey. She taught the primary grades at the following schools: Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mother in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania; St. Peter, Torrington in Connecticut; Holy Rosary in Cleveland, Ohio; St. Bernadette in Brooklyn, New York; St. Nicholas of Tolentine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Divine Redeemer in Hanahan, South Carolina from 1986 to 1987; and Blessed Sacrament in Paterson, New Jersey.

Sister Zita served as the sacristan at the St. Lucy Filippini Chapel from 1990 to 2004. She entered St. Joseph Hall Infirmary in 2007.

She is survived by her brother John Torlai of Torrington, Connecticut, and sister Rita Dello Iacono of Sommerville, Massachusetts, her niece Sister Rose Tassinari, MPF, of Akron, Ohio, and beloved nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Sister Zita made be made to St. Joseph Hall Infirmary, c/o Sister Ascenza Tizzano, MPF, Provincial Superior, Villa Walsh, 455 Western Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960-4928.