Virginia Sullivan Finn

Virginia Sullivan Finn, 89, of West Orange NJ, formerly of South Lee, Massachusetts, passed away on May 2nd from Covid-19.Virginia is predeceased by her beloved husband of 49 years, George Finn.Virginia was a writer and prominent lay minister in the Roman Catholic Church, with her husband a founding member of The Vineyard faith community in the Berkshires.  For three decades, Virginia had a career as a lay minister, writer, professor, and spiritual director who broke barriers in the Roman Catholic Church. She was the Associate Dean of Students and an instructor at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, M.A. She had a Master’s in Education from U Mass, Amherst and a Master’s in Divinity from Weston. She served as a spiritual director at retreat houses across the country and traveled throughout Europe for speaking engagements. Virginia was a recipient of the Pedro Arrupe Award for Excellence in Ministry. She wrote two books published by Paulist Press, Pilgrim in the Parish and Pilgrim in the World. After retirement, Virginia self-published her story in a controversial memoir, Married with Celibates. Born on St. Patrick’s Day 1931, in Easthampton, MA, to Thomas and Blanche Sullivan.Virginia was a proud Yankee, also residing in Northampton, Lenox and Belmont, Mass. An only child, Virginia is survived by daughters Leslie Sullivan Sachs (Gary), Katherine Diaz, Pamela Magahiz (Richard Magahiz) and Tierney Fitzmartin (Mark Fitzmartin), and grandchildren Nicole Staudinger (Tuviya Edelhart), Renee Staudinger Calabro (Dan Calabro), Andrew Staudinger, Ryan Fitzmartin and Tara Fitzmartin. She was predeceased by her son-in-law Dalton Diaz. Her family cannot begin to express their love for their beloved mother and grandmother. Virginia was an inspiration and will be missed by her many friends from the Vineyard faith community, the staff at The Cliffs at Eagle Rock, in West Orange NJ, where she resided at the time of her illness, her students, and the priests and colleagues she worked with.The family wishes to thank the doctors and nurses on Unit 2300 at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, who took care of Virginia during her recent illness.Virginia Finn will be buried in St. Ann’s Cemetery, Lenox MA. A celebration of Virginia’s life will be held on a future date when Virginia’s many friends and extended family can gather .In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Virginia’s memory to Tanglewood Music Festival or the Angel Fund at the Cliffs at Eagle Rock, in care of the Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street, Lee, MA 01238.

Honoring Virginia Sullivan Finn


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