Catholic 02

Virginia (Sullivan) Finn

March 17, 1931 ~ May 2, 2020 (age 89)


Virginia Sullivan Finn, 89, formerly of South Lee, MA, 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, and one of the founding members of The Vineyard faith community in the Berkshires. She was passionate about her family, life, and God.

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 at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA.  She had a Master’s in Education from U Mass, Amherst and a Master’s in Divinity from Weston. Virginia served as a spiritual director at retreat houses across the country and traveled throughout Europe for speaking engagements. She was a recipient of the Pedro Arrupe Award for Excellence in Ministry. She was a contributing writer to America Magazine and wrote two books, 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.  An only child, Virginia is survived by daughters Leslie Sullivan Sachs and her husband Gary, Katherine Diaz (her late husband Dalton), Pamela Magahiz and her husband Richard and Tierney Fitzmartin and her husband Mark, and grandchildren Nicole Staudinger and her husband Tuviya Edelhart, Renee Staudinger Calabro and her husband Dan, Andrew Staudinger and his fiancé Ashley Patrice, Ryan Fitzmartin and Tara Fitzmartin. Her family cannot begin to express their love for their beloved mother and grandmother.

Virginia 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 former students, and the priests and colleagues she worked with.

The family wishes to thank the doctors and nurses at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ, 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 MJ Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street, Lee, MA 01238.

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Angel Fund at the Cliffs at Eagle Rock
C/O Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main St., Lee MA 01238

Tanglewood Music Festival
C/O Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main St., Lee MA 01238

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