We remember . . . Jean Baptiste DiLuzio, SSJ

Sister Jean Baptiste DiLuzio, SSJ, age 98, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, died on March 30, 2024. She was in the 81st year of her religious life.

Sister Jean was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, on June 7, 1925, the daughter of the late Antonio and Ermelinda DeDionisio DiLuzio. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Holy Rosary Parish in Erie, PA, on February 2, 1944, and professed her final vows on August 15, 1949. She recently celebrated 80 years of religious life. Sr. Jean said her call to religious life was nurtured by the simple faith of her immigrant parents and the example and encouragement of the Sisters of St. Joseph who taught her.

Sister Jean Baptiste graduated from Villa Maria Academy in 1942 and continued her education at Villa Maria College, Erie, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. She furthered her education at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, where she earned a Master of Arts in Spanish literature. She attended many workshops and seminars at Dayton University, Dayton, OH; Universidad de Valladolid, Spain; and Catholic University, Washington, D.C.

Sister Jean spent many years in the ministry of education and was well-known and loved by numerous graduates of Cathedral Preparatory School, where she taught for 25 years (1951-76). A testament to their fondness for her, many former students kept in touch with Sr. Jean throughout her life. She was a 1994 inductee into the Cathedral Preparatory School Hall of Fame. Her education career also included teaching at Blessed Sacrament School, Erie; St. Agatha High School, Meadville; and St. Leo High School, Ridgway, and serving in administration at Villa Maria College, Erie. She served the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania as executive secretary-treasurer, treasurer, and councilor and was a member of the formation team and board of directors. Sister Jean served as an auditor in the Diocese of Erie Office of the Tribunal for 30 years. A highlight of her ministry service was being awarded the Papal Cross “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

Sister Jean served the Erie community on various boards, including Villa Maria College, Saint Mary’s Home of Erie, Cathedral Preparatory School, Harborcreek Youth Services, and Catholic Social Services. She also served on the Erie Diocese cemetery and priests’ retirement boards. She volunteered for Harborcreek Youth Services, Cathedral Preparatory School, and the Spanish Apostolate in Erie.

Following her retirement from the Diocesan Tribunal office in 2016, she was an assistant in the SSJ Development Office until 2023. Her relationships with former students and so many others in the Erie community ideally suited her for this position, which included correspondence with friends and benefactors of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by four brothers, Patrick, Carl, Albert, and Daniel. She is survived by one brother, Anthony, and several nieces and nephews. Her religious community, the Sisters of St. Joseph, also survives her.

Friends may call at the Sisters of St. Joseph Community Living Center, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, on Thursday, April 4, 2024, beginning at 1:00 p.m. with prayer and sharing of memories. Calling hours will continue until 4:00 p.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial. The mass will be livestreamed on the Sisters of St. Joseph YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/SSJErie/live. The interment will be at Calvary Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph Mission & Ministries Foundation, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, PA, 16506-1249. The Kloecker Funeral Home is handling arrangements.


7 Comments on “We remember . . . Jean Baptiste DiLuzio, SSJ”

  1. What a wonderful woman. My wife and I visited with her last September when we were in Erie. My wife had never met her. We had a great time visiting. Rest in peace!

  2. One of Prep’s top teachers, a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. Last time I saw her was at Erie International Airport. I thrilled her, by greeting her and conversing in Spanish, decades after her instruction. Sounds like Soror Juana Batista never retired and remained vital and sharp at 98.

  3. Growing up at St Joseph’s Home and being raised by the Sisters of St Joseph are my favorite memories! Luckily Father James Sperry (RIP) saw in me GREAT opportunities and requested I be sent to PREP Freshman Class 1964 where I chose Spanish and had the greatest of pleasure to have Sr Jean Baptiste.
    She was an awesome teacher, wonderful councilor, and a dear friend. God Bless her and may she Rest in God’s Peace🙏✝️
    Bobby Baumann Class of 1964

  4. Our love and prayers go out to the SSJ’s at the mother house & in the community. Sister Jean Baptiste taught most of the Costa family and was a beloved friend of Sr. Becky & Jeannie Costa.
    My husband Joseph Costa had Sister for a high school teacher and always loved her.
    Please accept deepest sympathy from the entire Costa family. Our love to each of you and all the wonderful work you have done for so many years. God Bless. Rosemary Costa.

  5. Sr. Jean, gracias por todo su compartir a lo largo de todos los años. Joe Bricher ’71

  6. What can I say that hasn’t been said already. What a wonderful woman & Sister of St. Joseph.
    She taught my brother Danny at Cathedral Prep & during our visits she would tell me how much she enjoyed him as a student. How sad she was for the death of our father when we were in our teens and how it affected us.
    And when Danny died at the age of 30 she felt he was taken too soon.
    I was fortunate to be assigned to Sr. Jean for my annulment. She was so caring, comforting and patient with me during this process.
    And later she was my mentor as I became an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
    I visited her periodically at the Mother house. The last time a few weeks ago knowing she wasn’t well I just wanted to thank her for all she has done for me.
    I pray she is at peace and enjoying the Easter Season in heaven.

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