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Monday, July 10, 2023
Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)
Diana Marie Santoro, also known as Josepha or Jo, from Rollingstone, Minnesota, went home to the Lord on June 13, 2023, the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. She passed away at the West Virginia Hospital at 7:03 pm from COVID, double pneumonia, and a fractured rib.
Josepha was born on July 10, 1948, in Albany, California, to Joseph John Santoro and Alice Dolores Perry. She attended Albany High School and Meritt Junior College in Oakland, CA. One of her fondest memories with her family was going to a Catholic Church with her parents, seeing her father get confirmed, and going to prayer meetings and retreats with her mother.
With a love for the Lord, Josepha then felt called to discern with religious communities and spent time with the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in Prayertown, Texas. Then in 2010, she became an affiliate of the Hermits of St. Mary of Carmel. With her generous nature and giving heart, Josepha served the community in various ways until her death.
Josepha was a very special child of the Heavenly Father and had such a passion for helping people. She often spent time praying for those in need and with her zeal for the Lord, she distributed colorful prayer cards. Each card had encouraging words from the Lord and she gave one to each person she came in contact with. Whether this was at the grocery store, the bank, doctor’s appointments, etc. Josepha had such a loving heart for all God’s children and wanted to bring a smile to their face. In honor of Josepha, the Sisters from the Hermits of St. Mary of Carmel will continue this tradition.
One of Josepha’s favorite places to visit was Lourdes, France. She had been to Lourdes many times and also spoke fluent French. Providentially, Josepha made a pilgrimage to Lourdes shortly before passing away. She was given many graces while in Lourdes and the opportunity to receive the Sacraments, to include the Anointing of the Sick. It became quite clear that Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette, were helping to prepare Josepha for the ending of her earthly pilgrimage.
Josepha also had such a love for God’s creation, especially lambs and flowers. Her favorite flowers included irises, daffodils and pansies. She loved planting beautiful flowers at her apartment and spreading the joy to her neighbors. She also enjoyed telling jokes and making people laugh. With such a love for Jesus, she of course had many favorite Scripture verses. It would always bring a smile to our face when people would encounter Josepha, who would often wear various t-shirts that had Scripture on them. Josepha had an evangelist heart and mission to spread the Good News to everyone.
For those who have known Josepha, she was always willing to help anyone in need. She had such a deep love for the Lord and for her neighbor, exemplifying the virtue of charity. She was extremely compassionate and a strong prayer warrior for those whom asked for her prayers. Josepha was someone who always thought of others more than herself. She will be missed by all her friends and family, but we can hope to meet again in our eternal reward. For as her favorite Scripture verse states, “and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
The funeral mass of Josepha Santoro will be held on Monday July 10, 2023, at 10 am, at the chapel of the Hermits of St. Mary of Carmel in Houston, MN. She will be interred in the HSMC Cemetery which is located on the property, following the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Hermits of St. Mary of Carmel, 33005 Stinson Ridge Road, Houston, MN 55943.