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Lifelong Dutch Kills resident and devoted nun honored with a street renaming

Council Member Julie Won hosted a street co-naming ceremony for Sister Flora Marinelli in Dutch Kills. Photo by Alex Krales/NYC Council Media Unit

June 18, 2024 By Iryna Shkurhan

The street in front of where Sister Flora Marinelli lived as a devout member of the Sisters of St. Joseph for 35 years is now co-named in her honor. 

Long Island City Council Member Julie Won was joined by Marinelli’s family, her fellow sisters and representatives from St. Patrick’s Convent and Church for an official ceremony on Saturday, June 15. With dozens in attendance, it marked the official unveiling of the corner of 28th Street between 39th Avenue and 40th Avenue as “Sister Flora Marinelli, CSJ Way.” 

“Sister Flora Marinelli was a beloved member of our community and I am honored to celebrate her life and achievements with this street co-naming,” said Council Member Julie Won, who earlier introduced a bill to co-name the street. 

The new street sign went up on Saturday in front of dozens of local residents and those who knew Sister Flora. Photo by Alex Krales/NYC Council Media Unit

Sister Flora was born in Dutch Kills in 1933, and only briefly left the neighborhood to pursue higher education and later teach religious studies at Fontbonne Hall Academy in Brooklyn. She earned her masters in religious education from Fordham University and also served as the principal of Our Lady of Lourdes in West Islip on Long Island. 

But she soon returned home to Dutch Kills to begin what would turn into a 35-year ministry at St. Patrick’s Church. It was just a block from where she attended the Newcomers School and the Academy of American Studies in her early life. 

Throughout her ministry, she remained devoted to the local Dutch Kills community by rallying against the harmful overdevelopment that would transform her neighborhood. She was also an active member of the Dutch Kills Civic Association and participated in charity events. 

Many were proud to see Sister Flora honored in the community she spent most of her life devoted to. Photo by Alex Krales/NYC Council Media Unit

“Everyone who knew Sister Flora remembered her as a kind, encouraging, compassionate person who cared deeply for her neighbors,” said Won of the lifelong District 26 resident. “I was happy to pass legislation that co-named the street in front of the convent where she lived for 35 years.”

When Sister Flora passed away on Nov. 30, 2018, at the age of 85, hundreds of local residents attended her funeral.

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