Fond Farewell to Father Charlie.
NYCD Columbia Assn's Chaplain Emeritus was supportive friend of DOCers since 1966 when appointed Women's H. of D. chaplain. [Obit below.]

Capuchin friars' vestments flap in wind as coffin is placed on carrier at Sacred Heart Church. Click for 16 'Farewell, Father Charlie' photos.

NYC DOC Acting Assistant Commissioner for Ministerial & Volunteer Services Rev. Lawrence E. Lucas conveys the Dept.'s & Commissioner Dora Schriro's condolences on the passing of its long-time friend and former colleague, Rev. Repole. Click image for 16 'Farewell, Fr. Charlie' photos.

Requiem Mass for former NYC DOC chaplain Father Charles Repole was concelebrated by his brother Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Mary and by his former chaplain colleague still with DOC, Father Lawrence E. Lucas, on Friday, October 21, 2011 at the Monastery Church of the Sacred Heart, 110 Shonnard Place, Yonkers, New York.

Interment followed in the nearby Capuchin Friars Cemetery.

"Father Charlie," as he was called affectionately by friends, passed away on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 in Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village, New York, at the age of 96.

The son of Rosario and Frances Patrissi-Repole, he was born on August 11, 1915 in New York City and christened Daniel.

He attended Public School 11 and 125 in Woodside, Queens; Bryant High School, Long Island City; and Cathedral College, Brooklyn.

He was invested with the Capuchin habit at St. Felix Friary, Huntington, Indiana on August 26, 1936, receiving the name "Charles".

He was ordained to the priesthood along with his older brother, Father Celsus Repole, on June 23, 1943 in Marathon, Wisconsin. Celsus died June 15, 2002, at age 89 in St. Clare Friary, Yonkers.

Fr. Charles ministered in the Capuchin mission in Nicaragua, Central America [1944-1964]; hospital chaplain in the French Hospital, New York City [1964-1966]; and prison chaplain at Rikers Island [1966-1979].

With the ends of white stoles flapping in the fierce wind, Fr. Lucas, left, and other requiem mass concelebrants emerge from Sacred Heart Church. Click image for 16 'Farewell, Fr. Charlie' photos.
Fr. Charles was a prolific Spanish-speaking preacher who resided in the Capuchin fraternities of Sacred Heart, Yonkers, [1979-1984]; Our Lady of Montserrat, Stamford, Connecticut [1984-1993]; and Lourdes Residence also in Stamford [1993-1995].

From 1995 to 2009, Fr. Charles resided with the Capuchin senior friar community of St. Clare in Yonkers. Since 2009, because of age-related health concerns, he resided at Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village. Fr. Charles celebrated his 75th Religious Jubilee on September 11, 2011 at that nursing home.

He was survived by 11 nieces (Rosemarie Jaouen, Theresa Campisi of Middle Island, Maryanne Turvin of Coram, Joanne Villanueva, Janet Briggs, Linda Megliola, Frances Mangino, Nancy Lumbardo, Ann Petriello, Ann Di Leo and Mary Nocera); three nephews (Daniel, Anthony, and Joseph Repole), and a cousin, Danny Massonova; 25 grand nieces and nephews, and several great-grand nieces and nephews.

Niece Maryanne Turvin at the conclusion of the requiem mass gave expression to Repole family sentiments and reminisces:

"Our 'Uncle Danny' had a way of keeping us all connected. He has, once again, gathered us as we say farewell. Those of us who are old enough to remember, will recall how we always gathered around him at the airport to wish him well on his returns to Nicaragua, on his heart and spirit-filled mission. His dedication never wavered even when battling malaria and bouts of anxiety.

Niece Maryanne Turvin of Coram reads prepared remarks recalling family memories of "Uncle Danny." Click image for 16 'Farewell, Fr. Charlie' photos.
"Years later, after weekend visits, I'd accompany Dad when we would drive Dan back to his assignment as a Chaplain in the Bowery in New York. We checked that the door was locked as we drove through that crime-riddled area and then we'd watched as our 'little priest' with the big heart walk back into the community he happily served.

"He held tight to his mission through almost two decades at Rikers Island as a Chaplain there. His heart expanded with compassion as it was touched by the imprisoned. He listened to confessions, counseled inmates and touched the heart of everyone with his gentle nature wherever he went.

"He loved the Little Sisters of the Poor and was so happy assisting them in the care of the aged, always admiring them . . . . It was fitting for him to spend his final days in their compassionate care.

"He told me he wanted to write a story of the day he 'kidnapped' Mother Teresa. Just as any good friend would, she went with him as they visited relatives in his usual adventurous way. After she died, he prayed to her religiously. One of her sisters told me this morning that he died the day before the anniversary of Mother Teresa's Beautification as a saint. A friend of mine suggested, she came to 'kidnap' him this time.

"In the midst of whatever else he was involved in, he always managed to be eager to spend time with and look after his family. His nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, whenever far from home, anywhere in the world, would always be directed to a refuge of a friary of his 'brothers' if ever we were in need. He always looked out for us.

Niece Maryanne Turvin of Coram and her husband, Jack, in the funeral procession. Click image for 16 'Farewell, Fr. Charlie' photos.
"Uncle Danny, we can't help but miss you. We can never forget you but we are happy to know you have arrived where you belong -- in the arms of Jesus and pure Light of the Holy Spirit. We know those who have gone before you are welcoming your arrival with them in heaven.

"If I was to pull one theme from your life, dear Uncle, it would be that of humility, faith-fullness, and love of friends and family including your extended family -- sisters and brothers of the cloth. You continue to protect us with your spirit and good heart.

"Recently you asked me to make sure your family knew you loved them all. Now that you have passed over, there is no reason to believe that your dedication or love is any less. I know you continue to watch over us. We love you always. Thank you, God, for giving him to us and [now] for bringing him home to be with you again."

In emailing NYCHS the text of her prepared remarks, the niece's cover message declared: "One thing that I forgot to mention -- Mother Teresa sent him a personal note in which she asked him to pray for her. Her prayer was to the effect, 'God use me without my permission and pray that I continue to say 'yes' to Jesus.'".

As Fr. Charles' had requested in advance, the wake was held at Queen of Peace Residence. It took place Thursday, October 20, 2011.

Whalen & Ball Funeral Home, 168 Park Avenue, Yonkers, handled arrangements.

The Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Mary said that in lieu of flowers, donations may be offered to the Fr. Charles Repole Scholarship Burse care of the Office of Mission and Development, 210 West 31st Street, New York, NY 10001-2876.

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-- To 16 'Farewell, Fr. Charlie' photos. --

-- To web version of 16-image NY Correction History Facebook photo album 2 Rikers Friars: Repole & MacDonald. --

-- To Oct. 12, 2011 Salute to Father Charles Repole --

-- To NYCHS home page --

-- To NYC DOC History Menu --