Sr. Charlotte Rigali, cardinal’s sister, dies at 91

Sister Charlotte Rigali, CSJ

Funeral Mass was celebrated March 28 at Carondelet Center, Brentwood, for St. Joseph of Carondelet Sister Charlotte Rigali, 91, who died March 24.

The oldest of seven children, Sister Rigali was the sister of Cardinal Justin Rigali, retired archbishop of Philadelphia, and Jesuit Father Norbert Rigali, her two surviving siblings.

Born in Los Angeles to Henry and Frances Rigali who had moved from Massachusetts to California not long before she was born, Charlotte Rigali graduated from Catholic Girls High School in Los Angeles, and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in September 1941. She received the habit and her religious name of Sister Marian on March 19, 1942, made her first vows in 1944 and final vows in 1947.

Earning a Bachelor’s degree in English from Mount St. Mary’s College and a Master’s in English from Loyola University, Sister Rigali taught in elementary schools for nine years, and on the high school level for 19 years.

In 1973, Sister Rigali went to Rome to study canon law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, earning a License in Canon Law in 1983 and becoming a Doctor in Canon Law in 1986. During those years, she returned to her Baptismal name, Charlotte.

Returning to California, she ministered in the marriage tribunal in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Monterey. By the end of 1989, she had moved to St. Louis and was serving as a canon lawyer at the archdiocesan tribunal. From that year until December of 2013, Charlotte lived in St. Louis, part of the church and CSJ community, and where her brother Justin served as archbishop before going to Philadelphia

In later years, after her retirement from the marriage tribunal, Sister Rigali was an active volunteer in the cathedral parish where she lived, and enjoyed friendships with the parish community.

During the last months of her life in retirement community, she received the loving care of the staff. She was predeceased by three brothers and a sister. Burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.


Things beyond our imagination

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Recently, at an academic dinner, I was sitting across the table from a nuclear scientist. At one point, I asked him this question: Do you believe that there’s human life on other planets? His answer surprised me: “As a scientist, no, I don’t believe there’s human life on another planet.


October 2015
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

October 4, 2015

  • Sunday, October 4

    Gerard Thomas Straub Book Signing, 9 a.m.- 1p.m., Holy Family Bookstore, 1519 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena. Straub will discuss his newly re-released book, “The Sun and Moon Over Assisi.” (626) 403-6133.

    St. Kateri Mass, 11 a.m., St. Marcellinus Church, 2349 Strong Ave., Commerce. Everyone is welcome to honor and follow in the footsteps of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Potluck and raffle immediately following – bring a favorite dish to share!

    Faith Support on Our Cancer Journey, 2-4 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. This afternoon of reflection will explore ways for those struggling with cancer can nurture their spirits and seek divine guidance and support. $25 ($20 if paid in full by September 25). (310) 377-4867.

    “Come and See” Vocation Event, 2-7 p.m., Heart of Jesus Retreat Center, 2927 S Greenville St., Santa Ana. Single women of high school and college age are invited by Sacred Heart Sisters to learn more about religious life. Dinner will be provided. RSVP by Oct. 3 at (714) 557-4583 or 

    Once Upon a Time: Stories to Awaken the Mysteries of the Heart, 3-5 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. $25. (310) 377-4867.

    Rosary and Mass for Life, Rosary: 4:30 p.m., Mass: 5 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 5500 E Wardlow Rd., Long Beach. Contact Sylvia Aimerito (562) 429-1965.

Get our news by email

Bob Smith BMW 300x250
Bob Smith Toyota 300x250
Bob Smith Mini 300x250