‘Life source’ of Yangebup Parishgoes home to God

21 Jun 2024

By The Record

By Matthew Lau and Jamie O’Brien

Presentation Sister Emmanuel Crocetti PBVM Orbituary
Sr Emmanuel sat with Father Peter Bianchini, the priest who brought the stalwart nun to Yangebup Parish in 1990. Photo: Supplied.

Perth Presentation Sister Emmanuel Crocetti PBVM will be remembered as a kind and caring soul, following her passing to eternal life on 7 December 2023.

Born Josephine Crocetti in 1938 and the youngest of five children to Italian parents – Giuseppe and Concetta, in Beverley, WA, Sr Emmanuel took her final vows as a Presentation Sister in 1961, reaching the milestone of 60 years as a religious sister in 2021.

Siblings Sr Immaculata (deceased), Fr Gaetano (deceased), and Sr Maria (resides at Iona Presentation Convent) also chose to follow a religious vocation.

The third eldest child, Antonietta, died of peritonitis as a toddler.

Presentation Sister Emmanuel Crocetti PBVM prior to professing her final vows as a Presentation Sister. Photo: Supplied.

In an exclusive interview with The Record in 2021, Sr Emmanuel expressed how entering religious life blessed her abundantly.

“I had plenty of time to think about it after all my studies. After my dad’s death, I spent two years with mum in Bunbury housekeeping at the Cathedral Presbytery.

“I just had that ‘feeling’ that I wanted to become a Sister, like my sisters,” she joked.

Sr Emmanuel said her family was a major inspiration in her life.

“I didn’t see much of my father because he was always away at work. My mother was a saint; she used to do many things for the church and held great respect for the priests.

“I think it must be in our blood because my sister, Immaculata, was always tending to the church or chapel everywhere she went. She was a champion woman,” Sr Emmanuel added.

“My other sister, Maria, was the same. She was always looking after the churches in the country towns of WA.”

Sr Emmanuel Crocetti PBVM during her final profession in 1961. Photo: Supplied.

Sr Emmanuel taught at Iona Presentation College for numerous years before joining Yangebup Parish, where the early days in South Lake involved doorknocking to invite people into the church and school.
“I know people who were baptised here and then married, and their children now attend here. I hope I can still be here. This is my parish; it’s my home – all my time and work has been among the people here,” Sr Emmanuel voiced.

Retiring from her role as Parish Pastoral Assistant at Yangebup Parish in 2021, Sr Emmanuel was originally employed by then Parish Priest, Father Peter Bianchini in 1990.

During her 31 years working in the parish, she witnessed significant building projects including Mater Christi Catholic Primary School’s relocation, the presbytery built in 1999 and the church building dedicated during the 2000 Great Jubilee, Emmanuel Catholic College and Hammond Park Catholic Primary School grand openings, as well as the Parish Centre.

A special moment for Sr Emmanuel (alongside Sisters Maria and Immaculata, and brother Fr Gaetano) as they meet Saint Pope John Paul II. Photo: Supplied.

Fr Bianchini described Sr Emmanuel as a “very kind and caring soul”.

“Sister Emmanuel was the life source of the parish because she has kept it all together with her knowledge and practicality.

“She is always reliable, always there doing things,” he explained. “She is very creative. I still use resources for marriage preparation and baptism forms that Sister designed and printed for me way back then.”

In his homily for her funeral Mass, Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB said that for Sister Emmanuel, it was the bringing together of her Italian Catholic heritage and the richness of the charism of Nano Nagle, the founder of the Presentation Sisters, which formed the solid rock of faith upon which she built her life of fidelity.

“Every one of us here in the church today will have our own stories to tell of the ways in which we have been touched by this compassion and tenderness through the presence of Sister Emmanuel in our lives,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“We pray for Sister Emmanuel today as we entrust her in faith and hope to the God who called her into life, who called her into the Presentation Sisters, who called her to make her own life a gift for the life of others here in our part of the world, and who has now called her home,” he concluded.