Julia “Dolly” (Tavani) Papili

A tribute was paid today in honor of Dolly Papili. In human terms, her funeral was a remarkable event. But in the scheme of universal reality, how, really, can anything human come close to that which belongs to the stars?

Dolly Papili was a true blessing to everyone who knew her. Because everyone who knew her was lifted up and treated “so special” by this generous and giving woman. The world is a better place because she was among us.

Her son Joe spoke eloquently today about his mother (and, 5 years ago, just as eloquently about his father). He mused about her enjoyment of the classic newspaper comic, “Family Circus.” You may recall, “Family Circus” was a piece of Americana goodness, a remembrance of a time that was kinder and simpler. One particular comic strip that Dolly saved is a drawing of a little girl stating, “The name ‘Sarah’ is in the bible. Is the name ‘Dolly’ in the bible?” This question was repeated in Father Norm Carroll’s excellent homily.

Is “Dolly” found in the bible? Joe pointed out that, while “Dolly” may not be found in the bible, the name “Dolly” surely is now being proclaimed in heaven.

Fr. Carroll aptly pointed out several ways that “Dolly” can be defined, including, “an instrument used for helping or serving,” which absolutely describes what Dolly Papili’s life was about.

Is “Dolly” in the bible? My bible search says ‘no.’ But, not surprisingly, the name “Julia” is found in scripture (Mark 16:18). It means “a strong Roman Christian.”

That, indeed, was Dolly Papili– Strong. Roman (Italian American). Christian.
Dolly was the best of the best. Ironically, the qualities that represent her goodness are not supernatural. Rather, she towers above most of us by virtue of her commitment to family, to community, and to her faith. In terms of human reckoning, she was a wonderful person. In terms of divinity, Dolly Papili was an epiphany… a revelation of the boundless love that God has for all.

Thank you God for Dolly.

Thank you Dolly. Thank you.

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