Richard Catarelli had to have been granted more than twenty-four hours in a day. He was a totally devoted husband of twenty-four years and ten months to Santa, and loving father to Anamarie, held a full-time responsible position at Marsh & McLennan, which required of him much traveling around the country, and yet he wholeheartedly gave of himself to his Parish of St. Finbar. He was a trustee, an active Eucharistic Minister who, without fail, each week visited and spent some time with a shut-in, bringing her the Eucharist, and he was a dedicated and creative catechist in their Religious Education Program. Richard also involved himself in many of the parish activities and especially those that involved the youth—even going as far as being the Easter Bunny, Frosty the Snowman, and playing Santa Claus three days before major back surgery in December 2000.
Richard was an exceptional man who saw the image of God in each and every person he encountered, and lived out his belief through his concern, his kindness, and his generosity of giving to others in need. He held a great sense of humor and would do anything to make people laugh and be happy. He cheered you when things seemed at their worst. "Smile my friend," he would always say, "God loves you."
At a Parish Dinner Dance honoring Richard in June 2002, a close friend of the Catarelli Family compared Richard’s short life to the two beams of light that rise up for only a short time from Ground Zero, but shine brightly against the darkness. And yet, even when they are extinguished, the image of those two beams of light and its symbolism will always be remembered and be a part of the lives of those who have witnessed its majesty. Richard’s legacy to those who knew and loved him is that light.
Tribute submitted by Santa Catarelli.