Sr. Emma M. Balaguer, fmm (M of Bl. Philippine Duchesne)




                         Sr. Emma M. Balaguer, fmm
                                 (M of Bl. Philippine Duchesne
                                   Born: Dec. 25, 1932
                          Entered: Sept. 16, 1954
                          First Vows: Sept. 17, 1957  
                          Final Vows: Sept.17,1960
                          Born to Eternal Life: 11.16.2013   




Early Years

The second youngest of 5 children, Emma was born in Queens, New York City on Christmas Day 1932.

Early in 1937 massive streptococcal infection hit the city and all the children were sick with tonsillitis or ear infections.  Emma’s ear infection moved into meningitis, which was almost fatal.   With her parents’  permission, Emma received experimental Sulfanilamide and was the first complete recovery. 

At the age of 3, Emma was fascinated by the Sisters and announced she “was going to be a nun.”  Over the years of school she met 6 different Congregations but was always  wondering which one it was going to be.

God’s Call 

One year her High School sang Christmas carols for the children at 45th Street.  She knew nothing about the FMMs, but attracted by the children,  she spoke to Mother Malachy about entering.  Mother Malachy said “So you want to be a missionary,”and without even thinking she heard herself say “Yes.”  She wanted to enter after High School but was offered a scholarship to Manhattanville and advised to accept it. After graduation in 1954 she entered in September.

Missionary Life

After First Vows Emma was sent in mission to Roslyn to work in the Lab.  Two days later the change came to go to Emmanuel College for one year to prepare for Medical School at St. Louis University. 

Emma pronounced her Final vows in 1960 during her 3rd year Medical School, with only an 8 day Retreat, and then back to medical experience in the hospitals.

Graduation in 1962 was followed by Internship at St. John Mercy Hospital and Residency at St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn.   

In 1965 Emma was sent to the mission of India.  Because of visa problems, she went to Assunta Hospital in Malaysia for 4 months.  In 1966, she was missioned to Child Jesus Hospital, Tirichirrapali, to be in charge of the Female Medical ward, as well as an Anesthetist. 

Then in 1968 she was sent to Manapad, where she was the only doctor for the hospital and the whole district.

Emma’s next sending, in 1971, was to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Baramulla, as
Medical Superintendent as well as in charge of Pediatrics and Surgery.

In June ’72- Aug.’73, she went on home visit, worked at Roslyn, and then back to Kashmir.

She was missioned back to the USA in 1979.  Along the way to the USA, she stopped off in Israel, Rome, Spain, France and England.  Israel was a 5-week prayerful visit to the Holy Places;  Rome was a 6-week course on Mother Foundress. Spain was a Christmas and New Year’s visit to meet first cousins for the first time. France included Lourdes and Nantes, as well as Paris.

After a  Medical renewal in Philadelphia Emma’s ministry was Medical practice in North Carolina for 15 months and in St. Louis for the next 20 years in the School Health Service of the Health Dept.

A mandatory retirement compelled her to leave the medical practice.  Anxious to remain active, she volunteered to play with the children in the hospital. 

She volunteered services in the Mission Resource Center as long as she was able.  A brilliant, articulate woman, avid reader and a person used to working, it was difficult for Emma to have no active ministry.  Her last years were spent in suffering and prayer for the Church and the world.  

Tribute to Sr. Joel

Group painting lessons are given for persons for all ages.  Art Therapy is integrated into these art lessons.  Regular art exhibits held for both the students and the artist.

A Tribute to Sister Joel, FMM

John Maganzini, OFM


It is well-known that the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary were my “first” Franciscan family because of the influence that so many FMMs have had in my life before I entered the friars. This wonderful example and dedication has followed me in my friar life. Many years ago, early in formation, I would spend time in front of a picture that hung in our retreat house in Rye Beach, NH.  The picture entitled “Trust” (the ballerina twirling on the finger of God) painted by Sister Joel, became a real meditation for me. (I knew Sister Joel from my years working at Kennedy Memorial Hospital).  I often thought of that picture and on one occasion, at the invitation of Sister Yvette, I went to Fruit Hill to give a day of prayer to the Sisters in Assisted Living.  Sister Joel called me aside and presented me with a framed copy of the picture!  Needless to say, it was a gift that meant the world to me (and still does).  The picture now hangs in my spiritual direction office at Saint Anthony Shrine & Ministry Center (on the wall that faces the chair where women and men who come for spiritual direction sit). The picture has become a meditation and a blessed assistance in prayer for many as they reflect on the spiritual gift of “trust in God” through many of their life’s happenings and situations.  Through the kindness of Sister Maryann Alukonis, Sr Joel has given me various size copies of the picture that I gladly give to women and men who have used the picture as a meditation and a help in prayer.   No one comes into my office without mentioning the picture and I take great pleasure in explaining its meaning.


Each month I go to the Visitation Monastery in the Berkshires to meet with the Novitiate Sisters and their formators for group spiritual direction and then I see two of the novices for individual spiritual direction.   I decided to bring a copy of the picture for each of the novices and the two formators to use as a part of my reflection and sharing.   The Sisters don’t have a grille, but have a separating waist-high wall in the space where we meet.  I lay all the handouts on the wall and when they come in, they each take their copies.  That day, they came in and immediately “lit up” when they saw the picture and all of them looked at the youngest novice, Sister Jennifer.  Her face was aglow!   She was a ballerina before entering!  What a great meditation for the novices, especially Sister Jennifer …”trust”… as their Novitiate/formation journey continues.


Last week I was sent a vocation video on line for the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia.   In the video, Sister Anna Grace speaks about her life as a ballerina before entering.  Well, needless to say, she needed to have one of Sister Joel’s pictures.  I don’t know her but mailed a copy c/o the Motherhouse.  This week I received a thank you note from her. She was so happy to receive the picture and the story of Sister Joel and Sister Jennifer and she said, “I have great affinity to all ballerinas past, present, and to come, and now with Sister Joel and Sister Jennifer as well.”  She went on to tell me she is the Novice Directress!  So…another blessing from someone having Sister Joel’s picture as a gift and meditation! … a reminder to me, to Sister Jennifer, Sister Anna Grace and to so many women and men who have been blessed because Sister Joel, FMM shared her “gift”…a gift that continues to touch many women and men on the spiritual journey as we are reminded to “always trust in our God”… (Thank you, Sister Joel!)


Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
Sr. Joel Zarotiadou, FMM
399 Fruit Hill Avenue
North Providence,RI 02911-2842

Mission Sending of Sr. Annie Prayer

Mission Sending Prayer


Sr. Anna Marie Nebres

to the

Province of Colombia/Ecuador

November 10, 2013

“As missionaries, ready to go anywhere

and to anyone to announce

the Good News…”  (CS Art. 4)


Entrance:  Life Is a Journey

(Weston  Priory, CD: Move With One Heart)




Life is a journey we travel together,

walking hand in hand

with our sisters and brothers. 

Our lives, though different,

are interwoven,

creating a beautiful weaving of love in our world.


Take a moment to be present to someone in need

Show that you care, reach out and plant a loving seed.


Men and women, young and aged, different color skin,

in solidarity we stand together, united from within.


Together let us work to build God’s kingdom here today:

justice, equality, sharing, compassion, peace will be our way.



Ant.  “The spirit of our missionary vocation is to bring the

            whole world to Jesus Christ.” (Bl. Mary of the Passion)


A woman sent on mission brings a message of life

into all places where life is not given much chance,

among those whose lives are accorded little or no value,

to those who doubt and those who need assurance

and to those who do not yet believe:

that we are made for life.


            YES! We are made for life!

            and every expression of life is precious;

            every expression of life is to be embraced.


                        Created for the fullness of life,

                        we only know what it is

                        to live life in a limited way.


Limitations have to be seen and removed by being with,

walking with, struggling with freeing  

all our selves from bondage

so the members of God’s family—everyone

YES! – all of God’s family will know in their very bones

that everyone is someone,

YES! A fully active sister and brother in God’s

            own space of family

that we call the Kingdom

And that is GOOD NEWS!


            To give one’s life for this

            is to be in mission;

            to spend one’s life for this

            is to love beyond the limits

            to find the space to go beyond

            with each sister and brother

            to open space of the Kingdom.


                        YES! This is GOOD NEWS!

                        We are made for life!

                                                           (Mary Motte, fmm)


Glory to….


Psalm   “Show Me Your Path


Ant:  “Be faithful messengers of truth on all your journeys…and be faithful to the God of Truth.”

                                              (Bl. Mary of the Passion)


            In You I find safety and sing:

            “You are my God.

              You are my joy.

                You are my path of life.”


            I bless you,

            the one who guides me.

            You lead me through the night.

            I keep my eyes always on you,

            and with you I see light.


            In you I will rejoice deeply,

            even my body will rest in peace;

            for you will not leave me for dead

            you will always keep me safe.


                        In your light we will walk

                        You show us your path

                        which is the fullest joy possible.

                              (Psalm Prayers – David Haas)


Glory to You…


Reading   from Blessed Mary of the Passion


Voice 1    Whoever speaks of the Missionaries of Mary                      
                    speaks of those who must continue their

                   Mother’s work on earth.  What was Mary’s

                   work?  She saved the world by giving it

                   Jesus.  CR 1,2


Voice 2    We will work as missionaries in Mary’s way,

                  through Jesus.  In this way she was a true

                  missionary in the shadow of Jesus and the

                  Apostles.  We bring both Jesus and Mary

                  with us at the same time.   NS 341


Voice 3   The great missionary of the Institute is

                 Jesus exposed and adored on the altar.  NS 341


Voice 1   The Eucharist – is the presence of truth and

                 charity on earth…   NS 40


Voice 2    The more we understand the difficulties of a

                  missionary Institute, the more we realize that

                  strength lies in unity…   CR/ 1,36


Voice 3     We who are Mary’s missionaries ought to

                  continue her work and give peace, give

                  Jesus always and everywhere. …we have

                  been chosen to announce that Jesus has

                  risen from the dead…  MD, 783



           Called By a Presence

           (Jan Novotka, CD: Return Home)


                     Called by a Presence with no name.

                Called to walk an unknown road.

                Called to say “YES” to the emptiness

                   and to leave all behind.

                Called by a Presence with no name.


Sending of Annie


Lois      Mary of the Passion reminds us that we also by

                the wonderful love of God, have been called to

                the missionary life. (ND 598).  Our 2008

                Chapter Document urges us to continue the

                mission of Jesus by living in minority serving

                and sharing life with others.  (GC DOC. 2008, p.1)


               Today we gather to send you, Annie, to the                           
                province and people of Colombia/Ecuador. 

                May you go as a woman of the Gospel of Jesus,                             
                to tell and to be the Good News of God’s Love;
                to see the presence of God among our sisters and                   
                 people to whom you are sent. 
                 Our prayers will accompany you.


All     We are sent on universal mission throughout our     

             whole lives, no matter where we are. This radical                 

          YES to be sent is an essential dimension of

            our FMM missionary calling.


Lois    It is a special grace to know that as Franciscan
                Missionaries of Mary we have been given this         
                wonderful gift to continue the mission of Jesus by
                being Gospel Women who are sent.  In the name of           
                all the sisters of the United States Province, Annie,


            we send you with deep appreciation and love.
            May you bring your deep love of God and the Institute            
             with you, and may you discover in each one the gift            
            of God’s presence in new and challenging ways.


(Background     Lois anoints Annie, sending her

      Music)           as a Gospel woman to continue

                              the mission of Jesus – and then

                              those present come forward

                              to embrace and send Annie


Magnificat:  (Dan Schutte CD: Prince of Peace)


Ant:  I rejoiced heartily in God who is the joy of my soul.


    My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord

      My spirit sings of God who fills my heart

   The Lord has smiled upon my lowliness

By heaven’s grace I carry in my flesh

God, my savior.


            Nations of the earth, indeed shall call me blest,

            The mighty God has done great things for me.

            The Lord has raised the lowly from the dust;

            The kings of earth shall tumble from their thrones.


            Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

            whose love shall reach beyond the bounds of time.

            The Lord has filled the hungry with good things,

            and sent the proud away with empty hands


            God will not forget the promise made of old

            to Abraham until the end of time.

            The Lord restores the hope of Israel.

            Our eyes have seen the saving hand of God.


Closing Prayer

“Let us thank our divine God

for associating us with His work

by a missionary vocation

…announcing Our Lord,,,

by saying: The Kingdom of God

is close at hand.  May the spirit

of our God enable us to

become living Epiphanies

manifesting Jesus to the world,

always, everywhere, in all things”

Annie, may you continue to reveal

God’s love to all those whom

you encounter on your journey..

May others see in you the

peace, joy and happiness that

is God’s gift to all of us.

We ask this through Jesus our brother.



(cf. Bl. Mary of the Passion  MD 755, CR/2,404)

Final Blessing:  Go Gently, Go Lightly

                                 (Lori True,  CD: Let This Be the Time)


Go gently, go lightly

go safe in the spirit,

live simply, don’t carry

much more than you need;

go trusting God’s goodness

go spreading God’s kindness,

stay centered on Jesus

and where he will lead.


Go singing, go bringing

the gifts of the Spirit,

go hopefully, searching

for things that are true;

in living, in loving

whatever befalls you,

God keep you, God bless you

in all that you do.

(Repeat Verse 1)








Mission Sending of Sr. Annie

Mission Sending of Annie Nebres, fmm

 November 10, 2013, the atmosphere in Holy Family Chapel in North Providence, RI was joyful.  Franciscan Missionaries of Mary from communities in Boston, New York and Rhode Island gathered for a Mission Sending Prayer for Sr. Annie Nebres, fmm to the province of Columbia/Ecuador.

Sr. Lois Pereira, fmm, provincial welcomed all to the blessing:


“Today our ambiance symbolizes the flags of the country  that Annie is leaving  and the two countries that make up the Province of Columbia/Ecuador that Annie will be joining.” 

We send Annie today with all our love and prayers as she brings her joy, her many gifts and her talents to the sisters and people to whom she is missioned.” 

“So let us begin our prayer with a feeling of gratefulness for the gift of Annie to the Province of the United States and the Province of Columbia/Ecuador and to the entire Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.”


During the procession to begin the prayer service all sang – “Life is a Journey” by the Weston Priory.    Please view the beautiful Prayer Service.



 Significant Readings selected from the Writings of Bl, Mary of the Passion were proclaimed by L-R Pauline Gilmore, fmm. My Hoa Nguyen, fmm , and Barbara Dopierala, fmm



    After Lois anointed Annie, sending her as a Gospel woman to continue

the mission of Jesus, all the FMMs present came forward to embrace and send Annie.  


           Then, with one voice, they sang Mary’s prayer “My      soul proclaims the greatness of God….” 

At the conclusion of the Prayer service, Sr. Annie expressed her thanks dedicated to all Franciscan Missionaries who participated in her preparation for her new mission and those who have journeyed with her in the communities here in the United States.   


For more pictures please view the Gallery. 


Sr.Therese Landry,FMM





Canticleof Mary


Mysoul proclaims theLord, myGod. Myspirit sings Gods praise,

Who looks on me and lifts meup, That gladness fill mydays.


All nations will now sharemyjoy. ForGifts God has outpoured.

This lowlyonehas beenmadegreat



ForthosewhofeartheHolyOne: Gods mercywill not die,

Whosestrongright arm puts down theproud, and lifts thelowlyhigh.


God fills thehungrywith good things,


and sends the richaway.


Thepromisemadeto Abraham and


Sarah, is filled to endlessday.




Then, let all nations praiseourGod, The Father and theSon,


TheSpirit blest who lives in us,









Lifesjourneyisto God’seternalDay… ForinLifeandindeath, Webelongtothe Lord!”







( M. of St.Amadeus)













BorntoEternalLife: 9.18.2012




ThereseLandryacquiredmuch experienceintaking responsibility even beforeenteringthe FranciscanMissionaries ofMary. Sheworked asanassistant teacher inafirstgradeclassroom, assistedinthesupervisionof childrenatMt.St.Francis,was activeinaGirl Scouttroopand later becameits leader,was leaderofaLegion ofMarygroup, andwas activeinbothsewing

andgleeclubs.Shetoured Canadaforamonth, havinga goodcommandof bothEnglish andFrench.






WhileatMt.St.Francis,Therese cameincontactwithFranciscan Missionaries ofMary.She enteredtheInstituteinDecember

12,1946,andpronouncedher final vows atHolyFamily Novitiate.



As anFMM,avariety ofministries continuedtocharacterize Sr. Therese‘ life.In1949shewas an assistant groupmotherfor 25very young girls atDivine Providence Shelterfor threemonths,after whichshewas missionedto

McMahonShelter andserved as agroupmotherfor babiesfrom 6 months to2years old, remaining thereuntil 1957.ThenTherese studied atSt.Elizabeth’s School ofNursingin Brighton, Ma.

Obtainingher RN,after whichshe was missionedtoSt.Francis Hospital,Roslyntobeoperating roomstaff nurse.  Shewas promotedtooperatingroom assistantandin1968became operating room supervisor until May, 1972.


Several years later,she graduatedMagnaCum Laude witha B.S.inNursingfromSt. Louis University.  Sheobtaineda

Master inBusinessAdministration at Adelphi Universityafter which sheserved asthe Executive Director ofSt.FrancisHospital from 1977to1979.While at Roslyn, Sister served ontheJoint Medical NursingPractices Committee,InfectionControl Committee,andtheBloodBank Committee.

After aSabbatical,shewas appointedtheCoordinator and Directress ofHealthServices In theFranciscanMissionaries of MaryNursingFacility.


Subsequentministrieswere Clinical Pastoral Care,Hospitality for Children,Careof Elderly, and sick Sisters.

After completingaprogramin Clinical PastoralEducationshe begananewministryinwhich her gifts oflisteningwitha compassionateheartcametothe fore.Inher ownwords shewrote: MypresencetothoseIminister

tois importantandasHenry Nouwenwrites in his bookThe LivingReminder (SeaburyPress, N.Y. 1977),...Althoughthis ministry of presenceis undoubtedly very meaningful,it

alwaysneeds tobebalanced bya ministry of absence.This is so becauseitbelongs tothe essence ofacreativeministry constantly to convertthepainoftheLord‘s absenceintoadeeper understandingofhis presence.

To bepresenttothese peopleas aChaplainis afull timeministry.”


After serious illnessandsurgery Theresewas nolongerableto servein activeministry.Her ministrybecamethat of intercessoryprayer fortheChurch andtheworld.



Thereseboreherfinalillness courageously.  She died as she lived,quietlyandgently, surroundedbyher FMM Sisters andNursingStaff.