Non Violence Coalition


The COALITION FOR VIOLENCE-FREE RHODE ISLAND gathered at the Rotunda of the State House in Providence on March 17.  Religious leaders from numerous faith as well as other traditions,  were present and expressed concerned about the important moral issue of gun violence in Rhode Island.  This was truly an example of persons of different ways of thinking coming together around an issue around which they were united. Included among the persons present were a group of Moms Against Violence, (one of them from Newtown Connecticut), and a group from Christ the King Parish in South Kingstown.  There was likewise a group of persons concerned with the issue of domestic violence and the use of guns. Three FMM were present for the gathering: Maryann Alukonis, Barbara Dopierala, Mary Motte.  We assured the leaders that many FMM were joined in prayer that we achieve a Violence Free State.  Your prayers are deeply valued with much gratitude.




Enlarged Council 2014

They began with an evening prayer that was led appropriately with the song “Abide: O Spirit of Life”. The theme of the EPC was “Where are You?” in context of living religious life in the 21st century.  On Saturday Sr. Nancy Shreck gave a presentation that provided them cause to think about where they  are, not only as Franciscan Missionaries of Mary but as individuals.  Sisters were told to look not only at the past, the present but also the future.  She asked the viewers what will be the top ten languages to be spoken by youth of 2050?  Surprise, surprise a study identifies the first as Chinese.  No one can dispute it, but time will tell.

The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary are rooted in the mission of Jesus, reaching out to the margins.  One member recalled that in the past the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded schools, hospitals and other corporate ministries. Now these are administered by lay persons.  The goal is for FMMs to go into the margins and to minister in all places in need in collaboration with others. Nancy said, “Religious life is not only’ to the margins’ but it is a marginal life in and for the Church.”

Sr. Nancy admitted that many founders and foundresses were challenged for their prophetic courage and folly.  It is up to us to return to the original inspiration behind our Institute.  We also must adjust our Institute to the changed conditions of the times.

Nancy said that it is similar to walking on a tightrope.  Too far one way is to be too compliant and lose credibility and the other way to appear self-righteous and to be dismissed.  Sr. Nancy gave the members of the EPC many things to think about and reflect.  Each member of the Enlarged Provincial Council will share Sr. Nancy’s presentation with her community. 

Enlarged 2014

 Meeting of the Enlarged Provincial Council

of the

Franciscan Missionaries of Mary

Front L-R:  Barbara Dopierala, fmm, Nga Thi Le, fmm, Marie Cinotti, fmm, Kim Loan Nguyen, fmm.  2nd Row: Elizabeth  A. Conyers, fmm, Conchy Zunzarren, fmm, Alma  Dufault, fmm, Lois Ann Pereira, fmm.

 Back Row L-R:  Noreen Murray, fmm, Emilie Duchaney, fmm,  Beatrice Costagliola, fmm, Nancy Cabral, fmm, Mary Petrosky, fmm, Patricia Barrett, fmm, Jackie LaVie, fmm, Betty Keegan, fmm, Pauline Williams, fmm, Yvette Hubert, fmm.


The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary sisters of the Enlarged Provincial Council met from March 14th to the 16th in Fruit Hill, N. Providence.  They were greeted with clover necklaces and Irish decorations. They were happy to see one another from other communities.. However, there was work to do.  Read More…







Lois  was with us for the Provincial Visit and we asked Fr. Tom Hartle, ofm to be the celebrant for a Mass on March 2nd.  Several of our Sisters joined us from Holy Family, Trinity, Queen of Peace, Lourdes, Myriam and St. Francis Communities.  The liturgy was that of the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary time – and the readings of the day certainly gave greater depth to the occasion.  Tom’s homily about good-byes and moving ahead touched the significance of this time in an extraordinary way.  At the end of the Mass, Lois read the name of each Sister who had been part of the community, and after each name,Barbara and Mary alternately poured water into a large bowl. 











Tom then blessed this water










Once the Spring comes and the ground softens, we will gather some shoots from the Lilac Bush, Rose Bush and one or two other bushes on the property.  These will be planted as part of the Tree Project in Fruit Hill.  The water blessed at this celebration will be poured on the newly transplanted bushes.  And so life continues in new ways and with new graces!           

      Barbara Dopierala, fmm,        Mary Motte, fmm

also please see pictures in the gallery



Celebration in West Greenwich

                                                                    Read More
                                                      also please see pictures in the gallery


Sr. Pauline C. Baris

Sr. Pauline C. Baris, 89, Franciscan Missionary of Mary,  Our Lady Queen of Peace Community, died March 12, 2014  at Elmhurst Extended Care Facility, Providence.  She was born in Central Falls , daughter of the late Ferdinand and Eva, (Bedard) Baris.

She attended Notre Dame Schoo lthere, and after graduation worked in the accounting and secretarial departments of the former Pantex Mfg.Co.,Pawtucket,Rl, and as assistant bookkeeper at Tilden Thurber’s in downtown Providence.

At the age of twenty seven, Pauline entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Quebec, on March 8,1951. She attended Ottawa University in 1954, studying Child Care and Guidance. After Sister’s fina lprofession in Winnipeg, Manitoba September 17, 1956 ,she was sent to an FMM Day Care Center there, doing Group Work and Home Visits for under privileged children.  Sister Pauline remained in this ministry until1 968 when she attended a refresher course at Willis Business College in Ottawa.

Then came the great day in 1968 when Sister Pauline’s hopes and dreams to go on the missions were fulfilled and she was sent to Monrovia, Liberia.  In 1972, Sister Pauline was one of the delegates at the General Chapter, representing West Africa.  After this Chapter she returned to her mission in Liberia. Until 1975, Sr. Pauline served in various ministries: part time teacher at the high school teaching typing, shorthand and training other community treasurers.

In 1976, she was sent in mission to the Province of Canada with a ministry to help the local treasurers as well as other responsibilities in the business field. In October of 1977, she was missioned to Jirapa, Ghana where she served as the accountant at Jirapa Hospital.  She also taught a young Ghanaian to take over the hospital accounts. From 1980 to 1995 she was missioned to Accra, Ghana.  There Sister Pauline served as a provincial councilor, also in the  SECAM secretariat at the Apostolic Nunciature as an accountant. Then she went to Winneba, Ghana as the local superior, provincial councilor and helped with accounts.In 1995, Pauline was missioned to the United States where she did a renewal at Berakah in New Hampshire. After completing her renewal she was missioned to Our Lady of Wisdom community in St Louis, Missouri. 

She served as the community coordinator, and as a Eucharistic Minister in a local parish. In 1999, she was missioned to Queen of Peace Community in North Providence.  She served as the Co-director for Finance and for Facilities and Properties at Fruit Hill, N. Providence.  From 2007 to 2013 she served as the Local Coordinator of Queen of Peace Community

Throughout her missionary life, Pauline lived her commitment to   “follow Christ in the Spirit, offering her life unreservedly to the Father after the example of  Mary and Francis, for the Church and the salvation of the World. ”  She worked quietly, diligently and tirelessly fulfilling her demanding ministries. Joyful and loving, Pauline’s sisters knew that they could always count on her.  In her later years, as community coordinator,  her greatest joy was having time to listen more attentively with an understanding heart to her Sisters. 

She is survived by her sister, Marguerite Duquette and her brother, Hubert Baris of Central Falls  RI and many nieces, grand nieces, grand nephews and great grand nieces and nephews.  

Non Violence

A Franciscan action for a Violence-Free Society

Franciscans: The Franciscan tradition, carrying forward Francis of Assisi’s commitment to love God and all of God’s creation, especially the weakest and most in need, leads us  to continue the mission of Jesus in minority and solidarity by defending all life in our  simple daily actions and by collaborating with others in  projects in favor of justice, peace and ecology.   

 In Rhode Island members from various faith traditions, have come together to assert that safety and security are fundamental needs of all human beings and are necessary for a stable and healthy society.  The FMM Communications and the Mission Resource Center have been invited to facilitate the support of those fmm in RI who would wish to be part of this effort, especially through their prayer.


The Religious Coalition affirms:

·         We recognize the inherent worth and dignity of each person and the equal entitlement of every member of the human family to life, liberty and security of person.

·         We know violence has proven to be ineffective and unnecessary to achieve an outcome.  It frequently results in escalating conflict rather than bringing remedy or resolution.

·         We recognize the complexity of the causes of violence and the need for thorough analysis, comprehensive strategies and sustained effort.

·         We have learned that non-violence in the long run is a more productive method of expressing moral good will, reducing resentment and animosity. “At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.


Our Resolve and common commitment to a violence-free society, is drawn from a wellspring of diverse, but deeply rooted traditions that flourish in Rhode Island.