The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary celebrated the Jubilees of Eleven Sisters in Holy Family Chapel, Fruit Hill, RI
Father Nicholas Smith, celebrated the Eucharist and gave the Homily.
Front Row L-R: Mildred Morrissey, fmm. Pauline Williams, fmm, Virginia Ptak, fmm
Lucie Kristofik, fmm, Beatrice Sweeney, fmm, Patricia Murphy, fmm
2nd row: Philomena Agudo, fmm, Jean Mera, fmm.
Back: Helen A. Klumpp, fmm, Mary Motte, fmm. Maria Teresa de los Rios. Fmm
Helen Mary Klumpp, fmm entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in North Providence, RI June 1935 and pronounced her final vows in 1940. Her ministries included service as a licensed practical nurse, laboratory technician, pastoral visitor among the Navajo People in Arizona and in other missions in the United States. Helen played the guitar and was part of the Charismatic Renewal after Vatican II.
In 1937 Helen Mary’s first mission sending was to St. Francis Sanatorium, Roslyn, now called St. Francis Hospital, where she received tutoring on setting up and running a laboratory. These were the early challenging years of the hospital. She also worked as a practical nurse. Helen remained in this mission until 1959 when she was sent to O.L. of the Eucharist in Brighton. Here she served as receptionist, was involved in the Third Order Secular Franciscans, now Secular Franciscan Order, and used her musical talents in the liturgy.
Sr. Helen celebrated her 105th birthday at St. Antoine’s Residence surrounded by her Sister Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and staff members.
Patricia Murphy, fmm entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary September 17, 1944 and pronounced her first vows September 17, 1947 and her final Vows in 1951 in Holy Family Novitiate, North Providence. Her first mission sending was to Our Lady of Good Help in Orient Heights, East Boston, and then to Our Lady of the Eucharist Community, serving as a house mother to boys in Kennedy Memorial Hospital, now known as Franciscan Hospital for Children. Pat was sent in mission to Japan where she taught at Stella Maris School, Kobe, Japan. Her next mission sending to the United States included a time of studies and appointment as Principal at Espirito Santo School. She also did advanced work in Franciscan studies and gave a number of sessions enriched by her tremendous gifts as a teacher. As part of the FMM Visitation community, Brighton, MA, Pat worked especially among women who were on the streets.. She served on the provincial council and in community leadership in Holy Family Community, N. Providence, RI. As part of Holy Family Community in Fruit Hill Pat continued her deep lifelong commitment to those on the periphery through pastoral visitation and volunteer work in a soup kitchen.. Throughout her life, Pat has reached out to those most in need wherever she went. Today her ministry is especially intercessory prayer before the Eucharist for all those in need.
Virginia Ptak, fmm entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary September 16, 1944 and pronounced her final vows March 19, 1950 in North Providence. Her ministries have been in thehealthcare field, first as an x-ray technician in St. Francis Hospital Roslyn and then in the frontier nursing service in Hyden, Kentucky. She was sent in mission to St. Michael’s, Arizona to the Navajo people where she worked in Rehoboth Hospital. Her next mission sending was to St. Petersburg Florida where she did home health nursing, and then to St. Anthony’s community, Fall River. Virginia served as the local coordinator of St. Michael’s community, North Providence and also did educational sessions for the nursing staff of the FMM nursing facility there. Sent to St. Francis, Roslyn, New York Virginia has done public health nursing, and later welcomed children who came from other countries for cardiac surgery, providing hospitality and arranging their appointments for procedures. Recently, she cared for her sister until her sister was called to eternal life. Her present ministry in St. Francis, Roslyn is community service and prayer for the church and the world.
Philomena Agudo, fmm, entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary September 13, 1949, Tagatay, Philippines. After her first profession on March 19, 1952, she taught at Our Lady of Loreto Academy in Legarda, Manila. She also did catechetical work in public schools and ministered every Saturday to the prisoners at the National Penitentiary. She pronounced her final vows March 19, 1955 in Tagaytay. She was appointed Principal of Our Lady of Loreto Academy, Manila in 1955 .Seven years later Philomena was sent to Cebu City to establish Stella Maris School, which included kindergarten through Secondary school. In 1964 she was missioned to Djakarta, Indonesia as Principal of Regina Pacis International School, a secondary school for children of diplomats. In 1967 Philomena was appointed Juniorate Mistress in Bogor, Indonesia. Two years later she became a part-time counselor at Churches’ Counseling Center in Singapore. Philomena showed her gift of organization in 1970 when she became directress of Hal Sing Dewasa Commercial School for Girls. Philomena was sent in mission to the United States to study at Boston University. She graduated in 1975 with a doctorate in Pastoral Psychology and Counseling (PhD). Her present ministries are counseling and spiritual direction.
Jeanne d’Arc Saeko Mera, fmm entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary March 15, 1949 in Yokohama, Japan. She pronounced her final vows September 1, 1956 in Sapporo, Japan. In Japan, Jeanne taught in a Kindergarten in Tenshi and worked with children in an orphanage in Kitahiroshima. She also did social work and taught in a kindergarten for children. Having earned her BA in Education, she obtained a Montessori Certificate in Early Childhood Education in 1973. Her ministry was as a Teacher and Director of Stella Maris Kindergarten in Kobe, Japan
In 1979 she was sent in mission to the United States to Kennedy Memorial Day School Program in Brighton, MA serving as an Intern and teacher’s aide. She obtained experience in special education and acquired a Master of Arts in Special Education at Lesley College in Boston. A specialist in the Montessori Method of education she directed a number of programs for young children. Jeanne also did extensive studies in the healing arts of Shiatsu. Presently, she continues her healing ministry in the Franciscan Missionaries Assisted Living Residence and also continues her ministry of prayer, interceding for the needs of the Church and the World.
Beatrice Sweeney, fmm entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary at North Providence, RI September 18, 1949. She pronounced her first vows In 1952, and her final vows, March 19, 1955. While a student at Emmanuel College, Boston, Beatrice spent summer in Camp St. Helene in the Catskills where she served as Camp Counselor for a group of children from the New York City area. She Graduated from Emmanuel College, and was sent in mission to teach in Espiritu Santo School in Fall River. In 1958, she was sent as a missionary to Malaysia. There Beatrice assumed the duties of the Principal of the government-aided Assunta Primary School. Later she was sent to Australia, and after some time, the United States. Bea’s various ministries in Malaysia, Australia, and United States have been in religious education, teaching, administration, secretary and local coordinator.
Bea is endowed with a deep awareness of the ministry of hospitality, and warmly greets visitors with sincere interest and concern. Her present ministry is that of intercessory prayer for the Church and the world which is founded on her great love of God and a commitment to continually be informed about the situations in the world.
Lucie Kristofik, fmm entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary March 12, 1955. She pronounced her first vows September 17, 1955 and her final vows September, 1960 in Holy Family Convent, North Providence. After obtaining a license as a registered nurse, she ministered until 1967 at Kennedy Memorial Hospital, now called Franciscan Hospital for children.
On December 4, 1967 Lucie was sent in mission to. Pakistan, where she had a ministry of nursing in the Hospitals of St. Raphael (Lyallpur, now Faisalabad) and Our Lady of Mercy (Rawalpindi). Following this she served in St. Lawrence Community, Karachi. Back in the United States, Lucie was missioned St. Petersburg, Florida where she was involved in pastoral ministry and youth choir. She was then missioned to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha mission outpost in Chichiltah, New Mexico with a ministry in religious education, and then to Navaho, New Mexico for pastoral ministry among the Navajo people. In Hamilton and later in Pine Mountain, Georgia, she was a pastoral care worker in St. Francis Hospital, Columbus, GA. She served in community leadership in Millbrook and Georgia. Lucie worked in the Provincial Finance Office, Bronx, NY; and later in pastoral care and as receptionist in St. Francis, Roslyn. Presently she is a member of Queen of Peace Community in North Providence, where she especially prays for the needs of the Church and the World.
Millie Morrissey, fmm entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary September 15, 1954 and pronounced her first vows on March 19, 1957 and on March 19, 1960 her final vows. Millie completed her MA degree in Social Work at St. Louis University. Her ministries in social work and teaching in the United States. included: Cardinal Hayes Home for Children, Millbrook NY; Divine Providence NY; Espiritu Santo School, Fall River, MA. Following her mission sending to Australia, she served as principal at Ave Maria in Essenden, Victoria., and later Program Director at Marymead Children’s Center, Canberra. Sent to the United States, Millie was principal of Espiritu Sancto School. Then she served as Vice-President for Mission Effectiveness at Franciscan Children’s Hospital, Brighton; as Provincial Councilor; as Principal of St. Brigid’s School in Abington, MA. As a member of the novitiate community in Fall River, MA and then in West Greenwich, RI, Millie served as principal of All Saints Academy in Middletown, RI. Her present ministries are Mass lector and librarian In the Franciscan Missionary of Mary Center with residence Holy Family community.
Mary M. Motte, fmm, entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in 1954. After initial formation, studies and work with children, she made Final Profession in 1964. Mary served as provincial secretary and continued studies at Boston College. Following completion of doctoral studies, she was sent to Rome, and for a short time to the Near East where she discovered the grace of mission – being on the periphery, receiving from the Poor. In Rome her ministry included participation in updating the FMM Constitutions, serving as mission resource person, helping in the preparation for the SEDOS Research Seminar on the Future of Mission, serving as a consultant to the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, as well as to the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism at the World Council of Churches. Mission in the US followed with participation in planning the National Mission Congress 1983. She served the US province as provincial for two terms and helped in setting up the Mission Resource Center in North Providence. Currently Mary helps in organizing sessions for mission preparation, sabbatical renewal and studies related to Mary of the Passion. She is involved in ecumenical studies concerning mission, and is a contributing editor to the International Bulletin of Missionary Research.
Maria Teresa de los Rios, fmm, entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on March 5, 1955 in Pamplona, Spain and pronounced her final vows September 17, 1960 in Grottaferrata, Italy. After serving several years in the “Pontificia,” a Papal office set up in Rome to answer letters to the Pope, she was sent in mission to the United States where she served as a group mother at Divine Providence Temporary Shelter for Children in Manhattan. After completing studies in social work in Marillac College, St. Louis , MO, Mary Teresa became a Case Worker for children at Divine Providence. Maria Teresa was next sent to San Francisco where she worked as Administrator in St. Francis Residence as well as Coordinator for the fmm community. In Illinois she was a member of the fmm formation community in Chicago and then in Waukegan. Her ministries as social worker included case worker and pastoral care, Her present ministry is Associate Pastor primarily for Hispanic speaking persons in Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Manhattan, where she is a member of the fmm community.
Pauline Mary Williams, FMM entered the Franciscan Missionaries June 2, 1955 in Coldash, UK. After completing her nursing studies in Drogheda, Ireland, she was sent in mission to the United States in 1963, and pronounced her final vows June 13, 1964 in Brighton, Massachusetts. Pauline completed further studies in Nursing and was then sent to Brighton where she worked for thirty years in Kennedy Memorial Hospital, now called Franciscan Hospital for Children. Her early involvement with special needs education and preparation in that field of ministry, led to the opening of the Kennedy Day School at the hospital, and to her appointment as the Director. Gifted with deep compassion, Pauline recognized the needs and gifts of the children with whom she ministered and whose gifts and abilities she appreciated. During a time of sabbatical, she did Biblical Studies in Catholic Theological Union, Chicago and in the Holy Land, where she discovered and then shared her deeper gratitude for the Word of God. Pauline later worked with United Cerebral Palsy as the Director of Early Intervention. She served as the Coordinator of her fmm community in Cambridge MA. She also was a member of the Provincial Council. Pauline was then appointed Administrator of the Franciscan Assisted Living Residence, North Providence. Presently Pauline is the Coordinator of de Chappotin Community in North Providence.
Fr. Smith’s Reflection Jubilee Sisters of 2015
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
America, as you know, practically canonizes youth…being young, acting
young, looking young. For many, getting old is a frightening thought.
Can’t bear to look at it.
The only image acceptable for many is aging … without limits or change
That’s not God’s way though.
God doesn’t buy into maturity as being a finished state…
that at some point we become the complete person, the one who has it all.
No! Jesus presented life as a journey.
Ronald Rolheiser, one of the great Catholic writers of our day, calls life
“theunfinished symphony.” It’s an endless pilgrimage.
Perfection – certainly for the Religious Sister – is to live in conformity with
the humanness of Christ.
And that’s a ceaseless process, never achieved here below.
What it means is that if you’ve really given your life to Christ – and you
have – you never really grow old.
You’re always – you never stop – growing.
The key – the challenge – is to grow with grace.
So all of us, at this stage of our lives, the question is what are we
growing in to?
God challenges us more than ever to grow in love … a quieter life of
course … but deeper, richer, purer, more mellowed, softer, full of hope;
more open to understanding differences and diversity; more tolerant
of the sinner in us all.
Grow in the love that listens better and is indeed, in the famous words
of St. Paul “patient, kind, does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the
Not an easy task, mind you, especially in the sounds and noises of our
culture. But to grow in that love, we have to first become comfortable
with the desert …the desert of taking the time to come face to face…
with quietness … vastness … your own vulnerability.
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
Be alert to what life is for you right now.
It’s to listen to the voice that maybe in the past we’ve drowned out …
because of other needs or hopes or busy-ness.
Atonement with God, in the sense of at-one-ment (I love that word)!
Atonement having to do with the past! At-one-ment with the present!
The same word! Tearing away the masks that were formerly there.
Parallel with that love is the need for a sense of festivity …
A sense of joy for the people of your life past and the people who make
it up now. Experience a communion … with God and God’s images on
Earth. That’s why today is important!
Sisters Helen Klumpp, Patricia Murphy, Virginia Ptak, Philomena Agudo,
Jeanne Mera, Beatrice Sweeney, Lucie Kristofik, Mildred Morrissey,
Mary Motte, Maria Teresa de los Rios, Pauline Williams …
we’re not celebrating your accomplishment …
nearly as much as rejoicing in who you are, …
who you are to God who gave you life …
and who you are to the people God put in your life …
and whom you have graced with your love and service and very
Speaking for that vast number, we’re grateful to have crossed
your paths, and for having the opportunity to express that
I’ll finish with a little story.
The Boston Red Sox, I understand, have reintroduced Nuns Day at
Fenwick Park. They had it last year for the first time since the ‘60’s.
It actually goes back to Cardinal Cushing’s time but had fallen on
Well there’s a wonderful story of three wise guys sitting behind a
couple of nuns at the baseball game. Their habits partially blocked the men’s view.
So the fellows decided to badger the nuns to get them to move.
In a very loud voice the first one said: I think I’m going to move to
Utah. There are only 100 nuns in the whole state.
The 2nd guy spoke up and said: I want to go to Montana. There are
are only 50 nuns living there.
The 3rd guy said, I want to go to Idaho. There are only 25 nuns there.
Little Sister Benedicta, quiet and gentle, turned around and in a very
calm sweet voice said: Why don’t you go to hell! There are no
I don’t quite know what to make of those words. Perhaps this!
The jubilee sisters here today; we salute you and are delighted to be
with you on this special day in this holy place.
The rest of us – relatives, friends, religious and lay – let’s remember
that today we marked this significant moment in these peoples’ lives…
with joy … and prayer and laughter.