Claire Jacqueline Napoleon, fmm (M. Claire of St. Francis)

Early Years 

 

Claire was born in New York, NY one of four children, two girls and two boys born to devout parents, Charles and Sybil Napoleon. 

 

After Claire completed high school, she obtained employment at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.  Along with 3 or 4 women coworkers, she volunteered at McMahon Children’s Services located on East 112th Street   Each week they came to play with the infants and children before putting them to bed.  

 

God’ Call 

 

One evening, one of the staff, a Franciscan Missionary of Mary, asked Claire if she had ever thought of entering religious life.  Claire soon pursued the question and entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in North Providence on September 15, 1960 in           N. Providence, and pronounced her final vows on March 19, 1969.   

 

Missionary Life 

 

Claire’s earlier ministries included that of a nurse aide and an X-ray technician at Kennedy Memorial Hospital, in Brighton, MA, and a child care worker in McMahon Shelter in Harlem, NY.  After completing her MSW studies at Columbia University School of Social Work, she ministered in New York City as an adoption social worker in a Black Child Caring Agency; as a foster care social worker with a high ratio of Spanish- speaking families and as a child care worker in a Children’s Shelter. 

  

In 1980, she did an Emmaus Renewal Program in Grottaferrata, Italy at  the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary  residence.   Upon her return to the United States, in 1981, Sister Claire was sent in mission to Emmaus Community, in North Providence to minister as a Coordinator in the Diocesan Catholic Social Services.  In addition, she ministered to Southeast Asian Unaccompanied Minors, all of whom were from Cambodia. She held the position as coordinator and supervisor of the program since its inception in December of 1981 at Catholic Social Services.  

Claire’s international experience helped in this ministry with the youth, which was a highlight of her life.  Her time in Rome and her experiences in Europe meant much to her. She wrote of this experience, “This experience of missioning to Southeast Asian youth has reminded me of my own powerlessness, has shown me my limitations and continuously brings me before the Lord. Here, I implore the help, call out the names of those for whom I am concerned, The missioning to others of another culture brings a certain humility for they too must endure as I stumble to help them function in a new world.” She considered this experience as her living fully her missionary vocation as a Franciscan Missionary of Mary 

 

From 1986 to 2001 Sister served as the Director of Social Services and as a social worker, in McMahon and in Divine Providence Shelter in Manhattan, NY. She also served as a provincial councilor. 

 

While Sr. Claire was never missioned abroad, she traveled extensively in the United States in connection with her ministries and even traveled to the refugee camps in Thailand.  

In 2005 she was sent in mission to Holy Family Community as the co-director of financial services. 

 

Declining health necessitated her admission in 2010, to St. Antoine’s Residence where she died peacefully. August 18, 2015. 

 

 

Mary Elizabeth Cook, fmm (M. of St. John Cantius)

Mary entered the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary

in 1952 at Holy Family Novitiate, Fruit Hill. After pronouncing

her final vows, Mary served in various community works while

studying part time at Rhode Island College.                                            

MISSIONARY LIFE

In 1959, Mary was sent to Goa, stopping off several months in Rome and Karachi, Pakistan, before reaching her final destination. At this time, Goa, India belonged to the FMM province of Pakistan. In Caranzalem, Goa, she served as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Montessori program of O.L. of the Rosary School. She also visited the people in the villages and was sacristan of the village chapel. Later she was sent to Bombay, India, St. Anthony’s Home where she helped with the babies in the crèche. These were all orphan children. She loved the children as well as the whole missionary experience in Pakistan, Goa and Bombay.

 

Upon her return to the USA, she studied in St. Joseph Hospital in a nursing assistant program after which she worked in her community’s infirmary. Mary was then missioned to St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, New York where she served in Hospitality for the “Gift of Life Program.” The hospital and the Gift of Life Program sponsored children from all over the world who needed heart surgery but could not afford it. Mary always enjoyed working with children and in hospitality. Whatever ministry she was given, she did it with devotion, thoroughness and lot of hard work. Despite some physical limitations, Mary was unsparing of herself in order to attend the needs of others.

In 1994, Mary was sent to Holy Family Community, North Providence, RI where she was responsible for hospitality. In addition to this ministry, Mary used her nursing skills in caring for a sister in her community who was ill.

After recent hospitalizations, Mary was sent to St. Antoine’s Residence, North Smithfield where she died peacfully.

 

 

Sr. Barbara Anne Hogan, fmm

      Sr. Barbara Anne Hogan, fmm, 81 of Our Lady of Hope Community, Brighton, MA, died on July 30, 2015 at Maristhill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Waltham, MA. Born in Woburn, MA on October 5, 1934, Sr. Barbara, was the daughter of the late Michael J. Hogan and Anne G. (O’Leary) Hogan.

       She entered the pre-novitiate of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on September 15, 1952 and made her first and final vows, March 19, 1955 and 1958. In 1959, Barbara received a diploma in nursing in Brighton, MA and while a student nurse, she cared for mentally challenged children at Kennedy Memorial Hospital (later this became Franciscan Hospital for Children).

      Sr. Barbara was missioned to Japan in June of 1962 and was assigned to a large Franciscan Missionary of Mary Hospital in Japan called Seibo (Blessed Mother) while she was studying Japanese. She was a clinic nurse there and while during her time in Japan, she made some family visits back to the USA and several renewal courses in France, India and Rome, her presence at Seibo Hospital was very consistent and she was actually in Japan approximately 52 years.

      Some years before returning to the United States for good, Sr. Barbara was assigned to work at the reception desk at Seibo Hospital where she was an interpreter for foreign patients.

      In 2011, Barbara was given an award from the Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contributions In Tokyo for her professional nursing at the hospital but also for volunteering in service to refugees and migrants, as an interpreter-clerk, helping to pay medical bills for indigent patients and even when necessary, making funeral arrangements for patients who passed away.

      Barbara was a good friend of Catherine Schultz, fmm, who was also missioned to Japan. Barbara and Catherine studied together in Kobe for the nurse’s exam which nurses needed in order to practice nursing in Japan. The exam was given in kanji (Japanese language characters) and was very difficult for foreigners, even for those who understood and spoke Japanese. They approached it together with hard work and prayer and both passed. Some years later, they were united again when Catherine was in a hospital in Totsuka suffering the effects of a bad accident. Barbara’s comforting presence was with Catherine when she died.

      Within the context of her nursing experiences and her whole life, Barbara could be described as gentle, humble, unassuming and kind. She was also someone who smiled and laughed easily, always able to appreciate a humorous situation or funny story. She was a skilled nurse who worked over 50 years mostly in Seibo Hospital where she was revered by foreign priests and missionary sisters as well as lay people who came there with medical needs or serious illnesses and, who appreciated her prayerful and encouraging bedside manner. Barbara must be present in the hearts and memories of many native Japanese and international people who experienced her gentle, Christ-like love, as well as everyone else who ever met or knew her.

       She is survived by her sister Grace Hogan who is in a nursing home in Massachusetts and a brother, Richard Hogan from Woburn, MA, and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Her brother, Daniel is deceased.

      She will be greatly missed by her family and devoted classmates from St. Charles High School in Woburn who have remained in close contact with her over the years.

      Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, August 3, 2015 at 11:00 am in Holy Family Chapel, 399 Fruit Hill Avenue, North Providence. Burial will follow in Holy Family Cemetery. Visiting hours will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug 2, 2015 , with a Wake Service at 7 p.m. (www.boyleandsonfuneralhome.com)