Sr. Marie Paule Gobeil, FMM

   Sr. Marie Paule Gobeil, Franciscan Missionary of Mary, 90, died August 23, 2017 at St. Antoine’s Residence in North Smithfield, R.I.

 

   She was born July 2, 1918 in Quebec City, Canada; Marie-Paule was the sixth of eight children. Her parents formed a strong Catholic household in
 which each one was expected to attend daily mass when old enough to do so. There was also family Rosary in October and attendance at Sunday Vespers with
   Papa in the parish. An atmosphere like this was to nurture the fruit of three religious vocations. A brother became a Marist Brother missioned to
Zimbabwe  and a sister also joined the FMM and spent 35 years in Australia.

 

   Still little, Marie-Paule desired to go to school and at age three attended the Ecole Maternelle run by the FMM through third grade and then attended
the parish school for grades 4-7. After that, she studied privately. She always attended the patronages, social groups arranged by the Sisters for various ages
   of girls on Sunday afternoons. Marie-Paule says that she could hear the Sisters singing the Mass when she was at home in her room. Even before entering,         she said, “My life was with the FMM!”

 

   Her mother died when Marie-Paule was 14, and from then on, she cared for her father, the house and family for ten years, working for the Government during the last two.

 

September 1943 saw her entering as a Postulant in Quebec at age 25. St. Joseph’s Day 1944, she received the Habit and the name M. Louis Romeo. She made her First and Final Vows in March, 1946 and 1949, all in Quebec. In 1947, still a Young Professed, Marie-Paule was the Assistant for the Ste. Jeanne d’Arc community in Winnipeg. She completed three years there and was then missioned to the US, to be Assistant in our community in Woonsocket, Rl in 1950. She went to Holy Family in North Providence on the feast of Blessed Assunta, 1960. After this, she was in St. Francis Hospital Convent as sacristan/cook; she returned to North Providence to supervise the food service. After some five years, Marie-Paule was asked to be part of the St. Joseph Senior Community in Brighton, MA, where she helped out in various capacities. After a year of renewal in Canada, Marie-Paule was again sent to St. Francis, Roslyn, where her ministry was hospitality for the family members of pediatric patients from around the world.

 

In 1985, she received permission to travel to Korea to experience the country and lifestyle of some of her young patients to be better able to help and understand them. She attended several reunions of her former “grandchildren” and all enjoyed seeing “halmoni” (grandmother) again. After her return to St. Francis, Marie-Paule worked in the Finance Department of St. Francis Hospital and was driver and Jill-of-all-trades for the Community. From 1985, she was the community bursar. Always one to enjoy a good laugh or to give one, Marie-Paule is remembered in Roslyn for wearing the most daring and huge and fashionable hat-filled with flowers and birds-to a social event with some of her friends.

 

In July 2002, Marie-Paule was sent to Fruit Hill to spend more time resting and praying and enjoying life. After some years at Fruit Hill, where she was a cheerful and friendly presence to the community and staff in the Assisted Living, Marie Paule was missioned to St. Antoine in August, 2017. Here she would spend her final days in peaceful acceptance of her surroundings, praying for others, and, to her delight, communicating with a number of staff and residents who could speak French.

 

Her funeral will be held on Friday, September 1 at Holy Family Chapel, 399 Fruit Hill Avenue, North Providence. Burial will be in Holy Family Cemetery. Visitation Thursday, August 31, 4 – 7 pm with a wake service at 7.

Funeral arrangements by Russell J. Boyle & Son Funeral Home.

 

 

Sr. Mary T. Plante FMM

Sr. Mary T. Plante FMM 
(April 16, 1931 – December 6, 2017) 
 
 
Sr. Mary Theresa Plante, 86, Franciscan Missionary of Mary, Ein Karim Community, died Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at St. Antoine Residence, North Smithfield, RI.
 
Sr. Mary Theresa was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, April 16, 1931. She entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on September 17, 1948 in North Providence, RI. Her first vows were pronounced in March, 1951 and final vows in March, 1957.
Before her final vows, Mary was missioned to Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Brighton, MA which is now known as Franciscan Hospital for Children where she was a supervisor for children from 1951 to 1952. Other missions were to Cardinal Hayes Home for Children in Millbrook, NY until 1958 and back to Kennedy where she worked in the laboratory as well as to Fruit Hill in N. Providence, RI where she worked in the printing press.
Mary Theresa was then missioned to Roslyn, NY where she studied at St. John’s University from 1964-68, graduating with a BS degree in Medical Technology. After an internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital for a year, she became Administrative technologist in the laboratory at Kennedy Hospital from 1968-1980.
After a sabbatical year in Rome and parts of Europe, Mary Theresa was missioned to San Francisco where she worked at Lincoln Medical Center doing clinical lab work from 1981-1985. Returning to New York, she did computer work for a Drug and Alcohol Rehab Organization through 1988.
In 1989 she became the first representative of Franciscans International, a non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations, a position which lasted officially until 2011. Mary Theresa still continued to consult with the Franciscan group. During this time she also held the position of Justice and Peace Coordinator for the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
Since Franciscans live and work throughout the world, they had firsthand experience of the issues being discussed at the UN like the rights of children, poverty, peace, religious freedom and social issues of every kind. Franciscans International was an attempt to bring the whole Franciscan Family together on peace and justice issues. With her deep and intelligent comments, Mary Theresa made many statements to the governments dealing with these issues, connecting all the concerns on the internet. The JPIC work began with the FMM who made a big contribution to the work at the UN. Mary Theresa used her many gifts to accomplish as much as she could, even when her health was failing. She was a true missionary of peace and justice in today’s world.
Visiting hours will be on Wednesday, December 13, from 4 to 8 PM with the wake service at 7 PM in Holy Family Chapel, 399 Fruit Hill Ave. North Providence and a Funeral Mass at Holy Family Chapel at 11 AM on Thursday, December 14. Burial will be in the Holy Family Cemetery. Arrangements by Russell J. Boyle & Son.
 

Sr. Marie Poule Gobeil, FMM

Marie Paule GobeilSr. Marie Paule Gobeil, Franciscan Missionary of Mary, 90, died August 23, 2017 at St. Antoine’s Residence in North Smithfield, R.I.

She was born July 2, 1918 in Quebec City, Canada; Marie-Paule was the sixth of eight children. Her parents formed a strong Catholic household in which each one was expected to attend daily mass when old enough to do so. There was also family Rosary in October and attendance at Sunday Vespers with Papa in the parish. An atmosphere like this was to nurture the fruit of three religious vocations. A brother became a Marist Brother missioned to Zimbabwe and a sister also joined the FMM and spent 35 years in Australia.

 

Still little, Marie-Paule desired to go to school and at age three attended the Ecole Maternelle run by the FMM through third grade and then attended the parish school for grades 4-7. After that, she studied privately. She always attended the patronages, social groups arranged by the Sisters for various ages of girls on Sunday afternoons. Marie-Paule says that she could hear the Sisters singing the Mass when she was at home in her room. Even before entering, she said, “My life was with the FMM!”

 

Her mother died when Marie-Paule was 14, and from then on, she cared for her father, the house and family for ten years, working for the Government during the last two.

 

September 1943 saw her entering as a Postulant in Quebec at age 25. St. Joseph’s Day 1944, she received the Habit and the name M. Louis Romeo. She made her First and Final Vows in March, 1946 and 1949, all in Quebec. In 1947, still a Young Professed, Marie-Paule was the Assistant for the Ste. Jeanne d’Arc community in Winnipeg. She completed three years there and was then missioned to the US, to be Assistant in our community in Woonsocket, Rl in 1950. She went to Holy Family in North Providence on the feast of Blessed Assunta, 1960. After this, she was in St. Francis Hospital Convent as sacristan/cook; she returned to North Providence to supervise the food service. After some five years, Marie-Paule was asked to be part of the St. Joseph Senior Community in Brighton, MA, where she helped out in various capacities. After a year of renewal in Canada, Marie-Paule was again sent to St. Francis, Roslyn, where her ministry was hospitality for the family members of pediatric patients from around the world.

 

In 1985, she received permission to travel to Korea to experience the country and lifestyle of some of her young patients to be better able to help and understand them. She attended several reunions of her former “grandchildren” and all enjoyed seeing “halmoni” (grandmother) again. After her return to St. Francis, Marie-Paule worked in the Finance Department of St. Francis Hospital and was driver and Jill-of-all-trades for the Community. From 1985, she was the community bursar. Always one to enjoy a good laugh or to give one, Marie-Paule is remembered in Roslyn for wearing the most daring and huge and fashionable hat-filled with flowers and birds-to a social event with some of her friends.

 

In July 2002, Marie-Paule was sent to Fruit Hill to spend more time resting and praying and enjoying life. After some years at Fruit Hill, where she was a cheerful and friendly presence to the community and staff in the Assisted Living, Marie Paule was missioned to St. Antoine in August, 2017. Here she would spend her final days in peaceful acceptance of her surroundings, praying for others, and, to her delight, communicating with a number of staff and residents who could speak French.

 

Her funeral will be held on Friday, September 1 at Holy Family Chapel, 399 Fruit Hill Avenue, North Providence. Burial will be in Holy Family Cemetery. Visitation Thursday, August 31, 4 – 7 pm with a wake service at 7.

Funeral arrangements by Russell J. Boyle & Son Funeral Home.

 

Sister Amalia del Carmen Gandarillas Carreño

Sister Amalia del Carmen Gandarillas Carreño, 99, the daughter of Macario Gandarillas and Julia Carreño, died March 13, 2017 at St. Antoine’s residence, N. Smithfield, RI. 

 Sister was born in Santiago, Chile, an only child whose mother died at an early age.  Her father brought her to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Santiago, Chile, where she received her education.  After that, Amalia studied typing and bookkeeping at Instituto Casa de Maria in Santiago.

She entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in 1942 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she ministered as a teacher of typing and also as a receptionist.

  In 1950, Sister was missioned to Peru, Requena-Amazon  where she ministered as a nurse or as a teacher, and sacristan. Wherever she ministered as a nurse, teacher or a sacristan, she was dearly loved and appreciated.   Sr. Amalia was also a talented musician who served her community as an organist for prayer services.

Other services of Sister Amalia in Peru were in the communities of Moqueua, Arequipa, Paramonga, Yurimagas, and Lima where she was in charge of the house of the Nunciature.

In March of 1972, Sister Amalia was missioned to Colombia, where she continued her mission at the Institute Vera Cruz, Santa Rosa de Cabal in the region of Risaralda. There, Sister Amalia was a religion and music teacher.        

In 1978, Sister was missioned to the United States to McMahon Child Care Services for Children in New York City, where her ministry was Pastoral Care. When McMahon Child Care Facility closed, her community moved to Holy Name Community at 97th St., New York where Sr. Amalia served as a volunteer in Pastoral Care for 25 years at Bellevue Hospital. She ministered to those who were hospitalized bringing them the comfort of the Eucharist, encouraging and praying with them.   In addition to her ministry at Bellevue hospital, she served full-time as Sacristan in St. Francis of Assisi Church and as a volunteer Hospital Chaplain in New York.  After 25 years of volunteer service at Bellevue Hospital, she was honored at a special ceremony. As her community’s local coordinator wrote: “Some people work very quietly with little recognition mainly because their involvement with service to others is sometimes hidden and not even known.   Sister Amalia Gandarillas, here with us at Holy Name community, is one of those persons.”

There are no family survivors.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:  The Wake is Wednesday, March 22 at 4-8 p.m. with a Wake Service at 7 p.m. in Holy Family Chapel, Fruit Hill, and the Funeral Mass is at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 23rd h in Holy Family Chapel, Fruit Hill, North Providence.

Funeral Arrangements by Russell Boyle Funeral Home.

Sr. Theresa Arsenault, Franciscan Missionary of Mary

   Sr. Theresa Arsenault, Franciscan Missionary of Mary, 90, died Feb 10, 2017 at St. Antoine’s Residence in North  Smithfield, R.I. She  was the daughter of the late John J .and Sophie(Peters) Arsenault. Sr. Theresa was born in Rumford,  Maine on May 24, 1926, the      youngest of eight children. That same year, her family moved to South Providence, RI. She  attended St. Michael’s Parish and School,  and later, St. Xavier’s Academy.

 

  Theresa heard about the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary from a classmate who spoke enthusiastically about the sisters.  Attending a  weekend retreat as a senior, she spoke to the Retreat Master about religious life. He asked her several  questions and after her  responses, suggested a missionary order. Theresa visited the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary at  Bell Street, and after graduation  from High School, entered Holy Family Novitiate in Fruit Hill immediately after the war  in 1945. She received the FMM habit in  March, 1946. Her first vows were made in March, 1948 and final vows on the same  date in 1951.

  Theresa was sent in mission to Divine Providence Shelter, 45thSt. NY City, and later to St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, NY  where she  worked with children with rheumatic heart problems. Following this mission, Theresa was sent to Kennedy Memorial Hospital for  Children in Brighton, MA. In all these missions she used her gifts with children, helping them in her  serene, gentle and genuinely loving way, characteristics of everything Theresa did.

In 1954, Theresa was missioned to Kobe, Japan to teach at Stella Maris International School. There she loved working with elementary school children from different cultures to whom she taught various subjects. She also formed a Sodality for the Catholic students, and led it for fifteen years.

Returning from home leave in the United States, Theresa was next sent to Yokohama where she helped at a children’s home run by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. Here she also was a substitute teacher at two local international schools. After this she was missioned to Shukugawa, where she taught Religious Education and English to Japanese children in the local parish center. She also helped in a Japanese Montessori Kindergarten. Theresa became increasingly fluent in the Japanese language while there.

Returning to the States in 1977, Theresa finished her degree in early childhood education at St. Anne’s College in Connecticut, and then taught at Espirtu Santo School in Fall River. Sent in mission once again, Theresa went to St. Patrick’s Mission, Sawmill, Arizona as a catechist, and later to the FMM mission in Thoreau, NM. There she taught in the pre-school at St. Kateri Tekakwitha School. From 1993-96, Theresa taught RCIA, ESL and did tutoring. Her next mission-sending led her to the community of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in North Smithfield, as part of the pastoral care team in St. Antoine Residence.  Always interested in learning and trying something new, Theresa was a courageous person who liked to read and participate in ecumenical study groups.

When her health began to fail, Theresa discovered a new mission at the FMM Assisted Living Residence in North Providence, RI. Finally, Theresa was missioned to St. Antoine’s Special Care Unit  in Smithfield, RI. Deeply prayerful, her kindness and gentleness were evident in her relations with both staff and other residents. She led the prayer before meals faithfully until no longer able.  

 

Therese is survived by several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.  Among these are Lorraine Moore of Warwick, Corrine Condi of Coventry, and Rita Gouca of Florida.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:  Wake Tuesday Feb 14, 4-8 p.m. with a Wake service at 7 p.m. in Holy Family Chapel, Fruit Hill, and Funeral Mass, 11 a.m., Feb. 15thin Holy Family Chapel, Fruit Hill North Providence

Funeral Arrangements by Russell Boyle Funeral Home.

 

Maria del Pilar Garcia Aranillas, fmm (M. Ana Lina)

Sister Ana Lina Garcia was born in Valladolid, Spain, April 12, 1926 to Gregorio and Jeronima Garcia. She entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Pamplona, Spain. After making her First Vows in 1958, Ana Lina was missioned to the FMM community in Vatican City, Italy, and after Final Vows (1961), to the United States.

A member of the FMM community in Harlem, NY, she worked as a group mother and supervisor of infants in McMahon Child Care Shelter. Later, from 1977 – 2002, she worked as a Social Worker Aide and in the Records Room at McMahon Services, which had moved to New York City.  During this time, Ana Lina was a member of the FMM community at East 45thStreet.

Ana Lina studied Advanced Child Care at Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York. Her knowledge and experience enabled her to fill the position of supervisor.  Her special skills in sewing and making vestments perfected when in Vatican City continued to be appreciated and of tremendous value. When in the Vatican, she used her talents in the service of Saint Pope John XXIII. Also of note, Ana Lina had a speaking knowledge of Spanish, Italian, French and English which endeared her to so many!

Ana Lina was missioned to Waukegan, Illinois where she collaborated in social ministry among the poor in the parish. After several years, there, she was missioned to Trinity Community, Fruit Hill, North Providence, RI and later to St. Antoine Residence in North Smithfield, RI.

Wherever she went, Ana Lina brought joy, laughter and was loved by her fmm sisters, family and co-workers.  She combined a mischievous frankness, humor, uniqueness and genuine love – all of which endeared her to family, sisters and friends.

Oh Virgen del Pilar, Reina y Madre.  España y todas las naciones hispanas reconocen con gratitud tu protección

constante y esperan seguir contando con ella. 

Obténnos de tu Hijo fortaleza en la fe, seguridad

en la esperanza y constancia en el amor.

Queremos que en todos los instantes de nuestra vida

sintamos que tu eres nuestra Madre.

Por Jesucristo nuestro Señor.  Amén.

 

 

Sr. Phi Uong, FMM

Early Years
Phi was born in Saigon, Vietnam, November 14, 1958, sixth among four brothers and three sisters. As a young adult Phi was a member of the Legion of Mary and met an FMM there whose presence and simple ways attracted Phi to the Institute.
God’s Call
    Coming to America, Phi entered the Pre-Novitiate in Fall River, MA, January 5, 1997, and the Novitiate in Central Falls, RI,
January 5, 1998. Central Falls was also
where Phi made her temporary vows in Notre Dame Church in 2000. Her final vows were made at Holy Family  Chapel, North Providence, RI, November 13, 2004.
Missionary Life
    Being skilled in sewing, Phi took courses to become a Master Seam- stress from an instructor from the
University of RI and earned certifica- tion for these skills. Her fellow students enjoyed her 
presence, but also her cooking whenever there was an event, social or “potluck.” She was also 
skilled in embroidery and worked at this both in Central Falls and North Providence.  Phi brought 
communion to the sick and visited some nursing homes and hospitals.
     In 2003, Phi was missioned to St.Louis, MO and did home care for the elderly. This was followed by two years in North Providence RI where she worked at the Senior Service Center at Fruit Hill doing some sewing and driving.
    In 2005, Phi was missioned to Umzinto, South Africa to work with children in St. Anne’s Children’s Home. Here Phi did sewing for 
the community and the children as well as general community services.
    In 
2006, Phi went to St. Clare’s Con- vent in Durban and worked with ref- ugees, teaching sewing in an 
out- reach program at the Cathedral there.
     Johannesburg, Assunta Novitiate, was the next mission for Phi in 2012, where she once again served as Eu- charistic minister for the  sick, led a Bible Sharing group, sang in the choir and offered sewing classes for the parishioners. 
At the end of that year, Phi was missioned back to the United States and in the Bronx did refresher courses for driving and sewing.
     In 2013 she was missioned to Millbrook, NY, to Cardinal Hayes Home for Children as the Home seamstress, and remained there until 2016.
     Phi began receiving cancer treatment in 2014, and hoped to experience strength and healing
though the prayers of the sisters and intercession of Blessed Mary of the Passion.
 
   Phi was most grateful for her time in mission in South Africa, where she knew that God provided 
benefactors who sent sewing machines and other materials. In looking back
over her years as an FMM, Phi was in awe of what was given to her by God –  in Africa and all the 
places she has been – the grace to do different ministries.
 
     She was thankful for the courage given to her by the Sisters everywhere she lived who gave her good example and their loving support.
 
    Prior to her going home to God, Phi’s very beloved and supportive family came to visit to say goodbye and her dear brother, Rev. 
Luone Uong, CSSR, celebrated Mass in her room the two days before, which, in spite of her weakness, 
delighted her. She departed peacefully in God’s peace and love.
 
 
 
 

Joel Irinie Zarotiadou, FMM

   

 

 

Joel Irinie Zarotiadou, FMM

 

 

 EARLY LIFE

Joel was born in Siberia to a Greek father and a Russian mother. At age three, her family 
immigrated to China, settling in Harbin, Manchuria. Six years later, when her mother died, the 
future reli- gious was sent to study with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, who operated a 
school and hospital in that city. “I was very young, sad and alone,” she recalled, adding that she 
joined a group of girls from Orthodox families who were being educated at the con- vent school.“ 
The missionary sisters from Poland, France, Ireland, Canada, Belgium and Italy, became the young 
student’s extended family, offering love, support and inspiration. When Joel began drawing and 
painting, the local bishop, upon seeing her talent en- couraged her to continue. Years later, she 
took lessons from Lobanov, a famous Russian painter.
 
 
 
God’s Call
 
“When Joel was 14, she realized her vocation,” which she attribut- ed to the Sisters that she 
observed working with the poor and the sick.  She asked to become a Catholic against the wishes of 
her father. Joel lived through many difficult and tragic circumstances: the war with the Japanese, 
the Russian invasions and finally in 1949, the Chinese Communists’ take-over of the convent,
school and orphanage  in Harbin. The 
orphans were sent to Russia but Joel stayed on. With this take-over,
traveling from place to place 
was not allowed. But her desire to enter the convent along with her characteristic persistence 
drove Joel to visit the local police commissioner every day asking him for permission to go to 
Peking to enter the convent. At last, like the judge in the Gospel who wanted to get rid of the 
annoying widow, the police gave in, and Sr. Joel was able to enter the novitiate of the Franciscan 
Missionaries of Mary in Peking, now known as Beijing, in 1949.
 
Missionary Life
 
Sister Joel , spent the next 16 years teaching art and music at a
school established for the children of international diplomats.

In 1966, she was expelled with other Catholic missionaries during
the Red Guard Uprising.  After beatings, a public trial and humiliation, the eight FMM  were 
brought to Hong Kong, where they were
expelled from China.  Joel spent the next three years in France and then was sent to Vietnam, where 
she worked with young women
and translated for the American Soldiers.    Joel said that she was intrigued by the stories told 
by American soldiers about life in the
United States, which motivated her to ask to be sent to the United
States.  Because of her international experiences, she was fluent in
Russian, French and English. She also spoke Chinese and Greek. In 1978, Joel was sent to the United 
States.  She graduated from the New England School of Art and Design in Boston. She also studied modern art at Northeastern 
University. Joel worked  in a variety of mediums: oils, acrylics, watercolors and pastels. For themes, she chose landscapes, 
seascapes, Chinese silk paintings and portraits. She developed a number of   murals. Her paintings are
dis
played in St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, NY and in  Franciscan Hospital for Children, Brighton, 
MA. While in the fmm community in Brighton, Joel served as sacristan and did some office work.
She was then missioned to our Lady of Lourdes Community   in
Providence RI, then to Homewood Avenue, de Chappotin and Trinity Communities in North Providence. 
 During this time, Joel began
her extensive ministry of teaching art.   At the end of the ‘90’s, the
Peace Barn was built on the property at Fruit Hill.  Half of the up- stairs Barn became Joel’s 
Studio.  Here, many of her paintings are
on display, and here she taught class.
 
A truly free person, Joel blended her art with her spirituality and prayed in many creative ways. 
Her joyful nature uplifted those who were feeling despondent or burdened.  Through her teaching of 
art, Joel shared her zest and joy of life.
 
She enjoyed all kinds of music and dancing. Her spontaneity lent joy to all gatherings. Joel’s 
imagination was at its best for the Christmas Crib she prepared every year and her Christmas Play 
and Party. She made the costumes and directed all the action, including play- wright and stage 
design! Dynamic and Loving, Gifted and Challeng- ing  with an imagination that swiftly translated 
into some form, Joel was truly one of God’s Beloved Originals—and we, her Sisters, miss her greatly.
 

 

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.