Sister Mary Boyce, M.M.
Current Ministry Location – Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY
Born in Flushing, NY, Sister Mary entered Maryknoll in 1948. When she received her first mission assignment in the Philippines in 1954, she understood that she would spend her entire life in the Far East. Later the time overseas was changed to ten year periods with renewal programs. She spent twenty-three years in the Philippines teaching in primary and secondary schools, and in pastoral/social work. After earning a Masters in Social Work from Catholic University, Washington, D.C., she established the Family Life Department at the Social Action Center for the Tagum Prelature. For two years, she was part of a Maryknoll team of Sisters, priests and lay missioners animating Basic Ecclesial Communities in Venezuela.
For the past three decades, Sister Mary had been in California involved in ministries ranging from working in an emergency food bank to founding the Stockton Family Shelter to keep homeless families together during a time of emergency and find solutions and alternatives to their problems. She also worked with Western Social Services for immigrants.
In Concord, CA she began as a teacher-counselor for the physically challenged in the East Bay. She collaborated with three parishes as a member of a Mission Outreach Committee, a transition team member and Co- Spiritual Director for St. Vincent de Paul’s Society, in bible reflection and prayer groups of small Christian communities and with housing for the homeless. Sister Mary received her Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA, and is a member of the Dominican Institute of the Arts. In 2007 she wrote a true story of twelve Maryknoll Sisters, including herself, and five Filipino men who spent sixteen hours in the shark-infested Mindanao deep sea after their boat capsized. Filipino fishermen rescued them.
In 2013, Sister Mary was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she volunteers to some neighboring programs although she is retired. Presently, Sister Mary writes and illustrates children’s books. Describing her creative colorful “Fly Away Flowers” series, she shares that the suggestions from her three and a half year old grandniece, Emily Rose, made the story “theirs”.