Sister Mary was born in Flushing, NY and entered Maryknoll in 1948. When she received her first mission assignment to the Philippines in 1954, she understood that she would spend her entire life in the Far East. However, later Sisters were able to return to the States every ten years for renewal programs. Sister Mary spent twenty-three years in the Philippines teaching in primary and secondary schools, and in pastoral/social work. After earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Catholic University, Washington, D.C., she established the Family Life Department at the Social Action Center for the Tagum Prelature in the Philippines.
In 1977 Sister Mary was assigned to Venezuela. After language school in Bolivia, Sr. Mary joined the Maryknoll team of Sisters, priests and lay missioners animating Basic Ecclesial Communities in Venezuela and worked with them until 1979.
For more than three decades, Sister Mary has 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 to help them 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 became the Co- Spiritual Director for St. Vincent de Paul’s Society, offering bible reflection and organizing prayer groups of small Christian communities. In addition, she also assisted 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. Describing her creative colorful “Fly Away Flowers” series, she shared that she received some suggestions from her three and a half year old grandniece, Emily Rose.
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 and Filipino fishermen rescued them.
In 2013, Sister Mary was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she currently resides. Although she is retired, she volunteers at several neighborhood programs and also writes and illustrates children’s books.