Sr. Mary Petrosky, fmm
After some enquiries about religious congregations, Mary heard of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and wrote to North Providence. She was advised to visit the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on Budd Street in Cincinnati. "I came, I saw, and they conquered my heart," she admits. Mary entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary September 1951 in North Providence, RI. After making her First Vows, Mary studied in Boston at Emmanuel College, graduating in 1957 with a sociology degree. She pronounced her Final Vows in Boston in March of that same year and was sent to the Midwest where she earned her MSW from St. Louis University in 1959.
Mary was named Director of Social Services at McMahon Children's Services in Harlem, NY. She worked there until in 1961 when she was sent to Cardinal Hayes Home in Millbrook. In 1967, she was sent to Australia where she worked in Sydney as a casework supervisor at the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau. A bit of struggle with the language ensued but was quickly surmounted. At this time Mary served as Mistress of Studies and of the Young Religious in the Province as well. From 1969 to 1977 she was in the burgeoning self-governing country of Papua New Guinea where she was involved in many kinds of works besides being a Provincial Councilor and Local Superior. She lectured in several colleges and seminaries, was instrumental in the development of the Sister Formation Center for PNG and the Solomon Islands, and was foundress and administrator of a counseling service at the request of the Archbishop of Port Moresby. Mary was the delegate to the General Chapter representing Australia and PNG. She held the position of President of the Union of Women Religious of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands from 1971 to 1975. She resided during her time in PNG in the capital, Port Moresby. Upon her return to the US she was a graduate theology student at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA. From 1979-1989 Mary lived in Georgia. She was missioned to Hazelhurst where she learned the ways of the South and worked for the people of the area as a social work consultant. She was also the founder and administrator of a medical care center for the underserved people of Jeff Davis County.
Mary served as Novice Directress for the US Province in Waukegan, IL. She became Acting Provincial of the US province in 1990 and then was elected Provincial from 1991-1999. Following a sabbatical, Mary was sent to Hamilton, GA with ministries in Social Services, Chaplaincy at Home for Elderly and Activities with Alzheimer’s patients..
Sent in mission to Holy Name of Jesus Community, Manhattan, NY., she served as Local coordinator along with a ministry in as Counseling and Spiritual Director at St. Francis Center. She continues her ministries in spiritual direction at Holy Name Parish, local coordinator and Provincial Councilor.