Age 86

Sister Maria loved her heritage, the French culture and the power to heal through various forms of art.

At the age of 18, Sister Maria entered the Sisters of Mercy in Providence, Rhode Island. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Catholic Teachers College and taught elementary education for nine years in the Providence, Rhode Island diocese. When she taught for seven years at St. Mary Academy – Bay View in Riverside, Rhode Island, she merged her two loves – Art and French. Next, she pursued an art degree at Rhode Island College and taught art and ceramics at St. Vincent Nursing Home in Fall River, Massachusetts, for seven years.

In 1984 she became a student and therapist at the Pratt Institute in New York City earning a master’s degree in art therapy. Here she honed her therapy skills which she used to minister for three years at the Norcap Lodge, a treatment center for substance abuse in Foxboro, Massachusetts, and for 20 years at Discovery Day Treatment Center, a rehabilitation center in Quincy, Massachusetts.

She moved to Newport, Rhode Island, in 2008 where she volunteered in art, taught English as a Second Language, and did hand and arm massage at the local hospital. A member of the Alliance Francais, she was a valuable resource to the Conversation at the French Confection, a local café, on Tuesday mornings. A founding member of the “equipe Buche” bakers, Sister Maria made wreaths for French ceremonies and was at the heart of the work of the alliance for decades. She enjoyed music, travel and good food (lobster, please). She will be remembered and missed by the many she touched with her gentle ways.