Sister Mary Francis (baptized Margaret) Martin, Daughter of Charity, passed peacefully at St. Louise House, Albany, New York on Monday, October 23, 2023 with her two sisters and close friend by her side. She was born in Somerville, Massachusetts on April 1, 1938 to Mary Frances (Maguire) and Eusebe Martin, one of five children. She attended Catholic schools in Watertown and Cambridge where she was taught by the Daughters of Charity. She then entered the Daughters on April 2, 1958 in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
At the completion of her formation, she began her ministry as a teacher for 20 years, in elementary schools, Director of catechetical centers in upstate New York, and a theology teacher in high schools. She was then appointed to leadership as the Education Councillor in the former Northeast Province, Albany in 1981, a ministry she held for the next nine years.
At the conclusion of this ministry, Sister served as Director of Campus Ministry at Niagara University, New York in 1990. One summer, she participated in an immersion experience in Panama with the poor which impacted her deeply. She often spoke of it as one of her most cherished and formative experiences.
After five years at Niagara, she transitioned to parish ministry in the Diocese of Ogdensburg before becoming the Co-Director at the Vincentian Renewal Center, Princeton, New Jersey.
In recognition of her many leadership qualities, Sister Mary Francis was elected as the Province’s delegate to the General Assembly in Paris and subsequently appointed Provincial of the former Northeast Province in 2002, a role she held for six years. In her role as Provincial, she was a member of many educational and hospital boards and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Niagara University in 2010.
At the conclusion of her term, she then resumed her extensive teaching experience at St. Mark’s School, Harlem before moving on to working with the homeless in Philadelphia. She returned to Albany in 2015 as a volunteer at Unity House, before entering the Ministry of Prayer at St. Louise House in 2019.
Sister Mary Fran was predeceased by her parents and her brother-in-law, George Pedro. She is survived by her brother Francis (Barbara), her sisters Barbara Cassavoy (Michael) and Maureen Pedro, and her brother Michael (Mary), many nieces and nephews, friends, and her Sisters in community.
A Wake service was held on October 30 in DePaul Chapel and the Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on October 31, in DePaul Chapel. Interment followed at St. Agnes Cemetery, in Menands.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sister Mary Francis’ name to Daughters of Charity Ministries, 4330 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63108.