Sister Mary Ward - North Providence

Sister Mary Ward - North Providence

Sister Mary Ward (Mary of St. Edmund Canterbury) FMM, of Ein Karim Community, died on Jan. 13, 2014, at St. Antoine Residence, North Smithfield.

Born in Fall River and growing up in Newport, R.I., Sister Mary was born March 1, 1930, the daughter of Robert J. Ward and Helen M. Tuke.

Although she was friends with religious sisters of several congregations who were also her teachers, Mary recognized a call to be a Franciscan Missionary of Mary and found her way to Fruit Hill, entering September 1947 together with a lively band of five others, singing, praying and working their way to diverse missionary fields.

After obtaining her teaching degree and making her final vows in 1954, Mary was missioned to Liberia where she taught biology, directed sports and acted as a housemother for students in St. Theresa’s Boarding School.

From 1965, Sister Mary returned to the United States to pursue her Master’s at Rhode Island College and later, her Ph.D. at Fordham University in New York. When she returned to Africa in 1972, it was to Ghana where she taught Embryology and Histology in the Ghana Medical School.

All the time in Africa, Sister Mary could be seen riding a motor scooter with her white helmet over her veil, smiling, energetic and exuberant. In addition to her professors position, she was involved in social work in the nearby inner city of the capital, Accra.

Returning to the United States in 1985, Sister Mary was involved in teaching science, community leadership, mission work in the Southwest, finances and driving. Finally, in St. Antoine Residence, Mary loved to visit and talk with residents and workers.

She shared her experiences and vocation as an FMM cheerfully with others. She was devoutly prayerful and read much, liking to combine theology and spirituality. She was a great fan of Franciscan Sister Illia Dellio’s books.

Sister Mary is survived by several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be on Wednesday, Jan., 15, 2014, from 4-8 p.m., with a Wake Service at 7 p.m. in the Holy Family Chapel, 399 Fruit Hill Avenue, North Providence; Funeral Mass at Holy Family Chapel, Thursday, Jan., 16, 2014 at 11 a.m. Funeral arrangements by Russell J. Boyle and Son. For online condolences, please visit: