Sr. Rosemary Rita Freda, fmm
Sister Rosemary Rita Freda entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on September 15, 1962 and pronounced her Final Vows on March 19, 1970 in N. Providence, R.I. Since she was an RN with a Baccalaureate degree prior to her entry, Sister was sent in mission in 1964 to Kennedy Memorial Hospital, now called Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton, MA. She then worked full time as a Visiting Nurse with the Boston VNA while studying and obtaining a Master’s degree in Public Health Nursing.
In 1972, she was sent in mission to Australia where she studied Midwifery and then served as a Nurse Midwife in Papua New Guinea. Missioned back to the United States in 1976, Sister served as a nurse in the F.M.M. Nursing Facility and as the local coordinator of her community. After completing graduate studies in Theology, she served as a hospital chaplain at hospitals in Fall River and Chicago. She served as a pastoral associate in a parish in San Francisco.
Presently, Sister is ministering in Community service and in prayer for the Church and for the world. Rosemary was born in Callicoon, New York, of Irish / Italian parents. She was the sixth of eight brothers and sisters, four of each. Callicoon was a Franciscan town: home of St. Joseph's Seraphic Seminary (Franciscan). So Rosemary considered herself as always Franciscan. She was searching for her vocation when she took a trip around the world with a friend. In the course of the trip , they were staying in Taiwan where Rosemary met a Franciscan priest to whom she confided that she thought she had a vocation. He recommended that she check out the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in New York City when she returned home. Rosemary and her friend travelled on to Hong Kong, where they met ‘the White Sisters’ who they later learned were Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. Rosemary talked to one of the sisters there about her vocation. Everywhere they traveled they met Franciscan Missionaries of Mary: Ma-On-Shan and Jerusalem, to mention just a few. After 6 months of travelling, Rosemary returned home and went to NYC to talk to the superior who sent her to Fruit Hill to attend a ceremony. The rest is history as written in Rosemary’s short Biography.
Rosemary was the first religious to be employed as a
visiting Nurse with the Boston VNA.