Sr. Mary Elizabeth Ward
(Mary of St. Edmund)
Born: Mar. 1, 1930
Entered: Sept. 18, 1948
Novitiate: March 19, 1949
First Vows: March 19, 1951
Final Vows: March 19, 1954
Born to Eternal Life: 1.13.2014
As a high school girl , Mary Ward found her way to Fruit Hill, N. Providence, RI and became acquainted with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. Her teachers at St. Catherine's Academy and at the College of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Springfield, MA, as well as the Cenacle nuns at Newport, were good friends, Mary maintained her friendship with these Sisters throughout her life.
Mary recognized her call to become a missionary as a Franciscan Missionary of Mary. Right after high school, she entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on September 18, 1948. She joined her companions, a lively group of five postulants, singing, laughing, hard-working band, fervently praying their way to diverse missionary fields.
After completing her junior and senior years of college at Emmanuel, Boston, Mary was called to Rome with the group that attended the beatification of Bl . Maria Assunta in 1954, and early in 1955 left for Africa.
Sister Mary taught Biology, directed sports and acted as house-mother in the boarding school, taking care of the group of girls aged five to fourteen.
Frequently, Mary sent back to Fruit Hill news of her mission in the FMM West African Mission , for a special bond had always existed historically between America and Liberia, and Fruit Hill.
Mary Ward was sent back to the United States to do advanced studies with a definite goal: Study, with the Missions in view.
Sister's stay in the U.S.A. from 1965 to 1972 began with the pursuit of a Master's degree at Rhode Island College where her field of concentration was Biology although the degree was a Master of Arts in Teaching.
One of the professors at RIC recognized Mary’s keen mind and was instrumental in Mary’s continuing studies at Fordham University for a doctorate degree.
She completed the work for her Ph. D. in 1971. Early in 1972, She was missioned to Ghana, Africa where she taught medical students Embryology and Histology in the University of Ghana.
Mary was active in the Leadership Conference of Religions and other diocesan committees in Accra, Ghana. She also served in leadership for her community.