Francis Medal Presented to Nurse in Western New York

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

Gabriel Scarfia with Francis Medal recipient Mary Ann Gottstine and her family. (Photo courtesy of James Gottstine)

EAST AURORA, N.Y. — For her longtime healthcare service to the friars of Western New York, Mary Ann Gottstine was recognized with Holy Name Province’s Francis Medal. Gabriel Scarfia, OFM, presented the medal to Gottstine, a nurse, at a prayer service on May 20 at St. Vincent Chapel on the campus of Christ the King Seminary, where Gabriel worked for more than 40 years.

“She helped friars at St. Patrick Friary in Buffalo, at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, and at Christ the King,” Gabriel said. “She also was on the board of trustees of Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School in Buffalo for many years. We recognized her for her wise counsel and support and for her medical care and advice to the friars of these ministries over many years.”

Gottstine, a parishioner of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Williamsville, N.Y., was pleased to receive the medal, said her nephew, James. “She was very surprised and grateful.”

“Inspired by her Aunt Frances, a nurse for 54 years and presently a spry 103 years old, Mary Ann began her nursing career at 16 as a volunteer aide at the now closed St. Francis Hospital,” said Gabriel. “Against her father’s urging to purse a business education, she chose to become a nurse. Her RN training was done at Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. Afterward, she earned BS and MS Ed degrees from Canisius College.

“During her 43 years of nursing, Mary Ann functioned in supervisory roles as director of nurses and assistant administrator,” said Gabriel. “With the support of several physicians, she succeeded in establishing one of the first cardiac care units in the Buffalo area and later on, a cardiac catheterization unit.”

“Through this long nursing career and even after her retirement in June 1995, Mary Ann acted as an informed medical consultant, a key contact with local doctors and an occasional caregiver for area friars,” Gabriel said.

The HNP Francis Medal was established in 1998 by then-Provincial Minister John Felice, OFM. Recipients are people who have displayed an uncommon contribution to the advancement of the ideals and values of St. Francis.

Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

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