Mourning the Deaths of Franciscans

HNP Communications Franciscan World

The Provincial Office has learned of the passing of an Immaculate Conception Province friar as well as four Franciscan sisters.

Sr. M. Ruth Zacharias, OSF, of the School Sisters of St. Francis United States Province, died on Sept. 11 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at the age of 90. She was in her 65th year of religious profession, during which she taught at several elementary schools in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Sr. Mary Carleen Rooney, OSF, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y., died on Oct. 7 at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse. She was 87 years old. Her eulogy was published in the Oct. 14 issue of the community’s newsletter. Sr. Mary taught at St. Bonaventure University for nearly 30 years – introducing a program that enabled SBU students to acquire teaching experience at local elementary schools.

Roland Petinge, OFM, a member of Immaculate Conception Province, died on Oct. 8, at the age of 84. At the time of his death, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, native was a member of the St. Christopher Friary in Boston. Making his solemn profession of vows in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1960, he served in education, formation and pastoral ministries – including teaching at St. Francis Seminary in Andover and Immaculate Conception Seminary in Troy, New York. His work also included serving on the retreat staff at St. Francis Retreat Center in Andover and as pastor at New York City and Cambridge parishes. During his Franciscan life, he served, too, as a general visitor to the Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sr. Marie John Holland, OSF, 91, a member of the School Sisters of Philadelphia, died at Assisi House in Aston, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 18. A professed member of the congregation for 67 years, she taught at schools in the archdiocese of Philadelphia for 35 years. She spent the past 20 years at a high school coordinating its service program, among other responsibilities, and during the year before her death, she served in prayer and hospitality ministry at the congregation’s retirement house.

Sr. Kathleen Tobin, OSF, formerly Sister Olivera Joseph, a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 78 years, died on Oct. 31 in sister’s retirement house, Assisi House, in Aston, Pennsylvania. She was 102 years old. Born in Ballingarry, Ireland, she ministered in elementary education, local house ministry, and parish ministry. She spent 77 years in the diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, as a teacher, cook and parish volunteer.

Editor’s note: Each month, HNP Today publishes news of the deaths of Franciscan brothers, priests, and sisters. Information should be emailed to the HNP Communications Office.

 – Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas