In the Gospel of John we read: God is love and if you live in love, you live in God and God lives in you.
Mary Virginia Fritz lived in God’s love all of her life. Born to Frank and Amelia, Mary lived in a loving home with her brothers and sisters. She attended St. Joachim’s Parish School in Cedarhurst and The Mary Louis Academy. She attended St. John’s University where she attained a BA in History and entered our congregation in 1950.
Early on, Mary taught elementary school and gave violin lessons at Sacred Heart Seminary and Our Lady of Victory in Floral Park. Mary then pursued the study of Theology at Providence College receiving her Master’s degree. She taught Religion in St. Brendan’s Diocesan High School and then served as the Assistant Mistress of Novices here in Brentwood. Mary continued her studies in Theology at Fordham University and Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington.
Through her studies and deeply spiritual nature, Mary lived, moved and had her being in God. She sensed God in all and knew that many here in the Brentwood area experienced poverty and exclusion, needing help and support to claim their human dignity. Mary served as the Coordinator of Pronto here in St. Anne’s Parish and received the Town of Islip award for Woman of the Year. Mary also ministered in St. Patrick’s in Bay Shore and was active in Pax Christi, Long Island
Her deeply contemplative spirit and artistic nature drew her to be the Director of our Congregation’s House of Prayer and eventually the Bethany House of Prayer in Bay Shore. She was the author of two spiritual books, “Take Nothing for the Journey” and “Dancing Before the Dark.”
Throughout her life Mary sought to know the God who lived in her and in others, always encouraging with her delightful smile and deep insights. Mary’s seeking has ended and she can now fully respond to God’s invitation that is given to all of us: Remain in my love.
May we all seek the God within and around us as Mary witnessed with her life knowing: Love is patient and kind….love is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail.
Sister Mary Virginia Fritz, CSJ died on April 4, 2016 in the 66th year of her religious life.