Sister Frances Mary Clark

May 1, 2024

Sister Frances Mary Clark

Like so many Sisters, Sister Frances Mary began her ministry as a teacher of primary grades. However for her, it was the beginning of a lifelong delight in interacting with young children. She taught primary grades for schools throughout Long Island from her first mission at Our Lady of Lourdes School on Aberdeen Street in Brooklyn to Precious Blood School in Long Island City, St. Philip Neri in Northport, and Immaculate Conception School in Queens. In each experience she enjoyed the freshness, honesty, openness and humor of being with young children.

Although teaching primary grades was her favorite ministry, Frances spent time in Puerto Rico teaching history and English at Academia Maria Reina in Ponce. Unfortunately, her time in Puerto Rico was shortened by illness and she had to return to the United States.

As soon as she was back in ministry, she resumed her teaching in various elementary parish schools on Long Island. She also added studies in Scripture at Immaculate Conception Seminary and a degree from Albany State in elementary reading education to her history degree from St. John’s University. The years brought her to Immaculate Conception parish In Jamaica, Queens where she continued to teach and to tutor children after school hours. In 2006 she retired from teaching but not from ministry.

S. Frances continued offering her services to the parish community in various ways, helping as sacristan, lector, and wherever she was needed.  She also joined the CSJ Justice Committee. In this role she accompanied persons seeking asylum to court, attended rallies for fair housing and for immigration reform, and joined efforts to gain services for persons in need.

Now, as a resident of St. Joseph Convent, S. Frances is grateful for the care she receives and for living as part of community. In her own quiet way she says,” I did what I could”. That about sums up a life lived with simplicity, prayerfulness, courage and compassion.

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