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Divine Mercy Secular Franciscan Fraternity - In Memoriam

Gertrude Mary Sinnott Thomas, SFO
1927 - 1997

Gertrude Mary Sinnott Thomas, SFO, of Vero Beach, FL and Bedford Village, NY, died on February 6, 1997 after a long illness.

Trudy was born in Brooklyn, NY, the 11th of 13 children. She was employed at Famous Studios, NY, creating animated films such as Popeye and many others. She was a member of the Screen Cartoonist Guild of America for over 30 years.

For most of her life, Trudy was active in Catholic education in Fairfax, VA. She served on the board of trustees at Bishop Dennis J. O'Connel High School. At St. Patrick's School in Bedford, NY, she served on the Enrichment Council and was awarded a Relic of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, by the Sisters of Charity. For 32 years, Trudy sang Soprano in the choir at St. Ann's, Arlington, VA., St. Patrick, Bedford Village, and, St. Helen in Vero Beach where she took part in a 1993 Pilgrimage of the choir to sing at St. Peter's in Rome. Her passion for music and art led her to restoring and preserving statues. She was a ceramist of skill. Her biggest project was the Franciscan Monastery of the Atonement at Garrison, NY. This assignment required more than four dozen statues, many larger than life-size.

Trudy was a dedicated mother. Her concern for the unborn brought her to serve as "Den Mother-Confidant" at a Catholic Charities home for unwed mothers in Westchester, NY. Trudy's great inspiration came when she served as Eucharistic Minister. She was privileged to bring Holy Communion to shut-ins, people in nursing homes and hospitals.

She was married to her husband of 48 years, George F. Thomas, SFO (below, d. 2007). They had a large family of children and grand-children. A memorial Mass was celebrated on Saturday, February 8th, 1997 at St. Helen Parish in Vero Beach, Florida. A Funeral Mass took place at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Bedford, NY, followed by interment at the Cemetery of St. Francis of Assisi in Mount Kisco, New York.

May the Lord Bless you and keep you.
May He show His face to you and be merciful to you.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
May the Lord bless you, sister Trudy!

George  F. Thomas, SFO
1930 -2007

George F. Thomas, SFO, 77, died July 25, 2007, at Indian River Medical Center

He was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Vero Beach in 1989 from Bedford, NY. Before his retirement, he was the Sales Manager for Readers Digest Publishing Company of New York. He was professed in the Secular Franciscan Order, Divine Mercy Fraternity, Vero Beach, on October 12, 1996. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus in Virginia, and Toastmasters International (New York)

He is survived by his sons, Richard B. Thomas of Vero Beach, John A. Thomas (Chicago, IL) and George Thomas of Leominster, MA.; brother Mark Thomas, and sister, Maryann Mattaliano, and two grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Catholic Charities, 9995 North Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.

It is always sad to lose a friend and brother, but George goes way back with us. He really helped Corrine McCarthy, SFO,  in the early days in 1992-1993 with his beloved wife Trudy Thomas, SFO, (see above) in the founding of our Fraternity. May he rest in peace.

The above picture was taken 11/17/2006 and was printed on the Memorial Mass program. Other information was from his Obituary.

Jean Kurtz, SFO
Professed:  October 4, 1994
Deceased:  November 29, 2000

Jean Kurtz SFO, one of our founding members, passed from this life during the morning hours of November 29, 2000.  During her last brief illness and hospitalization she was surrounded by family, friends and members of the Divine Mercy Secular Franciscan Fraternity.  She received the Sacrament of the Sick from at least three priests who had known her for many years, two of whom ( Fr. Richard LaCorte and Fr. Jim McClain) were in Vero Beach by, what appears to be, a coincidence.
 

Patricia Jean Kurtz was born May 5, 1935 in Sioux City, Iowa and moved to Vero Beach in 1985 from Anchorage, Alaska. She was a teacher in the Anchorage Borough School District for 22 years. During her tenure there she served as chairman of the English Department of Dimond High School, and taught honors English classes. She took special pleasure in helping students who had fallen behind to improve their reading skills. After moving to Vero Beach, she volunteered as a reading tutor at St. Helen Catholic Church.

Jean's Funeral Mass was celebrated  at 4 pm on Friday, Dec. 1st at St. John of the Cross Church in Vero Beach.  Visitation was at Strunk Funeral Home on Thurs., Nov.30th from 5 to 7 pm.  followed by a Franciscan Wake Service at 7 pm.

Jean was one of the founding members of the fraternity and will be sorely missed. She led a very holy life. This is how she came to know us. One day, in late 1992, Jean walked into St. Helen's Charismatic Prayer Group Meeting on a Thursday evening. At the appropriate time, she went to the microphone, and introduced herself and she asked: "Are there any Franciscans here?" Fred Schaeffer raised his hand, and Jean told him that she wanted to join the SFO, and if he would please help her begin a Fraternity in Vero Beach. Fred had some Capuchin experiences when he was around 20-22, so he answered he would try. It took many phone calls and much letter-writing to come to a determination just what the procedure was to create a new Fraternity. The reason it was so extraordinarily difficult was because the SFO, formerly Third Order of St. Francis, had just begun the "regionalization" process in the USA and no one was particularly sure what to do with an emergent fraternity. But begin we did, and thanks to Jean, Fred, and also Corrine McCarthy (now living in Maine), the Fraternity was begun and in 1996 we received full Canonical Approval and became a member fraternity of Five Franciscan Martyrs Region (Florida and part of Southern Georgia).

Besides her enthusiastic membership in the Secular Franciscan Order, Jean volunteered to lead the Rosary at Alterra Sterling House on a regular basis. She also was instrumental in bringing EWTN on Cable-television in Vero Beach. She is survived by her husband L.S. "Jerry" Kurtz of Anchorage, Alaska, her son, Lloyd S. Kurtz, III of San Francisco, her daughter, Kathryn L. Kurtz of Juneau, Alaska. She also had two sisters, Joan Boyce and Jane Huffman in Vero Beach and related spouses.

Strangely enough, after Jean passed away, the fraternity began to grow, at first slowly, then more came. We think she's praying for us up there, and we have not forgotten you, either. You're our sister in Christ, in Saint Francis, and you are in our hearts. Thank you for everything. We love you.

November 29th is the feast day of All Saints of the Franciscan Orders. Jean is with them now.
   

Marcella Ann Richard, SFO
Died July 5, 2005, at the age of 79.

Marcella was born at South Bend, Indiana, on February 11, 1926. For a period of 30 years she was a Registered Nurse at the Miami, Florida, VA Medical Center. She lived in Ft. Lauderdale. She moved to Vero Beach in 1999 and joined Divine Mercy Fraternity since then. The fraternity celebrated the 25th Anniversary of her profession in May 2005. Marcella worshipped at St. John of the Cross Church. She has two sisters in Indiana, and close friends in the area. After the Mass of Christian Burial, on July 6, 2005, she will be transferred to the Palmer Funeral Home in West Bend, Indiana, for burial. Marcella has been very ill for a long period of time. Yet, she managed, with the aid of a friend, to visit us at some of our fraternity meetings. We will miss our Sister in St. Francis, Marcella Richard, SFO. She was special to us. Please pray for her. Please thank Jesus for granting her peace.

Jennie M. Donlin, SFO

Born 3-1-1935
Died September 24, 2008

Professed 04- 21- 1984
 

JULIA McHUGH, SFO
Died December 13, 2009, at the age of 89.

"Julia McHugh, 89, died Dec. 13, 2009, at the Treasure Coast Hospice in Fort Pierce. She was born in Ballin Robe, Ireland, and lived in Port St. Lucie for 28 years, coming from Floral Park, N.Y. Before retiring, she owned and operated a grocery store in New Hyde Park, N.Y., for 10 years. She was a member of St. Lucie Catholic Church in Port St. Lucie. Survivors include a sister, Josie O'Malley of Ireland. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard McHugh; brothers, John, Patrick, Thomas and Richard Feeney; and sisters, Annie Feerick. Mary Kate Jennings, Margaret Hughes, Nellie Conroy and Bridie Fitzsimons." (from: Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers 12/15/2009)

She was born to Thomas and Margarita Feeney on March 4, 1920 and was baptized Julia Theresa on March 6, 1920. Julia was married to Bernard McHugh on January 8, 1949 at Immaculate Conception Church in Jamaica, New York.

Julia was Professed into the Divine Mercy Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order on Sunday, November 16, 2003 at St. Lucie Church by the pastor, Fr. Brian Horgan. As a member of that parish, Julia served as a Eucharistic Minister at Mass and brought the Eucharist to patients in Nursing Homes and hospitals as well as to the homebound. Julia also taught the young children preparing to receive the sacramants of Reconciliation and First Communion. Her pastor, Msgr. Burke, in a letter recommending that Julia be accepted for admission to membership into the SFO, stated that her young students were always the best prepared for both of these sacraments.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Lucie Parish on December 17, 2009. Peggy Rysdyke, SFO, Fraternity Minister, and several Fraternity Council members, attended.

JOHN (Jack) SOLLOWAY, OFS

 

Born:September 4, 1936
SFO Professed: April 21, 1976 - transferred to Divine Mercy SFO Fraternity, Vero Beach, FL; -Died: December 19, 2012, Okeechobee, FL

 

 

Jeremiah G. Carey, SFO

 

Born: September 14, 1924 at Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland
SFO Professed: September 12, 1999 - Divine Mercy SFO Fraternity, Vero Beach, FL
Died December 14, 2010

Jeremiah Gerald "Papa" Carey, age 86 passed away peacefully surrounded by his family listening to Noel Henry on Dec 14th. Born in Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland on September 14, 1924. Jerry moved to Boston when he was 18 and met and married the late Mary A. Tierney in 1952. They raised seven children six boys and one girl. They moved from Canton to Dennis, MA in 1970 where they founded Carey Real Estate. He was a member of Dennis Pines G.C. and Dennis Highlands G.C where he had a single digit handicap. He moved to Vero Beach, FL in 1988 where he was a Eucharistic Minister and a Fourth Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of St. John of the Cross in Vero Beach, FL and St.Pius X of So. Yarmouth, MA. He married Arlene K. Goodwin in 1999 where there enjoyed many years of laughter together. Along with Irish Music and Dancing, "Papa" truly loved the Boston Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and the New England Patriots. Loving husband of 45 years to the late Mary A. (Tierney) Carey and Arlene K. (Goodwin) Carey of Vero Beach, FL. Loving father of his sons, Kevin and Patricia of So. Dennis, Gerald "Curly" and his fiancé Kelly Walinski of So. Dennis, John and Charlene of So. Dennis, Michael of So. Dennis, Brian and Christina of Dennis, Denis and Carol of W. Yarmouth and his daughter Eileen Carey and Jimmy Herzog of Danvers. Grandfather of Matthew Carey, Bridget Foley, Christopher Carey, Alexander Gleason, Christopher Carey, Nicholas Carey, Zachary Carey, Nicholas Pelkey, Joseph Pelkey, BB Reardon, Ashley Reardon and Savannah Carey. Brother-in-law of Theresa Nugent. Youngest brother of Ted, Peter, Patrick, and Daniel Carey. He is also survived by his step children in FL and many nieces , nephews and family in Ireland and England. A celebration of his life will begin with visiting hours from 3 - 8pm on Friday Dec. 17 at the Morris, O'Connor & Blute Funeral Home, 58 Long Pond Drive, South Yarmouth. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday December 18, at 10 am at Saint Pius x Church, South Yarmouth. Burial will be in Oak Ridge Cemetery, So. Dennis. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association , P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090- 6011 Notes of comfort and sympathy may be sent to Jeremiah's family at www.MorrisOConnorBlute.com paid obituary

from: Fri. Dec. 17, 2010, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

 

BENJAMIN (BEN) DAVIS. OFS
1933-2013

 

Benjamin Dow Davis, 80, passed away on December 16, 2013 at home. Ben was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and has been a resident of Vero Beach for ten years coming from Ft. Pierce and Hobe Sound, Florida.

Prior to joining the Catholic Church at St. Helen Parish, Ben was pastor of Hobe Sound Presbyterian Church in Hobe Sound, Florida from 1976-1985. He was the pastor of St. Paul's Union Church in Chicago, Illinois from 1972-1976 and an assistant pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster Ohio from 1969-1972. He was also the pastor of Beechwoods Presbyterian Church and Sugar Hill Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania from 1965-1969. His first church was at the First Presbyterian Church in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania from 1960-1965.

Benjamin became a member of St. Helen's Catholic Church and was a professed member of the Divine Mercy Fraternity, Secular Franciscan Order, Vero Beach, FL. He was professed on November 19, 2011. He participated in the Christ Care bible study group called "His Sheep" as well as a Wednesday afternoon Bible study.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia R. Davis (OFS) of Vero Beach, FL., son Benjamin (Heidi) Davis of Vero Beach, FL, daughters Anne Davis of Palm City, FL and Leslie (Tom) Paquette of Lake Wales, FL. He also is survived by three granddaughters, Nicole Paquette (Roger Orr) of Lake Placid, Florida, Renae Campbell of Warner-0 Robbins, Georgia and Tegan Davis of Vero Beach, Florida. Also surviving Benjamin are his sisters, Judith Usternul of Vero Beach, Florida, Sybella Goss of Youngstown, Ohio, Barbara Orr of Lakewood Park, Ohio and Karen (Frank) Wisman of Lehigh Acres, Florida and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his father, Roger Benjamin Davis and his mother, Sybella Dow Davis of Youngstown, Ohio.

Church services were held at St. Helen Catholic Church in Vero Beach on Thursday, December 19th at 12:00. A reception followed.

(Information from Aycock Funeral Homes, Ft. Pierce, FL)

SARAH GREER HARDY, OFS
March 11, 1932 - March 17, 2015
Professed 11-04-1998

Our sister in St. Francis was born in Jacksonville and lived for a time in Gainsville, Florida. She was a Marine Corps Veteran.

Sarah worshipped at Holy Cross Catholic Church where she served as Sacristan, Altar Server and Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist for seven years. She was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, Divine Mercy Fraternity.

Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Cross Catholic Church, 500 Iris Lane, Vero Beach, Florida 32963 in memory of Sarah Greer Hardy.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 21, 2015 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Vero Beach.

For additional information see Strunk Funeral Home

Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

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National Fraternity

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Our Local Fraternity:
Divine Mercy Fraternity
Vero Beach, FL

 

Officers as of 1/10/2016

 

Minister:
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Vice-Minister:
Helen Caldarone, OFS
Secretary:
Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS
Treasurer:
(Vacant)
Formation Director: 
Donna Haro, OFS


Councillors at Large: 
Jack Reddy, OFS

 

 
Webmaster:
Fred Schaeffer, OFS

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