NORTH PROVIDENCE — Sister Mary Theresa Plante, 86, Franciscan Missionary of Mary, Ein Karim Community, died Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 at St. Antoine Residence, North Smithfield.
Sister Mary Theresa was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, April 16, 1931. She entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on September 17, 1948 in North Providence. Her first vows were pronounced in March 1951 and final vows in March 1957.
Before her final vows, she was missioned to Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Brighton, Mass. which is now known as Franciscan Hospital for Children where she was a supervisor for children from 1951 to 1952. Other missions were to Cardinal Hayes Home for Children in Millbrook, N.Y. until 1958 and back to Kennedy where she worked in the laboratory as well as to Fruit Hill where she worked in the printing press.
Sister was then missioned to Roslyn, N.Y., where she studied at St. John’s University from 1964-68, graduating with a Bachelor in Science degree in Medical Technology. After an internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital for a year, she became administrative technologist in the laboratory at Kennedy Hospital from 1968-1980.
After a sabbatical year in Rome and parts of Europe, Sister was missioned to San Francisco where she worked at Lincoln Medical Center doing clinical lab work from 1981-1985. Returning to New York, she did computer work for a Drug and Alcohol Rehab Organization through 1988.
In 1989, she became the first representative of Franciscans International, a non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations, a position which lasted officially until 2011. Sister still continued to consult with the Franciscan group. During this time she also held the position of Justice and Peace Coordinator for the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
Since Franciscans live and work throughout the world, they had firsthand experience of the issues being discussed at the UN like the rights of children, poverty, peace, religious freedom and social issues of every kind. Franciscans International was an attempt to bring the whole Franciscan Family together on peace and justice issues. With her deep and intelligent comments, Sister made many statements to the governments dealing with these issues, connecting all the concerns on the internet. She used her many gifts to accomplish as much as she could, even when her health was failing and was a true missionary of peace and justice in today’s world.
A funeral Mass was celebrated at Holy Family Chapel on Thursday, Dec. 14, with burial in the Holy Family Cemetery.