Sister Mary's Story
- Sister Mary Garrett Fitzpatrick, R.S.M., (Margaret Mary), 95, of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, died peacefully and supported by her Sisters at St. Joseph's Residence and Rehabilitation on Sunday, November 13, 2016. Sister Mary Garrett was born on December 24, 1920, in Houlton, to Garrett and Margaret Crabbe Fitzpatrick.
After graduation from Houlton High School, she enrolled in the Madigan Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, staffed by the Sisters of Mercy in Houlton and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1941. Later she studied at Catholic University of America, New York University, and Boston College School of Nursing. After two years as a Madigan nurse, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in Portland, Maine, in 1941. Her first ministry assignment was back to her alma mater, the Madigan Hospital, where she served 18 years over time with increasing responsibility from staff nurse to Nursing Service Director and Assistant Administrator. Sister was the resident nurse for the Passamaquoddy people for three years at St. Ann's, Pleasant Point, Perry. A few years after the Mercy Community opened a mission on Andros Island in the Bahamas, Sr. Mary Garrett was missioned there in 1971 as midwife and manager of the dispensary. She particularly loved home-care nursing for the Bahamian families and spent seven happy years on Andros. Sister returned to Portland in 1978 to serve as head nurse at the Mother House of the Sisters of Mercy in the Infirmary. Her ministry at the infirmary covered two long periods before and after the Bahamas where she cared for the elderly Sisters as head nurse. In 1992 when she retired from nursing, she generously undertook countless services at the Motherhouse, including transporting Sisters to appointments, visitation, and errands. Sr. M. Garrett delighted in volunteering in the Osteopathic Hospital Pastoral Care Dept., as Eucharistic Minister to Mercy Hospital patients, and helping at the Good Cause Thrift Shop. Sister also served as a member of the Mercy Hospital Board of Trustees from 1968-71.
In 2003, as she celebrated her 60th anniversary as a Sister of Mercy, Sister Mary Garret said, "All my wishes have been fulfilled. What I have enjoyed most is living with the Mercy Community and caring for our elderly Sisters." In retirement she lived at the Frances Warde Convent until her frailty necessitated nursing care. The energy and dedication which impelled Sister Mary Garrett's drive to serve has flowed from the inspiring words she chose in 1945 for the religious motto on her silver Profession ring: Pro Deo, Per Deum, Ad Deo (From God, For God, To God).
Sister Mary Garrett was predeceased by her beloved parents; her brothers, Anthony, Gordon, George, Frederick and Francis Fitzpatrick; and sisters, Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, Teresa Lane and Anna Cumming. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Kathryn B. Fitzpatrick of Houlton; many nieces and nephews; great and grand-nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. She is also survived by her Sisters in the Mercy Community.
Visiting hours will be 3:00-7:00 PM, Wednesday, November 16, 2016, with a Prayer Service at 6 p.m. at Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Pius X Church, 492 Ocean Avenue, Portland. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Broadway, South Portland. In lieu of flowers, those wishing may make memorial contributions to: Sisters of Mercy, 966 Riverside St., Portland, ME 14103.