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Mary Margaret Powers 1916-1993

Updated: Feb 14, 2021

Mary Margaret was born on November 30, 1916 with her twin brother Joseph. At the time, the family was living at 28 Charlestown St. in Somerville, which appears have been a two-family home. Tragically, Mary's twin brother Joseph died in January 1922, at the age of 5, from Diphtheria, during the Diphtheria epidemic.


Her family moved to Essex St. in Wakefield (previously Saugus) a year later where her father had purchased land and built a home.


Mary attended Wakefield public schools for grade school and then transferred to Cheverus School in Malden for high school graduating in 1936. The Cheverus School, named after the first bishop of Boston, was a Catholic grade school and high school opened in 1908. It was staffed by teachers from the Sisters of Providence in Indiana, whom must have made a significant impact on Mary, as she entered the Sisters of Providence herself and became a teacher.


At the age of 20, on August 4, 1936, Mary Margaret entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence in St. Mary of the Woods, Indiana. She professed her first vows on March 11, 1939

and Final Vows on January 23, 1945. Her religious name was Sister Margaret Eleanor Powers.



She continued her education and received a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana and was the first of her family to receive a college degree.


Sister Margaret Eleanor taught in schools staffed by the Sisters of Providence in Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, District of Colombia, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Remarkably, she came back to her own high school, Cheverus, and finished her career as a substitute teacher there from 1985-1987 before retiring in 1987. In retirement she did community service for the Sacred Hearts Convent in Malden.


She died on December 22, 1993 and was buried at Sisters of Providence Cemetery in St. Mary of the Woods, Indiana. Upon her passing, Sister Mary Eleanor Galvin from Sisters of Providence commented on Sister Margaret Eleanor's main characteristics as the gift of generosity and her fidelity to the Lord. With her passing just before Christmas that year, Sister Mary Eleanor said that Sister Margaret Eleanor had received "the greatest Christmas gift of all, the gift of God himself".



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