Aston, PA—Sister Mary Grace MacDonnell, OSF, 83, died in Assisi House on August 14. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 60 years. Sister Mary Grace (Audrey Marie MacDonnell) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where she was a member of Holy Trinity Parish and a graduate of Holy Trinity High School. Prior to her entrance into the congregation, she worked at the United Drug Company in Boston. She entered the congregation in 1946 and professed her first vows in 1949. Her sister, Sister Paula Marie MacDonnell, also entered the congregation and lives at Assisi House in Aston. Sister Mary Grace earned a B.S. in Education from Villanova University and an M.A. in Theology from St. Bonaventure University. She ministered in both elementary and secondary education and in parish ministry.
Sister Mary Grace ministered for 21 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She taught at Hallahan High School (1955-1958) and St. Maria Goretti High School (1958-1966). From 1999-2000 she lived at Queen of Peace Convent, one of the congregation’s independent living units in Aston. In 2000 she moved to Assisi House where she served in prayer ministry until her death.
Sister Mary Grace’s 11 years of ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore included teaching at The Catholic High School of Baltimore (1968-1979). She also taught at Blessed Sacrament School in Trenton, New Jersey (1949-1955) and Lancaster Catholic High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (1966-1968).
Sister Mary Grace’s served in the Archdiocese of Boston for 9 years. She worked in parish ministry at St. Mary of the Hills Parish, Milton (1989-1990); St. Elizabeth Parish, Milton (1990-1995); and Blessed Sacrament Parish, Walpole (1996-1999).
Sister Mary Grace’s work in parish ministry also included serving as a director of religious education at the Camp Lejeune Marine Base in the Diocese of Raleigh (1979-1984) and as part of the Eastern Shore Co-op at SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Easton, Maryland (1984-1989).
All services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, on Tuesday, August 18. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 9:30 A.M followed by viewing. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 A.M. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Mary Grace is survived by four sisters, Marjorie Brennan, Barbara Lynch, Jean Costello, Sister Paula Marie MacDonnell; her brother Fred MacDonnell, her nieces and nephews; and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.