Aston, PA—Sister Mary Peter Kerner, OSF, (79) died in Assisi House on October 31. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 58 years. Sister Mary Peter (Frances Victoria Kerner) was born in Philadelphia where she was a member of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish and a graduate of Hallahan High School. She entered the congregation in 1955 and professed her first vows in 1957. Sister Mary Peter earned a B.A. in English from Neumann University in Aston in 1970 and an M.S. in Social Work from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 1976. She ministered primarily in education and in social services. Recognitions for her work in ministry include the Benjamin Rush Award from the Philadelphia County Medical Society and the Knights of Columbus Woman of the Year Award from the La Rabida Council.
Sister Mary Peter ministered for 46 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She taught at St. Vincent School (1957-1960), St. Elizabeth School (1970-1973), and St. Benedict School (1973-1974). She returned to St. Benedict Parish where she served in parish ministry from 1976-1978. She also engaged in social work at St. Francis Xavier Parish (1981-1991). From 1978-1981 she worked on the Archdiocesan Commission for Human Relations as associate director for race relations. Additional ministry in the archdiocese includes working at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne where she did needs assessments (1991-1992) and at the Bethesda Project where she served as house leader (1993-1996). Her ministry within the Sisters of St. Francis includes serving on the provincial council for the former Immaculate Conception Province (1981-1985), administrator of the congregation’s Mission Fund (1996-2006), and director of the Bachmann Project (2006-2007). Sister Mary Peter’s work on this project led directly to the development and opening of Anna’s Place in Chester. Since 2010 she volunteered in a number of ministries, including Drexel Neumann Academy and Katharine Drexel Parish, both in Chester, in Fair Acres Geriatric Center, and in various congregational offices.
Sister Mary Peter ministered for 10 years in the Diocese of Wilmington. She taught at St. Patrick School (1960-1967) and at St. Paul School (1967-1970). Additional ministry included working with the Nehimiah Project at St. Peter Claver Parish in Baltimore, Maryland (1992-1993) and teaching at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Bethesda, Maryland (1974-1976).
All services will be held in Our Lady of Angels Convent Chapel, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, Pennsylvania, 19014 on Wednesday, November 4. A prayer service will begin at 10:30 A.M. followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 12 Noon. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Mary Peter is survived by her brother, Ed Kerner, her nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-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.