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ferriSr. Margaret Ferri sfp60 Years

Sister Margaret Ferri, SFP

Entrance into the Novitiate:  September 6, 1952
First Profession:  May 11, 1955
Perpetual Vows:  September 8, 1960

Sister Margie Ferri made her final vows on September 8, 1960. She is celebrating 60 years as a Franciscan Sister of the Poor! Sister Margie was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and was the first of three children.  She first met the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor when she accompanied a friend to St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, SC. She was struck by the Sisters’ simplicity and joy…and applied for entrance into the Community.  She said, “The day of my final vows was a glorious day! I was very joyful because, in spite of difficulties, I had finally given my life into God's hands.”

She was missioned to St. Michael Hospital in Newark, NJ, but when the Congregation opened a mission in Brazil, she was among the first to volunteer. Chosen to be in the first group to start the mission, she and four other Sisters left for Brazil on December 11, 1960. The group studied Portuguese at the language school in Anapolis, Goias where they lived – and then they went on to Pires do Rio where they stopped at Sacred Heart Church – and the whole town came out to greet them. Sister Margie worked among the very poor; visiting the sick in their homes, helping in the parish soup kitchen and orphanage. The only nurse in the group, she was asked to open both a clinic and a ten  bed maternity hospital for the poor -- with no equipment. But, Sister Margie opines, “With time, and with the help of God, as well as some of the laywomen and our Sisters in the U.S.,  we were able to open a maternity hospital.”

In 1977, Sister Margie was elected to leadership in the Congregation and, after seventeen years in Brazil,  returned to the U.S.  Afterwards, she worked in various ministries in NY and NJ and enjoyed each one very much. She has this to say about her jubilee, “When I renewed my vows during Mass, I was aware of how much more meaning they held for me now. I realized that I had grown over time and gave thanks to God for His workings in my life. My life has been a happy one, and I pray that I continue to deepen my relationship with God, and give to all those with whom I come in contact, the love.”