Rest in Peace Sister Maria Joseph Nace SP

Posted in News, In Memoriam

Sister Marie Joseph was in the 66th Year of her Religious Life

Sister of Providence, Sister Maria Joseph Nace, died on June 15, 2024 in the 66th year of her religious life. Born Antoinette Mary Nace in Northampton, she was the daughter of Joseph and Antoinette (Josinska) Nace. Having graduated from Easthampton High School in 1954, she enrolled in the Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Holyoke and graduated in 1957. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Providence in 1958.

Sister Maria Joseph began her ministry in healthcare in the nursery at Our Lady of Providence Children’s Center (Brightside) in West Springfield in 1961. She worked briefly as a nurse at Farren Memorial Hospital before continuing her education at Boston College of Nursing and completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1968. She ministered for a while at Mercy Hospital and then became the Health Nurse for the Spanish Apostolate in Holyoke and the Migrant Workers Program in Springfield until 1971.

She worked in the Sisters of Providence Infirmary at Providence Mother House until Mount St. Vincent Nursing Home opened where she became the Director of Nursing in 1972 and also served as its Educational Coordinator and Long-range Planning Coordinator.

Following a sabbatical in 1980, Sister Maria began a new ministry in 1981 as a self-employed, professional artist and free-lance writer/poet. She has had numerous poems published in the local newspapers and in Sisters Today, The American Poetry Anthology, Worcester Review, Review for Religious, Greater Maine Poets, and New England Poetry.

Her paintings, both in oils and water colors, have both sold well and won awards at various galleries and shows, including the Chaffee Art Gallery, Rutland, VT, the Chester (Vermont) Art and Heritage Society, the Mystic (Connecticut) Art Association, and at Longmeadow Arts.

In 2009, her book, entitled Poet With A Brush – a compilation of some of her poems and pictures of her paintings – was published. She enjoyed participating in the Greater Maine Poet’s Workshop and Bread Loaf Writers Colony. In 1997, she opened the Art of Colour Studio where she did some of her art work and offered painting classes there for many years, as well as at Bay Path, Elms College and the Mystic Art Gallery. She is survived by her Sisters in Community, a niece and cousins.

Sister Maria Joseph’s Wake will be held on Thur., June 20 at 9 – 9:45 am at the Providence Place Chapel, 5 Gamelin Street, Holyoke, Mass. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will follow and be celebrated at 10 a.m.

To send your condolences, please email the Sisters of Providence President’s Office. Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Providence, 5 Gamelin St., Holyoke, MA 01040.