Sr. Mary Peter MeckelMarch 15, 1929 ~ November 17, 2017 (age 88)
Sister of Providence, Sr. Mary Peter, died on November 17, 2017 in the 71st year of her religious life. Born Rosemary Louise Meckel in Holyoke, MA, she was the daughter of the late William and Mary (Cadigan) Meckel. Sr. Mary Peter entered the Sisters of Providence congregation in 1947 after graduating from Sacred Heart High School, in Holyoke. She ministered for several years in the accounting offices of institutions staffed by the Sisters of Providence including St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, the former St. Luke’s Hospital in Pittsfield and at Providence Hospital in Holyoke. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Bentley College in in 1965, after which she served as comptroller and supervisor of the business office at St. Vincent Hospital until 1968. Sister then continued her education, earning her MBA from Boston College in 1970 while at the same time serving as assistant controller at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. In 1972, she began a new ministry as Grants and Research Aide for the Methadone Maintenance Program at Providence Hospital. Sister’s next ministry in 1977 involved working directly with the poor at The Mustard Seed and Abby House in Worcester as well as at Deborah’s Place in Washington, DC. From 1978 through 1988, Sister Mary Peter served as Director of the Open Pantry in Springfield. In 1988, she began Assistant Development Director for St. Francis House in Boston and, in the same year, was elected to the Executive Council of the Sisters of Providence (1989 – 1997).
In 1990, Sister began work at the Franklin County Community Food Program in Greenfield. In 1997, Sister moved to North Carolina where she became a member of the staff at the Robeson County Church and Community Center in Lumberton, NC ministering in the adult literacy and English as a second language programs as well as tutoring school children in reading. Sister also served on the Boards of Trustees for St. Joseph of the Pines Health System and for Lumber River (NC) Legal Services, Inc. In 2007, she returned to Providence Place in Holyoke, Massachusetts, volunteered at the Providence Ministries for the Needy meal program, and began the Sisters of Providence SHARE program that distributed groceries, Sister was a Fellow of the American Association of Hospital Accountants. She served as Vice President of the Western Massachusetts Food Bank Advisory Board; Treasurer of Hope Home in Holyoke; and Board member of the Sisters of Providence Health System. She was named the Outstanding Student of her graduating class at Bentley College in 1965 and Woman of the Year in 1985 by the Women’s Division of Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.She is survived by her Sisters in Community, her sister Margaret Eakin and her brothers William and James. The Wake will be held on Sunday, November 19, 2017 from 3:30 pm - 7:00 p.m. at Providence Place, 5 Gamelin Street, Holyoke, MA; a Prayer Service will be held at 6:30 pm. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, November 20, 2017 at 10 am in the Providence Place Chapel. The Dillon and Edward F. Day Funeral Home, 124 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA has been entrusted with the arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Providence, 5 Gamelin St., Holyoke, MA 01040.