Sister Ann Francis Hammersley
Jesus, who knew their thoughts, took a little child and placed it beside him, after which he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this little child on my account welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least one among you is the greatest.”
These words from Jesus to his ambitious apostles and the child placed beside Him so described the manner of Sister Ann Francis Hammersley all of her life, Sister Joan Matthews said in her commentary on the life of Sister Ann Francis Hammersley who died Jan. 29, 2014. She was 87.
Sister Ann Francis was born Jan. 25, 1927, in Malden, Mass., to Gertrude Carragher, from Canada, and Vernon William Hammersley, of Whiting, Ind. She was the second of five children and the only daughter. She is survived by brothers Richard Hammersley, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Edward Hammersley, Bradenton, Fla., and Arnold Hammersley, Malden, Mass. She was preceded in death by her brother, Francis Hammersley.
Born Dorothy Gertrude, Sister Ann Francis was baptized at Sacred Heart Church, Malden, Mass. She attended 12 years of grade and high school at Cheverus, the parish school, graduating in 1945.
Taught all 12 years by the Sisters of Providence, she entered the community in 1946, in Maryhurst, Md. Shortly after, her father was killed by an explosion at the oil company he was sent to begin in Malden, Mass. Dorothy returned to Malden for a year to comfort her mother and family.
She returned to Maryhurst in 1947, received the habit in January 1948 and rejoined her Midwest band members in June 1948. Her first profession was Jan. 23, 1950, and final vows Jan. 23, 1955.
Her education degree came from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1964, and she earned a Master’s as a “reading specialist” in 1970, from the University of New Hampshire.
She ministered as a teacher in several states and schools, including St. James, Indianapolis; Cathedral, Fort Wayne, Ind.; St. Rose, Chelsea, Mass.; St. Patrick, Stoneham, Mass.; St. Polycarp, Somerville, Mass.; St. Ann’s, Washington, D.C.; Holy Redeemer, College Park, Md.; and Lady Isle, Portsmouth, N.H.
After 47 years of teaching, Sister Ann Francis came home in 1997, serving nine years on the staff at Woods Day Care/Pre-school, while living in Owens Hall.
In 2006, she moved to Lourdes Hall with prayer as her ministry. She delighted in cleaning and decorating St. Ann’s Chapel and having more time for prayer.
Simplicity, happiness and obliging others without being judgmental radiated from her manner. Sister Shawn Marie McDermott said that she surely was a sower of seeds for the very young!
How she cherished her 11 years on the ocean banks at Lady Isle, N.H. Full of incredible beauty, it would lead her to prayer. May her precious soul be rejoicing in heaven with God and all she loves, Sister Joan concluded.
Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Ann Francis took place Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 11 a.m., in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Burial was in the cemetery of the Sisters of Providence.
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