Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Maria Martineau, RSM, 86 years old and a Sister of Mercy for 68 years died peacefully at Newport Hospital on January 17, 2024. Maria who was baptized Claire was born in Woonsocket the daughter of the late Josephat and Flora (Blaine) Martineau. She is survived by her brothers Harvey and his wife Ellen of Connecticut; Robert and his wife, Leslie of Florida, and John of Florida; sister-in-law Susan of New York; Maria’s stepsister Jackie Morrissette of Portsmouth. She is survived by her nieces and nephews Kim, David and Vivian Martineau of New York; Jason and Ivy Martineau of California; Justin Martineau of California; Erin Martineau and Anne Ditzler of New Mexico; and Monique Martineau and Chris Gravely of Virginia. Maria is survived by her friend Sister Christina Martin with whom she lived for thirty-seven years.
Maria entered the Sisters of Mercy on September 8, 1955. She earned a degree from Catholic Teachers College. She taught elementary school in the Diocese of Providence and in 1969 became a teacher of her two loves Art and French at St. Mary Academy Bay View. She pursued a degree at Rhode Island College and taught art and Ceramics at St. Vincent Home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her experience with ceramics would begin her lifetime use of art as therapy. She encouraged students to mold the clay to express their emotions. While working at St. Vincents, she lived at Bay View and offered classes in ceramics to the Sisters.
In 1984 she became a student and therapist at the Pratt Institute in New York earning a master’s degree. Here she would develop her skills for the use of Art Therapy which she did at Discovery Day Treatment Center in Quincy, Massachusetts for twenty years. She also did Art and Recreation Therapy at the Norcap Lodge in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
She moved to Newport in 2008 where she engaged in volunteer work both in art and ESL. She did hand and arm massage at Newport Hospital for many years. She taught ESL at St. Joseph Parish. She was a member of the Aquidneck Island Photo Club and volunteered to sit in the open house gardens for the Secret Garden fundraiser each year.
She was a member of the Alliance Francaise and was proud of her heritage tracing her family roots back to Quebec in the 1600s. She served on the Education Committee obtaining scholarships for students at Salve Regina University. She was a valuable resource to the Conversation at the French Confection on Tuesday mornings. She was a founding member of the “equipe Buche” bakers, made wreaths for Rochambeau ceremonies and was at the heart of the work of the Alliance for decades.
Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, said that the only way to do great work is to love what you do. In the spirit of her foundress Maria loved the French Culture that was her heritage and the power for healing she found in various forms of art. She enjoyed music, travel and good food (lobster, please). She will be remembered and missed by the many she touched with her gentle ways.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at St. Joseph’s Church, 79-93 Broadway, Newport, RI. Visitation will be at 9:00 a.m. in the church with a Mercy Prayer Service at 9:45 a.m. Interment will be in Resurrection Cemetery at a later date.
In place of flowers, contributions may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 15 Highland View Road, Cumberland, RI, 02864. (www.sistersofmercy.org) Information and condolences please visit: www.galloglyfuneralhome.com
Sisters of Mercy
15 Highland View Road, Cumberland RI 02864