Mary Clark was born on December 23, 1949 in River Edge New Jersey. She lived in a close- knit, loving family home with her parents, four siblings and her grandmother. Her strong faith was nurtured at home, in St Peter's parish and through education in Catholic schools.
Mary attended Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township, NJ. Here she first met the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. As a young child Mary felt compassion for those suffering from injustice. As she grew older, Mary joined with others who advocated for peace and justice. She was employed in the challenging field of Financial Analysis. After work, she ministered to the sick as a Eucharistic Minister. She also reached out to alienated Catholics to help bring healing into their lives. Mary was strengthened in her work of service by a deepening relationship with God. In 2002, Mary explored the concept of becoming an Associate member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. She wrote: "Now my spiritual journey has led me to the CSJP Associate Community. The witness of this Associate Community will strengthen me as I work with a group in my parish to raise the consciousness of parishioners in the area of advocacy for peace and justice."
Starting in 2004, Mary made a covenant commitment as an Associate member with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace for 3 one -year terms, then 2 three- year terms, and on March 12, 2012 for five years. In her response to a Nov. 23, 2011 reflection question on what is life-giving for a CSJP Associate, Mary wrote, "The community gives me support and encouragement for the hard work of peace and justice. It keeps me focused, broadens my knowledge, strengthens my resolve. The personal connection with fellow Associates and with the Sisters means so much to me as we support each other on the journey of life. The programs, speakers, days of reflection, assembly days, etc. are very life- giving for me."
Sadly, Mary was diagnosed with Advanced Cancer in 2014. Despite various treatments, she continued to fail. She died on November 9, 2016. The funeral Mass for Mary was celebrated at St. Peter's Church in River Edge, NJ.
"So yes, we are forever beginning, and the best we can do is be very grateful that each new beginning is one more chance to grow. "
Margaret Byrne, CSJP