Sister Mary Frances Welch, OSF, formerly known as Sister M. Peter, died Feb. 18, 2019, at the Health Center in Stella Niagara. The longtime teacher was 91 years old.
The daughter of William and Anna Blaney Welch was born May 23, 1927, in Columbus, Ohio. She attended Rosary High School, Columbus, before entering Rosary Hill (now Daemen) College in Amherst, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Education. She went on to earn a master's from Niagara University, before heading to New York's Fordham University for further graduate studies.
Sister Frances entered the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity order on Sept. 1, 1945, at Stella Niagara. She professed first vows Aug. 18, 1947, and perpetual vows Aug. 18, 1950, at Stella Niagara.
Her lengthy minister was almost exclusively in education beginning as a teacher in St. Ann School, Buffalo. Followed by St. Joseph School in Gowanda, Our Lady of Lebanon School in Niagara Falls where she served as teacher and principal. Then she moved on to college level teaching at Rosary Hill College. In 1971, Sister Mary Frances became director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program at Rosary Hill. She also taught at Attica Correctional Facility from 1975 to 1977. From 1993-2002, she served as teacher and counselor for the Consortium of the Niagara Frontier based at Daemen College and Collins Correctional Facility.
Sister Mary Frances also taught in schools in the dioceses of Columbus and Steubenville, Ohio, and Wheeling-Charleston, W.V.
Sister Mary Frances was predeceased by her parents and siblings Sister Helen Welch, OSF; Harold; Thomas; Charles; William; Catherine and Dorothy.
A funeral Mass was held at the Sisters' Chapel, Stella Niagara. Burial followed at the sisters' cemetery.