Mary, Queen of Peace
My friend, Sister Mary Fattorusso MPF, died on November 9, 2014 after suffering a brief illness. She was 93 years old.
A relative introduced us seven months prior to her passing. I felt a connection to Sr. Mary because I attended Catholic school and was taught by the Filippini Sisters. But I was also drawn to the substantial, grounded presence of this small woman. I asked Sr. Mary if she would allow me to photograph her, and document her daily life among the Sisters at the Villa Walsh Infirmary where she lived.
“I don’t see why not,” she said. “Sure. I would love the company.”
Mary, Queen of Peace is the result of our time together. It is a record; a journal. It is a testament honoring our too-brief relationship, and the strength of a woman among women.
These images pay tribute to the Filippini Sisters, offering a reverent look at the mortality of a religious institution and of the aging women who inhabit it. It is a narrative revealing the intimate relationships that are woven through this community; sisters bonded not only in name, but also in the beliefs, lifestyle and devotion to service they share.
These women are individuals nurtured and shaped by their assemblage. As they grow old together, their connections, both spiritual and earthly, keep them vibrant, humorous and wise.