Dominican Sister of Peace Sr. Mary Petra Flavin died at Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH on Saturday, August 8, 2020.
A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Sr. Petra was born in 1925 to Helen (Nellie) Sheehan and Peter Flavin. She entered the Congregation in 1945 and served her Congregation and God’s people for 75 years.
After graduating from St. Lawrence High School, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Saint Mary of the Springs College, now Ohio Dominican University. In true Dominican fashion, she continued her study at Duquesne University, earning her Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling in 1965.
Sr. Petra ministered as an elementary teacher for twenty years in Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. She found a long-time home when she was assigned to be principal at Saint Thomas the Apostle School in Columbus, OH. She served the families of St. Thomas for 33 years, founding a kindergarten and a latchkey program for children of working parents. Sr. Petra loved her work at the school, remembering, “I especially loved being with the kids. I have such wonderful memories of ballgames, picnics in the convent backyard, seeing the kids all dressed up for Halloween, Christmas parties… But even just the day-to-day working with them was so nice.”
After retiring from her career as an educator, Sr. Petra entered a ministry of service to her community, where she volunteered as a receptionist, helped in the gift shop, and assisted with projects as needed. She also assisted her sister, Sr. Dolores Flavin, with holiday decorating of the Motherhouse and Mohun Care Center.
Sr. Mary Petra entered a ministry of prayer and presence in 2015.
Sister Petra’s was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Nellie Sheehan Flavin, her brother, John and her sisters, Patricia Burke and Dominican Sister of Peace, Sister Dolores Flavin. She is survived by nieces and nephews.
Sr. Petra’s wake was held on Wednesday, August 12, and the Mass of Christian Burial was held on August 13. The private services were held at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel. Sr. Mary Petra was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Mary Petra’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or submitted securely at oppeace.org
To view a printable PDF copy of Sr. Mary Petra’s memorial, click here.