Obituary: Sister Jean Little RSM

Sister Jean Petit RSM

PORTLAND – Sister Jean Little RSM, (formerly Sister Mary Edwin), passed away peacefully at Sedgewood Commons on October 29, 2021. Born in Portland on December 13, 1938, Sister Jean was the daughter of Harold Edwin and Mary Catherine Mannette Petit. She attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School in Portland and graduated from Cathedral High School in Portland. Sister John entered the Misericordia Sisters religious community in 1957 and received her BA in Education from St. Joseph’s College, Standish and an MA in Education. from Boston College Sister John began her career in parish education at Cathedral Elementary School, Portland, followed by ministries at St. Mary’s School, Augusta; Saint-Athanase school, Rumford; St. John School, Bangor and St. Joseph’s School, Portland. In 1968, Sister Jean’s career path changed; she began her ministry at the Diocesan Office of Human Relations (now Catholic Charities Maine) in Portland. She assumed the new role of Director of St. Elizabeth’s Child Development Center and Administrator of Holy Innocents Home Care, Portland. This program focused on home care for low-income children, seniors and families, a ministry that brought out his love and compassion for all. where she generously shared her gifts of deep faith in God and in her religious vocation. After this three-year appointment, she was called to be Superior of the community of the Maison-Mère Saint-Joseph, serving with great energy and enthusiasm. She then went to Biddeford as a pastoral associate at St. Mary’s Parish. As a result of this assignment, she was elected to the Leadership Team of the Mercy Community and also served as the Ministry Director from 1990 to 1994. During this time, she was also a member of the Task Force of the Community of Mercy. bishop for the future of the Church in Maine. In 1994, Sister Jean was Co-Director of Mercy Associates before becoming Director of Volunteer Services for the Refugee Settlement Program at Catholic Charities Maine. His benevolent heart understood the hardship faced by the refugees when they left their country of origin. In 1998, Sister John was elected regional president of the Portland Community of Mercy Sisters of the Americas, a position she held until 2006. During these years, she moved the community through difficult times. , doing it with humility, wisdom and trust in God. Sister John then spent a sabbatical year at Mercy by the Sea, Madison, CT, Brooksville, FL and traveled to the Holy Land with parishioners from St. Anthony Parish, Brooksville, FL. Towards the end of her sabbatical, she was invited to serve as the director of faith training at St. Anthony’s parish. Hospital, Portland. St. Joseph’s College, Standish and more recently Catholic Charities Maine. Sr. Jean liked to get to know people and share his life experiences with them. She had a keen sense of history and events, remembering them quickly. She was an avid reader and enjoyed traveling, especially to visit her cousins. Sister John’s motto, Omnia, meaning “all things” was reflected in her intention to give herself completely to God. her special uncle, the Reverend Francis Mannette; along with other aunts, uncles and cousins. She is survived by her sisters in community and her beloved cousins, Dolores Davio, Maine, Gertrude “Trudy” Eldredge, Maine, Denise Hollister, Washington, Claire Kane, Alaska , Jack Mannette, Connecticut, Francis Marsano, Maine, Richard Marsano, Maine, Amy McInerny, Virginia, Russell O’Donnell, Florida, Joanne Walsh, Illinois, John Walsh, Illinois and Reverend Thomas Walsh, Illinois. Also her lifelong friend Elizabeth Lennon Donlan, Fla. We would like to express our gratitude to the former staff of Frances Warde and Sedgewood Commons for their attention in caring for Sr. Jean. Visiting hours will be from 3pm 6 p.m. with a 6 p.m. prayer service on Tuesday, November 2 at Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. A Christian burial mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 3 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress Street, Portland. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Broadway, South Portland. To view its commemorative page or to share condolences online, please visit In in lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory can be sent to: Sisters of Mercy, 966 Riverside Street, Portland, ME

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