Sister Mary Matthew Griffith, CSJP, a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace, died suddenly on March 12, 2013.
Anna Marie Griffith, (Sister Mary Matthew) was born on February 18, 1928 in Bellingham, Washington. She was the daughter of Florence and L.E. Griffith. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace in Bellingham, WA in 1949 and professed perpetual vows in 1954.
Sister Mary Matthew was a woman of many talents and extraordinary energy— all devoted in service to Jesus Christ and the people of God as a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace.
She was a child prodigy in both piano and violin and was classically trained pianist and violinist, playing with the high school orchestra in 3rd grade and Western Washington Symphony while in Junior High. She received a B.A. in Education from Seattle University and a M.A. in theology from Notre Dame. From 1950 to 1964 Sister Mary Matthew served as a teacher at St. Rose School, Longview, Sacred Heart School, Bellevue, and St. Mary School, Corvallis, OR. After completion of her Ph.D. course work at Catholic University, taught theology and ministered as a catechetical trainer in Washington State and the Alaska missions. Sister Mary Matthew also had a ham radio license and a pilot’s license.
For many years Sister Mary Frances Hackman, CSJP, now deceased, was the devoted companion and partner of Sister Mary Matthew in catechetical, charismatic and prayer ministry. They were known and loved by many in Northwest and beyond. In recent years Sister Mary Matthew’s ministry has been based at St. Mary Parish, Anacortes, Washington and she has traveled with Kathy Moore all over the world giving retreats and parish missions and praying with and for people and their needs. She started a retreat with 3 others in 1977 and it has continued ever since. It is presently called St. Joseph Prayer/Healing Ministry retreat and is held in February at Ft. Worden, Port Towsend, WA. She ministered to the Lummi Indians for over 40 years and also was a volunteer at Monroe SOU prison for over 20 years. She loved the Legion of Mary and the work that that organization does. She had a gift of remembering people's names and faces and was always happy around smiling people. She would often remark, "Your smile is catching". And she said a person who smiles is close to God.
In reflecting on her life, she shared: “I entered religious life and I am a Sister today because Jesus Christ is real to me. I am convinced that I am loved and I need to share that love.”
The Vigil Service is 7:00pm March 18th, at St.Mary-on-the-Lake in Bellevue, WA. The Funeral Mass will also be at St. Mary-on-the-Lake at 11:00 March 19, Feast of St. Joseph, followed by the burial will be at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery. There will be a Memorial Service at 11:00 A.M. March 21st at St. Mary, Anacortes, WA.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace Retirement Fund, P.O. Box 248, Bellevue, WA 98009, or to "Healing Outreach" to support her St. Joseph Prayer Ministry, 8396 Thompson Beach Rd., Anacortes, WA 98221.