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Mary Bride Grubbs

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Mary Bride Grubbs Obituary
Grubbs, Sister Mary Bride

Sister Mary Bride Grubbs, A.N.G., 74, Panama City, FL, passed away Feb. 18, 2014 after a long and courageous journey with cancer. Sister was born Margaret Leona, on September 6, 1939 to Clarence and Catherine (Hoey) Grubbs in Cambridge, Ohio. She was the eldest of three children.

Sister attended St. Benedict Grade and High School in Cambridge. She graduated from Holy Family Academy in Manitowoc, WI in June of 1957. Soon after graduation, on June 13, 1957, she was received as a novice in the Religious Community of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc. She was given the name Sister Mary Bride. From 1980 to 1983 she was a leader in helping to form A New Genesis Community, under the guidance of Bishop Aloysius J. Wycislo. Sister celebrated 50 years as a religious sister in 2008.

Sister Grubbs graduated from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, with a B.S. degree in Home Economics Education. She taught in elementary and secondary education for 16 years, completing her teaching career at Xavier High School in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Sister believed her true calling in life, in addition to being a religious sister, was to serve the Church in pastoral ministry. Even on her application for acceptance to the convent, she identified a deep desire to be of service to families. She earned a Master's Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans.

Sister served as Pastoral Associate at Sacred Heart Parish, Manitowoc and St. Bernard Parish in Green Bay. She was appointed the first Parish Director in the Diocese of Green Bay by Bishop Adam Maida in October of 1986. She served St. Patrick Parish in Stephensville for the next 12 years, expanding her role of Parish Director to include St. Denis in Shiocton for the final two years. In July of 1998, Sister took a position in the Department of Pastoral Services for the Diocese, serving as Consultant for Parish Planning and Collaboration. She drew from her firsthand experience as both a pastoral associate and a parish director, a greater understanding of the workings of a parish and a sensitivity to the challenges pastors face.

In July of 2000, Bishop Robert Banks appointed her to the position of Chancellor for the Diocese. While service as Chancellor, Sister was surprised at how often she was able to reach out with her pastoral heart and care to pastors, parish leaders and parishioners who called her office. During this time, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops promulgated "The Charter for The Protection of Children and Young People." Sister Grubbs was then appointed Diocesan Assistance Coordinator, while continuing to serve as Chancellor. The Safe Environment Department was created in 2003. Sister retired from Diocesan Work in August of 2005. In September, she returned to parish ministry and served part time at St. Mary, Greenleaf and St. Paul, Wrightstown. She retired in August of 2010 from the newly formed St. Clare Parish of Askeaton, Greenleaf and Wrightstown.

Sister is survived by one sister, Catherine (William) Whitmire of Panama City, FL and one brother, Patrick (Patricia) Grubbs of Cambridge, OH; eight nieces and nephews in Ohio, Florida and Alabama, and her special cousin, William "Ted" (Sally) Hoey of Hilton Head, SC, as well as members of A New Genesis Community.

In addition to her parents, Sister was preceded in death by an infant brother, James and a sister-in-law, Carol (Brown) Grubbs.

Visitation for Sister Mary Bride will be held on Sunday, March 2, 2014 from 4:00pm until the time of prayer service at 7:00pm at Cotter Funeral Home, 860 N Webster Ave, De Pere. Visitation will continue at St. Clare Catholic Parish-St. Paul Site, 437 Main St., Wrightstown, on Monday, March 3, 2014 from 9:00am to 10:30am. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:30am with Bishop Robert Banks as Principle Celebrant and Rev. Dennis Bergsbaken as concelebrant. There will also be a Memorial Mass at Christ Our Light Parish in Cambridge, OH with burial at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cambridge, on March 8, 2014.

Gratitude is extended to the Gyn/Oncology Department at St. Vincent Hospital, Dr. Jonathan Tammela, the Physician Assistants, caring nurses and staff of the Cancer Team for their support, care and dedication. Special thanks to Covenant Hospice and Dr. Bobbi Baker of Panama City, FL for the loving care extended to sister in these last weeks.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Sister's name to A New Genesis Community Endowment Fund established with the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Green Bay, P.O. Box 8642, Green Bay, WI 54308. This fund contributes to the ongoing mission of A New Genesis, "to support people in transition, especially women and children."

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Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from Feb. 26 to Mar. 1, 2014
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