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Sister Frances Gavin



Lord, make me a channel of your peace.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

(Paraphrased - Prayer of St. Francis)

Sister Frances Gavin (Sister St. Walter) transitioned into God’s heart for eternity on March 27, 2023, at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse, North Bay, Ontario.

Sister Frances was born in Sea Cow Pond, Prince County, PEI, one of seven children of Annie (nee Brydges) and Frederick (Fred) Gavin (both predeceased).  She is predeceased by siblings, Walter, Atwood, Wilson, Edgar and Emma, and is survived by her sister Inez and many loving nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and great grands!

Frances entered the Congregation of The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie, September 6, 1946 from her home parish, Church of St. Simon and St. Jude in Tignish, PEI.

Sister Frances’ ‘Island & Family Roots’ shaped what would have been 100 years of life this April, as well as her commitment to serve both Country and God as a Sister of St. Joseph.   

Prior to entering The Sisters of St. Joseph, Sister Frances, served overseas in WW2 with the navy for approximately two and half years. It was here she had contact with a relative of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the rest as we say is history.  Frances responded to God’s invitation and continued to serve where needed by all God’s people.

Frances served in the ministry of dietary & laundry services in Thunder Bay, Blind River, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie & Sudbury.

In 1968 Sister Frances enrolled in the Registered Nurses Assistant Training Program, Elliot Lake. Following graduation she served in Little Current, Sudbury, and Blind River. She returned to Thunder Bay in 1988 and volunteered at St. Joseph’s Heritage until 2000.    

Sister Frances retired to the North Bay Motherhouse where she continued to serve as part- time receptionist - switchboard operator, and was the creator of numerous gifts for staff, sisters, families and friends.  Sister Frances was an awesome cook, sales person, and creator of knitting, quilting, and numerous craft projects.  Mission fundraising was always at the forefront of her creative projects.

At a later date, Fr. Andrew Handrahan, Sister Frances’ grandnephew, will celebrate a Memorial Mass for family and friends at the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude, Tignish, PEI.

Sister Frances will be received at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse at 2:00 pm on Sunday, April 2, 2023 with a Prayer Vigil at 4:00 pm.  Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse, Sacred Heart Chapel at 11:00 am on Monday, April 3, 2023.

Visitors are asked to complete a Rapid Antigen Test prior to presenting for services or one will be completed upon your arrival and you must wait 15 minutes before proceeding into the chapel. Masks are required.

Expressions of sympathy or donations to the works of the Congregation in memory of Sister Frances may be made at

Online condolences can be made at

Sister Frances rest in peace.

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