In Memory of Jane Farris

Jane Farris, OFS  | July 21, 1942 – March 2012Jane

Through the efforts of Jane Farris, the Padre Pio Fraternity began its re-emergence in 2011.  Although Jane died before the fraternity became fully re-established in 2014, her spirit remains with us.

The Jane Farris Memorial Fund helps support our apostolates and work with the marginalized and also supports our own fraternity brothers and sisters with scholarships to fraternity retreats and gatherings, such as the Annual Regional Gathering, which Jane loved to attend.

Joanne Jacovec, former minister of Padre Pio, worked closely with Jane to help the fraternity continue its work. Following are some of Joanne’s recollections about the time Jane spent working on behalf of the fraternity.

Martha Jane Sullivan. Jane was just like Martha in the Gospels, a real DOER and GO-GETTER, but she chose to go by her middle name.

  • Date of Birth: July 21, 1942
  • Place of Birth: Lumberton, N.C.
  • Children:  Kitty, Bryan, Lori, Ellen. Numerous grandchildren!
  • Occupation: Registered Nurse (worked at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro before she retired. She also served as a Hospice volunteer.)

After retiring, Jane volunteered at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center as a housekeeper. (See the December Padre Pio newsletter for more on this.) She was subsequently hired to work at the Prayer Center. She was also previously active on the Prayer Center Building Committee along with other members from the Franciscan Family of Greensboro Fraternity

  • Jane married Ellis M. Farris (Tommy) on October 15, 2010, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh, N.C.
  • She made her Permanent Profession on May 5, 1996, in the Franciscan Family of Greensboro Fraternity

Her servant leadership included work with the Franciscan Family of Greensboro Fraternity as treasurer, vice minister and formation director. She also served as our Regional Area 3 Councilor. 

Jane was also a gifted seamstress. She made napkins with perfectly mitered corners (very dffiicult to do!) that she embroidered with a Tau Cross. She sold the sets of napkins in the Greensboro and Prayer Center gift shops and also at the ARG.  Jane donated all the proceeds to the OFS. 

She transferred to Padre Pio Fraternity in February 2011 and worked with another professed Franciscan on formation.  We decided it was best to focus on the Four Franciscan Pillars, initially emphasizing the Spirituality and Formation Pillars. Jane was appointed our Minister. She met with Father Doug about serving as our Spiritual Assistant and also requested formation and meeting rooms. Thanks to Jane’s efforts, our fraternity was welcomed into St. Michael’s, and had our first Come and See with over 30 participants.  Orientation began shortly afterwards.

 In the fall of 2011, Jane developed blood clots which could not controlled by medication.  She was admitted to Duke Regional Hospital and was diagnosed with cancer. We lost our dear sister on March 7, 2012.

Jane had previously committed our fraternity to host the Area 3 Regional Formation Workshop at St. Michael’s in June of 2012. In Jane’s honor, our fraternity fulfilled her commitment and hosted the workshop and luncheon for a very large group of participants from around our BSSF Region. Faye Martin, OFS was our Regional Formation Director, and she highly praised Jane’s devotion to our Secular Franciscan Rule and Servant Leadership. Jane was also active in JPIC initiatives, advocating for Just Wages, Racial Equality, the Environment and more.

     On August 4, 2012 at the Annual Regional Gathering, our fraternity members lit Jane’s candle during the ceremony honoring our region’s deceased members. We also lit the candle of our dear brother Ronald Howe who died on January 19, 2012.

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