Sister M. Concepta (Margaret) Petresky, FDC St. Joseph Province
Born: October 14, 1918 Freemanburg, Pennsylvania,
Entered: September 16, 1934 St. Joseph Hill Convnet
Received: August 1938 St. Joseph Hill Convent
Professed: August 28, 1940 St. Joseph Hill convent
Perpetual Vows: August 28, 1925 St. Joseph Hill Convent
Died: April 15, 2011 St. Joseph Hill Convent
Victor Petresky and Anna Lichauer came to the United States from Bereg Megye, Hungary. They were
blessed with three boys and five girls, Margaret being their seventh child. Until the fourth grade she
attended a public school in Freemansburg, Pennsylvania, after which she transferred to St. John Capistrano
School where she was taught by the Daughters of Divine Charity. After graduation she expressed the desire
to enter that congregation but her parents insisted that she attend the local high school for at least one year.
Finally, in 1934 she was allowed to leave for the convent on Staten Island where she finished her high school
and continued higher education in Fordham University and various other institutions.
After her initial formation, her life path reads almost as a map of the mission stations conducted by the
sisters: Trenton, New Jersey, Arrochar, Staten Island, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Roebling, Passaic and
Old Bridge, New Jersey, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Bridgeport Connecticut. She also taught in South
Bend, Indiana. In most of these places she taught various grades in the local school. Her students cannot
forget her sharp wit and sense of humor. Whatever she taught was marked by her inborn creativity which
helped her to adapt to the situations of the moment.
In 1978 she was transferred to Villa Madonna in Hackettstown, New Jersey. There she was of invaluable
help to the infirm and elderly sisters because she loved to drive. She took them to their outside
appointments, and did errands and shopping for those who could no longer leave the house. Merchants of
the area all came to know her through her humor and, while laughing at her jokes, became generous with
food and gifts for the convent and for the fundraisers held there.
In 1997 she was transferred to St. Mary Residence in Manhattan. She soon adapted to this new environment
and again became known for her creativity and humor. Everywhere the sisters go, in hallways and on the
lecterns in their chapels on special holidays they will be reminded of Sister Concepta’s talents as they look at
the beautiful banners she made of many materials. Gold, velour, felt and brocade, all submitted to her ideas
and proclaimed messages of jubilation, praise and contemplation of the goodness of God.
Sister’s exceptional needlework talent is evident in major framed works of cross-stitch. The motto and
emblem of the Daughters of Divine Charity is expressed in thousands of little crosses of wool, silver and
gold at the entrance to St. Joseph Hill Convent, her last home. Another major work is the copy of Leonardo
Da Vinci’s last supper with its many figures and colors patiently worked out to glorify the institution of the
Sister Concepta participated in common prayers and meals until almost the very end of her life. While
confined to her bed she still welcomed and greeted the Lord in the Holy Eucharist and Anointing. She
recognized and thanked the relatives and friends who came during her last days. She slowly weakened day
by day, and, though she slept more and more, her mind stayed alert. At the moment of death she still praised
the Lord with silent movements of her lips. In the early morning hours of the day after Mother Franziska’s
death anniversary, she gently breathed her last. May she rest in peace but continue to pray for us in her new
and eternal home.
Rest in Peace.
By: Sister M. Caroline Bachmann, FDC