Mary Berenice Wilson, SP (Sister Petronilla)

Date of Death

Sister Mary Berenice Wilson (Sister Petronilla), age 85, a Sister of Providence for 62 years, died May 2, 2023 at Swedish Hospital, Cherry Hill, Seattle, Wash.
Religious Community members Prayer Service: Monday, May 22, 2023, at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, Wash. All invited to Funeral Mass: Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at Holy Rosary Parish (4210 S.W. Genessee St.), Seattle, Wash. at 10:30 am.  Bonney Watson Funeral Home oversees arrangements.
Sister Mary was born on October 27, 1937, in Bassano, Alberta, Canada, to the family of Clayton and Helen (Diyoume) Wilson, the youngest of ten children. The seed of Providence was planted in Sister Mary at a young age. When Sister Mary was 16 she was hired as a diet aide at Providence Hospital, Seattle, Wash., where she worked until she entered the Sisters of Providence community. Fulfilling the desire of her heart to live the charism of the Sisters of Providence to minister with people in need, Sister Mary professed first vows in 1962 and final vows in 1967.
Sister Mary’s educational achievements included: a bachelor’s in English, Seattle University (1971); a master’s in Education and Administration, Seattle University (1984); and a master’s in Counseling, City University of Seattle (1991).
Sister Mary’s many ministries began at Saint Peter Claver Center, visiting people in homes and in nursing homes. She then taught at St. Finbar School, Burbank, Calif. (1963-64, 1968-69); Holy Family School, Seattle, Wash. (1964-65); Holy Rosary School, Seattle, Wash. (1965-68); John F. Kennedy High School, Seattle, Wash. (1970-73); and St. Louise School, Bellevue, Wash. (1973-78), she was also Vice Principal. She was Director of Religious Education at St. Joseph Grade School and parish, Yakima, Wash. (1976-77). In 1977, she became activity director at the Adult Day Health Center at Providence Mount St. Vincent, Seattle, Wash. She was principal at Assumption School, Seattle, Wash. (1984-88). In 1990, Sister Mary became the director of Sojourner Place, a shelter for women in transition, where she ministered for 11 years.
Sister Mary lived her life feeling extremely blessed by God and filled with gratitude. She shared this gratitude with others with a smile and laughter. She had unwavering love for the Sisters of Providence community, family, friends and all she met.
She is preceded in death by her parents and eight of her siblings. She is survived by her sister, Theresa (Wilson) Ceccarelli and many beloved nieces and nephews, and by the Sisters in her community.
To view Sister Mary’s obituary and picture and to sign her memory book, please visit the website for Bonney-Watson Funeral Home at