Theresa Davis, staff member of Madonna House, died peacefully on Monday evening, September 4, in Our Lady of the Visitation, St. Mary’s, Madonna House, Combermere.
Theresa was born in Sudbury, ON, on June 12, 1926, to Samuel and Margaret (Joseph) Davis, where she received her primary and secondary education. Her family moved to Welland, ON, and Theresa went on to study English, French, and Physical Education at St. Michael’s College of the University of Toronto. Subsequently, she taught in these areas in the Chesterfield, ON, High School, and at the Ridgeland-Crystal Beach High School.
It was in 1955, while enjoying a vacation weekend at Lake Papineau and seeking out Sunday Mass in Combermere that she first encountered Madonna House and its foundress, Catherine Doherty. That proved to be a turning point in her life. She became an applicant in January, 1956, and took Promises that August.
It was less than a year later that she was appointed to be part of the team that would establish a field house in Winslow, AZ. From there, Theresa went on to establish houses in Texas, East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh), and Israel. Her later assignment to explore possibilities in France resulted in the establishment of Madonna House there. She also served as the Local Director of Marian Centre, Regina, SK, and of Madonna House in Raleigh, NC.
In 2018, after more than 60 years largely spent in mission houses, Theresa returned to Combermere, helping wherever she could and serving as an inspiration to many younger staff members and to guests. In 2021, Theresa suffered a stroke, but even in her recovery continued to welcome and encourage others.
Theresa was predeceased by her parents and by her sisters, Marie (Leon), Kay Davis, and Bernadette Davis. She is survived by her sisters, Joan (Mrs. Gilbert “Gibby”) Parent, Sadie (Mrs. Hal) Fletcher, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Theresa’s body will be received at St. Mary’s Chapel on Friday, September 15, at 1:30 p.m. and Visitation will follow from 2 to 4 p.m., and again from 7 to 9 p.m. A Wake Service will be celebrated at 8 p.m. that night. The Mass of Christian Burial will take place in St. Mary’s Chapel at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 16, with burial at the St. Mary's cemetery. A reception will follow at St. Mary’s.
Madonna House would like to thank Doctors Tiedje and Malinowski, and the Home Care and Bayshore nurses and therapists, especially Silvia Young, for their attentive care to Theresa.