About Margaret F. Grace
Margaret Fennelly Grace (1921-2014) was active in numerous Catholic endeavors and charity. She served as president of the Grace Institute following the death of her husband J. Peter Grace in 1995.
Founded by W.R. Grace in 1897, the Institute offers tuition-free job training to women seeking to hone their personal and business skills. Mrs. Grace was herself a 1938 alumna of the Institute. During the Second Vatican Council, Mrs. Grace was part of a group assisting Cardinal Josef Suenens of Brussels, Belgium, who served as a moderator of the Council. The group helped Cardinal Suenens to study areas of special interest including ecumenism, world poverty, marriage, and the commitments of priests and consecrated religious. Mrs. Grace continued to act as the Cardinal’s envoy in the United States until her death in 1996. She then founded the Cardinal Suenens Center at John Carroll University, the original home of the Margaret F. Grace Lecture. In 2015, the Lecture relocated to the University of Mount Saint Vincent, to which she, her husband, and her family were long-serving and generous benefactors.
Born in New York City, Mrs. Grace graduated from Cathedral High School in Manhattan. In 1941, she married J. Peter Grace, the long-time head of the international firm W.R. Grace and Company. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Fordham University.