Mission Mary O’Toole

Project Established in 2021

The centenary year of Mary O’Toole being called to the bench


One Hundred years after Mary was first called to the bench her family saw a vital need to champion her legacy. Thanks to modern technology such as Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com, as well as phone call exchanges conducted from around the world, the project Mission MOT was established. This page details the steps taken to cement Mary O’Toole’s name into history.

Mary Gets Her Flowers in Mount Olivet Cemetery

 Mount Olivet Cemetery

Our Mission began when it became known that the well-accomplished Mary O’Toole was buried without a grave marker in Mount Olivet Cemetery, located in Washington DC. In February of 2021, Mount Olivet was contacted regarding the necessary steps it would take to provide Mary with the much-deserved grave marker.

In order for a grave marker to be placed, an heir representation form must be filed, leading to Mission MOT contacting Sr. Phyllis, daughter of Philip O’Toole, Mary’s youngest brother. Sr. Phyllis agreed to sign the representation form and additionally provided family photographs and information through weekly phone calls.

After contacting Sr. Phyllis, a fundraiser was held in order to raise funds for the necessary grave marker. The fundraiser was so successful, excess funds were used to restore the headstones on the graves of Mary’s parents and grandparents in Knockananna Cemetery, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. A donation was also made to a homeless youth charity in DC. After much incredible effort, a grave marker was placed for Mary O’Toole in September of 2021. Thereafter, the O’Toole family provides Mary’s grave with flowers in honor of her accomplishments.

Other Highlights of Mission MOT

Since 2021, individuals working to invigorate the legacy of Mary O’Toole have had their hands full, with many accomplishments to sing about. Aside from the work put in to establish a grave marker for Mary O’Toole, Mission MOT has also worked to connect and inform the O’Toole family about the notable trailblazer. Family meets and phone calls have been had from around the world. Contact has been made with groups from local historical archives, all the way to the DC Mayor’s office. Several of these notable events will be bullet-pointed below.

– In April 2021, St. Matthew’s Cathedral in DC was contacted to host a mass in honor of Mary O’Toole. Mary was a parishioner and her funeral mass was held at St. Matthew’s Cathedral. In July 2021, this request was granted and a live stream of the mass was hosted for the family from around the world to witness.

– In early May of 2021, those working on Mission MOT began meeting to create a brochure detailing the life and accomplishments of Mary O’Toole. By July of the same year, the brochure was sent to the family.

– In August of 2021, the DC Mayor’s office was contacted to establish Mary O’Toole Day on July 21st in honor of Mary’s accomplishments in DC. This occasion was honored in July 2022 and can be viewed on our homepage.

– It goes without saying that Mary’s life is inspiring to individuals young and old. With this in mind, a children’s book about the life of Mary O’Toole has been on the mind of Mission MOT devotees since 2021. By December of 2022, The Trailblazing Life of Mary O’Toole by Paula Mulhall (grand-niece of Mary O’Toole) and Dr. Nichola Gutgold was published with illustrations from Irish book Illustrator, Leigh O’Connell.

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