In Memory

Sister Geraldine Marie Dranginis, IHM

June 12, 1930 – December 20, 2023

Sister Geraldine Marie Dranginis, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Theresilda, SSC) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, December 20, 2023 at Regional Hospital in Scranton, PA.

She was born on June 12, 1930 in Scranton, PA, and given the name Geraldine Marie. She was the daughter of the late Charles and Agnes Rogers Dranginis. She entered the Sisters of Saint Casimir on September 12, 1949, and made her temporary profession of vows on August 15, 1952, and her final profession of vows on August 15, 1957. She joined the IHM Congregation in Scranton, PA, on July 24, 1980. Sister Geraldine received a Bachelor of Science degree in education/English/social sciences from Marywood College, a Master of Education degree in guidance/counseling from Loyola University in Chicago, and a Master of Arts degree in religious studies from LaSalle University.

As a Sister of Saint Casimir, Sister Geraldine served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Anthony Elementary School in Cicero, IL, from 1952 to 1955; St. Casimir Elementary School in Chicago Heights, IL, from 1955 to 1959; Immaculate Conception Elementary School, Chicago, IL, from 1959 to 1961; and at Nativity BVM Elementary School, Chicago, IL, from 1961 to 1962.

In 1962 Sister Geraldine began teaching in Catholic High Schools. She taught English and Religion at Maria High School in Chicago, IL, from 1962 to 1965; and she served as a teacher and guidance counselor at Villa Joseph Marie High School in Holland, PA, from 1965 to 1980.

As a Sister of IHM, Sister Geraldine served as a teacher at Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes-Barre, PA, from 1980 to 1982; and Seton Catholic High School in Pittston, PA, from 1982 to 1983; as a guidance counselor at Maria Regina High School in Uniondale, NY, from 1983 to 1984; and from 1984 to 1985, Sister Geraldine was a school minister at Bishop O’Reilly High School in Kingston, PA.

Sister also served as the director of religious education at St. Matthew Parish in East Stroudsburg, PA, from 1985 to 1988; St. Peter of Alcantara Parish in Port Washington, NY, from 1988 to 1990; Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Mercerville, NJ, from 1990 to 1992; St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Sicklerville, NJ, from 1992 to 1995; and at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Richboro, PA, from 1995 to 2009.

Sister was a staff member of the IHM Business Office at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 2010 to 2021. She also served as an instructor in the Everyday English for Adults Program at St. John Neumann Parish in Scranton, PA, from 2010 to 2021.

From 2021 until the time of her death, Sister Geraldine was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Charles Joseph.

Sister Geraldine is survived by a sister-in-law, Fran Dranginis, nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is also survived by the members of the IHM and Sisters of Saint Casimir Congregations.

The funeral will be Tuesday, January 2, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 1510 University Avenue in Dunmore, PA. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Tuesday, January 2, between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. A prayer service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow Mass on Tuesday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

Prayer of Remembrance and Funeral Mass 


Reflection given by Sister Katie Clauss, IHM Congregation President

Sister Gerry Dranginis was a woman who lived the life of a seeker in her desire for religious life. In 1949, she entered the Sisters of St. Casimir and after years of formation she professed her final vows in 1957.  With a desire to respond to God, she lived her life as a sister of St. Casimir and over time she began to sense a call within a call. Gerry became aware of her desire to explore the possibility of transferring to the IHM Congregation.  In 1980 Gerry requested and began the incorporation process with Sister Redempta.   On September 12, 1982 she formally commenced her life as an IHM sister, with the deep heritage of the Sisters of St. Casimir and the motto of Mother Maria Kaupas in her heart:  Always more, always better, always with love.

The first reading of today’s liturgy from Isaiah reflects the trust with which Gerry journeyed:

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid for the Lord is my strength and my might; God has become my salvation.

As a sister of St. Casimir and an IHM Sister, Gerry also had an educational and ministerial journey. Her professional preparation for ministry included degrees in the disciplines of education, counseling, and religious studies.

Her training readied her for 53 years in ministry as a teacher, guidance counselor, pastoral minister, and religious education director from 1957 to 2010.  In 2010, Gerry moved into the encore ministries of her golden years in the IHM Business Office and as an instructor in the Everyday English for Adults program. Gerry’s agility and trust in God’s providence fostered her ability to transition from ministry to ministry and to leave a legacy of building the Reign of God as she responded to God’s call.

Gerry’s gift of yielding to God with trust reflects the lived reality of our vow of Prophetic Obedience:

we are inspired by the example of Jesus, who lived his life responding to the Father’s will. Through prayer, dialogue, and discernment, we seek fidelity to the will of God for the building of the Reign of God. (Constitutions 31)

As I reflected on Gerry’s faith-filled life, I was reminded of the words of the mythologist Joseph Campbell (1991) who reminded us that, “We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Gerry yielded the life she had planned with faith in the life that was waiting for her. Today, Gerry has the ultimate life that she longed for, eternal life in God as a daughter of Maria Kaupas and Theresa Maxis.

Our Sister Gerry attended to God’s Word and responded to it with her life. It is Jesus, the Word of God, who now welcomes her home.

As I prepare to place Sister Gerry’s vow card by her urn, please take a moment to recall her presence in your life. With gratitude and love we thank you, Gerry.

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