In Memory

Sister M. Ethelbert Gilroy, IHM

February 24, 1894 – January 3, 1960

Ethelbert Gilroy, IHM

Sister M. Ethelbert Gilroy, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, January 3, 1960 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Born on February 24, 1894 in Pittston, Pennsylvania, and given the name Regina M., she was the daughter of the late John J. and Margaret Ann Bonner Gilroy. She entered the IHM Congregation on July 2, 1921, received the religious habit on December 29, 1921, and made profession of her vows on December 29, 1923.

Sister Ethelbert served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Ann High School in Scranton, PA, from 1924 to 1929; St. Mary of the Assumption High School in Upper Marlboro, MD, from 1929 to 1931; and Most Holy Rosary High School in Syracuse, NY, from 1931 to 1934.

Sister Ethelbert also served as a business teacher and the Chairman of the Business Education Department at Marywood College in Scranton, PA, from 1934 until 1960. While at Marywood, she served as the moderator of the Marywood College C.S.M.C., from 1934 to 1960; and was the secretary of the Diocese of Scranton’s Enthronement of the Sacred Heart and the Nocturnal Adoration in the Home, from 1945 to 1960.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Martin.

She is survived by three sisters, Sister M. Madalena, IHM of Scranton, PA, Margaret Gill and Elizabeth of Wilkes-Barre, PA, two brothers, William of Pittston, PA, and Reverend Leo of Hazleton, PA, nieces and nephews, including our Sister M. Marita Gill, IHM.

Interment is at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, Pennsylvania.

Archival Remembrance:

In the providence of God, Sister M. Ethelbert Gilroy was called to exercise an apostolate that was world-wide. In our community, she was a gentle, retiring nun, always inconspicuous and devoid of self-interest. As a teacher, she was a dedicated person, ever kind and gentle. She showed her students the way to the Sacred Heart by demonstrating in her own live His meekness and humility, as she frequently exhorted them to place all their trust and hope in Him. As moderator of the C.S.M.C. at Marywood College, she was an inspiration and a challenge to bigger and better efforts on behalf of the missions. As the moderator of the Diocesan League for the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in homes, she influenced thousands of women to have their families dedicated to the Sacred Heart and to enthrone Him in their homes as their King. Thousands of people outside of our Community, priests and people, call her blessed, as they pay tribute to her holy life and blessed zeal. Her religious obedience and her deep humility drew down God’s manifest blessing on her, her labor, and on all whom she inspired. Sister Ethelbert was indeed a chosen soul. May God’s work which she so faithfully and zealously performed continue to draw blessings on the Church, our Community, and the thousands whom she inspired to draw closer to the Sacred Heart in lover and confidence.

Excerpt of a eulogy from Sister M. Ethelbert’s wake service:

On the feast of Christ the King, 1944, with permission of her Superior General, Sister M. Ethelbert invited Reverend Francis Larkin, SS.CC., National Director of the National Center of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart and the Nocturnal Adoration in the Home, to address the Marywood College students and to explain to them the purpose of the Enthronement and the Nocturnal Adoration. It was decided that a Secretariat be established at Marywood. Most Reverend William J. Hafey, Bishop of Scranton, gave his blessing and consent to the establishment of a Diocesan Center at Marywood. On January 19, 1945, he appointed a diocesan director. On February 24, 1945, the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart took place in the convent and college, and this holy apostolate was launched.

Through her zeal and power of organization as secretary of the Center, the Enthronement and Night Adoration in the Home was extended through her religious community, Marywood College, the parishes, the diocese, and even to distant countries.

At her death on January 3, 1960, the Night Adoration members numbered over 9,000, enrolled from 32 states and 10 countries; the Enthronements were approximately 2,000; and the Tarcisians, approximately 700.

Sister Ethelbert’s labors were many and varied. As teacher, administrator, moderator of the College C.S.M.C., and Secretary of the Enthronement Center, she spent herself to bring all to the Sacred Heart and the Sacred Heart to all. Thousands were drawn nearer to the Sacred Heart through her zeal and example. Always, she was gentle and self-effacing; each act she performed and each person she dealt with were to her precious opportunities to help them grow in love of the Sacred Heart.

May Sister M. Ethelbert rest in peace.

Gill family photo taken in 1949
Seated: Sr. Ricarda Gill, Mother Marcella Gill, Sr. Madalena Gilroy Standing: Sr. Marita Gill and Sr. Ethelbert Gilroy

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