In Memory

Sister M. Gemma Hawley, IHM

January 5, 1889 – January 16, 1965

Sister M. Gemma Hawley, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, January 16, 1965 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Carbondale, Pennsylvania.

She was born on January 5, 1889 in Silver Lake, Pennsylvania, and given the name Mary. She was the daughter of the late James E. and Ellen L. Sweeney Hawley. She entered the IHM Congregation on October 2, 1911, received the religious habit on August 2, 1912, and made profession of her vows on August 3, 1914.

Sister Gemma served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Paul Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1920 to 1922 and 1932 to 1935; St. Joseph Elementary School in Aliquippa, PA, from 1922 to 1924; St. Bernard Elementary School in Hastings, PA, from 1924 to 1926; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Altoona, PA, from 1926 to 1930; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Bellefonte, PA, from 1930 1932; Immaculate Conception Elementary School in West Pittston, PA, from 1935 to 1940; and St. Rose Elementary School in Carbondale, PA, from 1940 to 1942. She served as a catechetical instructor at St. Patrick’s Catechetical Center in Milford, from 1949 to 1956.

She served in child care for resident children at St. Joseph’s Shelter in Scranton, PA, from 1942 to 1945, and St. Patrick’s Orphanage in Scranton, PA, from 1945 to 1948.

Sister Gemma also served as a domestic at St. Lawrence Convent in Portland, OR, from 1914 to 1917, and St. Joseph Convent in Spokane, WA, from 1917 to 1920. She served on the support staff at St. Joseph’s Shelter in Scranton, PA, from 1956 to 1957; and as supervisor of sewing for resident children at St. Joseph’s Children’s and Maternity Hospital in Scranton, PA, from 1957 to 1965.

She was preceded in death by three brothers, Edward Aloysius, Thomas Joseph, Thomas Joseph, and a sister, Ella R. (twin of Thomas J.)

She is survived by three brothers, James F., Anthony William, and Dr. Charles Francis, a sister, Helen Burnett, and nieces and nephews.

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

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

Archival reflection:

Sister Mary Gemma came to our Congregation from a large family residing at historical Silver Lake and Saint Joseph, from which area many of our pioneer Sisters came. Her first assignments were in our convents in the northwest; then to several of our eastern schools and institutions. For the past eight years, she was stationed at St. Joseph’s Children’s and Maternity Hospital, Scranton, where she labored for the welfare of the children, supervising the sewing done by the Hospital Guild. She did splendid needle work. Her lace albs, altar cloths, and other crocheted articles are highly prized. In her last years ill health and disability restricted her work and her movements. She was at all times a friendly Sister, eager to greet and to converse with others. Always, she manifested the sturdy faith of the “out home” people. May God reward her and grant her eternal happiness.

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