In Memory

Sister M. Gertrude Hopkins, IHM

February 28, 1918 – November 3, 2013

Gertrude Hopkins, IHM

Sister M. Gertrude Hopkins, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, November 3, 2013, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on February 28, 1918, in Pittston, PA, and given the name Catherine. She was the daughter of the late Patrick J. and Mary Newcomb Hopkins. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1937, made her temporary profession of vows on May 7, 1940, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1943.

Sister Gertrude served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Bernardine Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1940 to 1954; St. Joseph Elementary School in Williamsport, PA, from 1954 to 1955; St. Patrick High School in Scranton, PA, from 1964 to 1967; and St. Stephen Elementary School in New York, NY, from 1978 to 1979.

Sister served as principal at the following schools: St. Paul Elementary School in New Bern, NC, from 1955 to 1958; Holy Trinity Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, NY, from 1958 to 1964; St. Rose Elementary School in Carbondale, PA, from 1967 to 1974; Nativity of Our Lord Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1974 to 1978; and St. Stephen Elementary School in New York, NY, from 1979 to 1988.

Sister also served as a library assistant at Cathedral High School in New York, NY, from 1988 to 1998, and at St. Clare Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1998 to 2006.

From 2006 until the time of her death, Sister Gertrude was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a bachelor of arts degree in English/social sciences from Marywood College, a master of arts degree in classical studies from Villanova University, and a master of science degree in secondary administration from the University of Scranton.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Patrick and Joseph, and a sister, Mary P. Cummings.

She is survived by a brother, Robert P. of Ardsley, PA, nieces and nephews, including William L. of Philadelphia, PA.

The funeral will be Thursday, November 7, at 9:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Wednesday, November 6, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Thursday at St. John Neumann Cemetery in Warrington Township, PA.

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.

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Spring 2014 issue

Who was Sister Gertrude Hopkins? She was a devoted and loving daughter, sister, and aunt. She was a dedicated and energetic principal, teacher, and librarian. It did not matter what the title or the responsibility of her position, she met her ministry needs with love and great care.

She was born in Pittston and educated in St. John the Evangelist School. She was a student who enjoyed all educational endeavors. She was very adept at academics, and could also turn her hand to sewing and crocheting. She designed many beautiful scarves, afghans, and many other items for her beautiful family. Sister Gertrude also shared her talents with the Heartworks Shop at Our Lady of Peace Residence.

Sister Gertrude was a faithful prayer and constantly talked of the need to trust God in all circumstances. She had a deep and profound devotion and trust in the power of Saint Joseph. “Saint Joseph helps me to stay calm and trust in Divine Providence,” she would often say. Gertrude cared deeply for her family. She was a trusted confidante, an attentive listener, and a wonderful advocate for her many family members. She persistently prayed for their needs and well-being. She was always there to rejoice with them in joys and accomplishments and to encourage them in their challenging moments. Her family always counted on her prayers and she never let them down.

Sister Gertrude had an interest in her students and encouraged them to work to their ability. She worked very hard preparing her academic materials. She was a master teacher and administrator. As a principal, Sister worked at keeping all aspects of school life in order. The staff, teachers, students, and parents appreciated her devotion and dedication to the school community.

After more than sixty years of ministry, Sister Gertrude accepted her illness with graciousness and faith. She was a good patient and kind to all who served her needs. Even in her illness, she showed concern for family and community members. She never ceased to pray for all in need. After many years of life God called Sister Gertrude home. She is deeply missed by all who knew her, especially her dear brother, Robert, and her many devoted nieces and nephews.

We all thank you, Sister Gertrude, for your example of selfless love and fruitful ministry. May you rest in the loving embrace of God.

by Sister Mary William Philbin, IHM

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