In Memory

Sister M. Ricarda Gill, IHM

October 20, 1881 – February 11, 1964

Ricarda Gill, IHM

Sister M. Ricarda Gill, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Tuesday, February 11, 1964 at the Marian Convent in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Born on October 20, 1882 in Parsons, Pennsylvania, and given the name Mary E., she was the daughter of the late John and Maria Nolan Gill. She entered the IHM Congregation in 1904, received the religious habit on August 15, 1905, and made profession of her vows on July 16, 1907.

Sister Ricarda served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Leo Elementary School in Ashley, PA, from 1907 to 1923; St. Mary Elementary School in Avoca, PA, from 1923 to 1929; St. Joseph Elementary School in New Bern, NC, from 1929 to 1932; St. Rita Elementary School in Dundalk, MD, from 1944 to 1946; St. Matthew Elementary School in East Stroudsburg, PA, from 1946 to 1952; and St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Binghamton, NY, from 1955 to 1956.

Sister served as principal at the following schools: St. Joseph Elementary School in New Bern, NC, from 1929 to 1932; St. Raymond Elementary School in Lynbrook, NY, from 1932 to 1938; St. Peter’s Cathedral Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1938 to 1944; and St. Matthew Elementary School in East Stroudsburg, PA, from 1946 to 1952.

She served as superior at St. Joseph’s Hospital Convent in Carbondale, PA, from 1956 to 1961.

From 1961 until the time of her death, Sister Ricarda served in prayer ministry at the Marian Convent.

She is preceded in death three sisters, Mother M. Marcella, IHM, Margaret and Anna McGeehan, and two brothers, Thomas and Richard.

She is survived by a niece and nephews, including Sister M. Marita Gill, IHM of Kingston, PA.

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

Archival Remembrance:

For fifty-nine years our community was blessed by the holy presence of our revered Sister M. Ricarda Gill. Before her entrance as a postulant, her pastor, Reverend John Feeley, in his letter of recommendation to Mother M. Cyril wrote: “I think you could give her the habit immediately, if such were not against your rules.” All who were privileged to know Sister Ricarda would testify to the truth of his statement. She was a gentle, quiet nun, whose smiling countenance and welcoming approach made religious life happy and serene. Five of our mission houses were privileged to know her as Superior, and to profit by her wholesome guidance and care. Both by nature and by virtue, she was humble and self-effacing. Her courteous and gracious manner endeared her to all alike. Even in her first year of teaching grade one, some of her one hundred five pupils cried because they were being promoted from her class. Hers was the living example of a religious lady, devoted to God’s service and exemplifying its holiness to others. Truly, we may cherish the thought that the angels came to lead Sister Ricarda to paradise, and that she was awaiting their summons. May God reward abundantly her beautiful life and her splendid example.

” Sister Mary Ricarda
A Religious 59 Years

The death of Sister Mary Ricarda, I.H.M., a member of the Order of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for 59 years as a professed nun and novice, recalls an outstanding career in religion and education that had its beginnings in her native Parsons as a daughter of John and Mary Nolan Gill, in Inkerman where she made her home with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Nolan, for ten years and in Pittston where she attended St. John’s Parochial School and actually laid the foundation for a dedicated life.

Sister Ricarda was the last of six brothers and sisters, four of whom were widely known in the area. Her sister, the late Mother Mary Marcella, was Mother General of the Immaculate Heart Order. A brother, Thomas Gill, was a grocer in Parsons for a half-century and the father of Dr. John J. Gill of Forty Fort and of Attorney Thomas F. Gill of Wilkes-Barre. Another brother, Richard Gill, was an anthracite executive. Two others died in their twenties during the influenza epidemic of 1918. The Rev. Nicholas Gill, C.P., professor of canon law at St. Michael’s Monastery, Union City, N.J., is a nephew and Sister Mary Marita, I.H.M., principal of St. Patrick’s High School at Scranton, a niece.

Sister Mary Ricarda was principal of schools at Scranton, Stroudsburg, Lynbrook, N.Y., and New Bern, South Carolina. The school in the South was an institution for colored children. She spent six years there in the 20’s on regular assignment and found it so challenging her tour of duty, at her request, was extended to ten years.

Hundreds of local residents knew her as a teacher at Ashley and Avoca. Her last assignment before retirement two years ago was as superior at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Carbondale. Since then, she has been at the Marian Convent, Scranton, where she was in residence when her final summons came.

A gifted, zealous and humble nun, Sister Mary Ricarda made a lasting impression on three generations of students, many of whom kept in touch with her until the end. Mild of manner and pleasant, she had a well deserved reputation for kindness and thoughtfulness. The personification of courtesy and graciousness, she inspired the affection of young and old for her warm personality and commanded respect on the basis of her talents and impressive record of service.”

from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, The Evening News newspaper, pub. Thursday, Feb. 13, 1964

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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