In Memory

Sister Mary Cecile Gallagher, IHM

January 13, 1904 – November 19, 1998

Sister Mary Cecile Gallagher, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, November 19, 1998 at the Marian Convent in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on January 13, 1904 in Donegal, Ireland, and given the name Mary. She was the daughter of the late James and Winifred Breslin Gallagher. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1931, and made profession of her vows on April 24, 1934.

Sister Mary Cecile served as a teacher at the following: St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton, PA, from 1936 to 1937; Mother of Mercy School in Washington, NC, from 1937 to 1938; St. Patrick School in Scranton, PA, from 1938 to 1943; Sacred Heart School in La Plata, MD, from 1943 to 1957; Epiphany Elementary School in Sayre, PA, from 1957 to 1965; St. John School in Susquehanna, PA, from 1965 to 1969; St. Paul School in New Bern, NC from 1969­ to 1971; and St. John the Evangelist School in Binghamton, NY, from 1973 to 1983.

From 1983 until the time of her death, Sister Mary Cecile served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by three sisters, Ann McGovern, Margaret Gallagher and Winifred Gallagher, and four brothers, Patrick, Michael, Anthony and James.

She is survived by two brothers, Charles of Queens, NY, and Alphy of Ireland, and many nieces and nephews, including Winnie Powers of Brooklyn, NY.

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 remembrance:

With a gentle Irish charm, Sister Cecile Gallagher inspired a love of learning in the lives of students throughout the East Coast. Her gracious spirit brought out the best in her students and in those whose lives she touched. Her service as a teacher took her to schools in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, and New York.

The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary benefited from the efforts to bring young women from Ireland to Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Over the years a total of sixty-five young women became professed IHM religious. Their services were received as far west at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho at the IHM Academy and at St. Edward School, Twin Falls, Idaho. The southern missions witnessed their dedication in Washington, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, North Carolina. It was remarked that black children in some southern schools were speaking with an Irish brogue! The Sisters from Ireland also served in many locations in Pennsylvania, such as Dushore, Lock Haven, Exeter, Altoona, Pittsburgh, St. Michael’s School in Hoban Heights, Cresson, Pittston, Scranton, and Williamsport. New York and Rhode Island missions also received their services.

Excerpted from The Story of the Native Irish Sisters Who Entered the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Scranton Pennsylvania by Sister M. Michel Keenan, IHM, 2006, p.18

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