Sister Mary Gemma Connelly, RSM
Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Sr. Mary Gemma Connelly, RSM, who died peacefully at Frances Warde Convent on Saturday, December 7, 2019. Sister Germma was 91 years old, having spent 73 of those years as a Sister of Mercy.
Sister Mary Gemma was born on January 21, 1928, in Bangor to Mary Belle Cannon and Francis Joseph Connelly. When Sister Mary Gemma was just four years old, her mother died. She and her sister Mary Charlotte (later to be Sister Mary Michael R.S.M.) were placed in St. Michael Home for Girls in Bangor, which was staffed by the Sisters of Mercy. It was where she came to know and love the Sisters of Mercy.
Sister Gemma was an educator. She began her teaching career at Cathedral School in Portland and then was a teacher or principal at schools all over the state, including Biddeford, Houlton, Westbrook, and the Pleasant Point Reservation in Perry. Sister Gemma served in the Office of the Superintendent under Msgr. Charles Murphy from 1967 to 1978 and then became the first woman to be named superintendent of Catholic schools in Maine.
As a second or third career, Sr. Gemma served at St. Joseph’s College of Maine in administration, then as pastoral associate in parishes around Portland. She ended her active career as the coordinator of the Motherhouse, before moving to Frances Warde Convent.
Sister Gemma had a great sense of humor and loved telling stories.
Please remember in your prayers those she leaves behind in her beloved community, her family, and many friends.