Gill Joyce Genealogy

Catherine Gill (Mother Marcella) (1877-1955)

Note on Mother Marcella's Obituary

Mother Marcella's obituary says that she was President of Marywood from 1940 to 1952 but she was actually President from 1940 to 1943. Marywood University's website states that Mother Marcella made a big change: "Since Marywood had grown in size and scope, she felt it no longer feasible to have one person act as both Mother Superior of the Congregation and as President of Marywood, so the two roles were declared separate". Sister Sylvia Morgan became President of Marywood in 1943 and Mother Marcella continued as Mother Superior until her death in 1955.

   Note - October, 2015

Bishop, 69 Priests at Rites
For Mother M. Marcella, IHM

Mother Mary Marcella Gill, for 15 years superior general of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, was buried from the chapel of the motherhouse on the Marywood College campus with a solemn requiem offered by Most Reverend Jerome D. Hannan, D.D., Bishop of Scranton last Friday. Mother Marcella died Wednesday, September 14, in St. Joseph's Hospital, Carbondale, after a brief illness.

The officers of the Mass were: Rt. Rev, Msgr. William K. Dolan, S.T.D., archpriest; Rev. Thomas C. Horan, S.T.D. And Rev. Thomas J. McHugh, S.T.D., deacon of honor; Rev. Nicholas Gill, C.P., a nephew of Mother Marcella, deacon; Rev. John Elwood, M.M., subdeacon; Very Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Madden and Rev. William J. Pakutka, S.T.B., masters of ceremonies.

Also Rev. Edward L. Collins, thurifer; Rev. Charles W. Heid, and Rev. Harold G. Durkin, acolytes; Rev. Joseph M. McGowan, mitre bearer; Rev. Michael Polcha, crosier bearer; Rev. Joseph G. Quinn, book bearer; Rev. Joseph T. Shaughnessy, candle bearer; Rev. Leo V. Gilroy, cross bearer.

The Mass was sung by the Sisters' choir. The pallbearers, all nephews of Mother Marcella, were Francis, Thomas, Joseph, Richard and Robert Gill and John Mahon.

Present in the chapel were eight monsignori and 61 priests from the diocese of Scranton and many other dioceses where the Sisters have schools.

Interment was in the Sisters' plot, St. Catherine's cemetery, Moscow.

Mother Marcella was born in Parsons, Pa., the daughter of John and Mary Nolan Gill. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and was professed in that Order on July 15, 1899. Her first teaching assignment was at Holy Rosary High School, Scranton. She was appointed principal at St. Joseph's High School, Williamsport, in 1918; and later served as principal of St. Joseph's High School, Renovo, Pa. In 1920, Mother Marcella was appointed principal of Most Holy Rosary High School, Syracuse, N.Y., where she remained until 1926, when she was assigned as principal to St. Dominic's High School, Oyster Bay, N.Y.

In August, 1931 Mother Marcella was elected assistant to the superior general, the late Reverend Mother Mary Josepha, and was appointed superior of the motherhouse at Scranton. Then years later, on the death of Mother Mary Josepha, Mother Marcella became superior general of her community, and continued in this office until the expiration of her term in June 1955.

As teacher and principal Mother Marcella is well remembered for her fine scholarship and her gentle character. In her office as superior general, her keen insight into the needs of her Sisters and her deep understanding of the problems of teaching and school administration, enabled her to guide and direct the efforts of her community in the best interests of over thirty thousand pupils taught in the schools staffed by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Diocese of Scranton; in five Archdioceses: New York, Baltimore, Washington, Hartford and Portland, Oregon; and in 11 other dioceses: Harrisburg, Altoona, Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Brooklyn, Bridgeport, Providence, Trenton, Wilmington, Raleigh and Boise.

Mother Marcella was president of Marywood College from 1940 to 1952. Under her leadership and fine vision, a great college expansion program was inaugurated and six new college buildings were planned and constructed. These fine functional buildings testify to her wise planning and able administration.

Mother Marcella is survived by one sister, Sister Mary Ricarda, IHM, St. John's Convent, Binghamton, N.Y.; two brothers, Thomas and Richard Gill, both of Wilkes-Barre. A nephew the Rev. Nicholas Gill, C.P., St. Michael's Monastery, Union City, N.J.; a niece, Sister Mary Marita, IHM, of Kingston Catholic High School, and eleven other nephews and nieces survive her.

The body of Mother Marcella was brought to the Motherhouse, Marywood, Scranton, and the funeral was conducted from the Motherhouse Chapel on Friday morning, September 16 at 9:30 a.m. Interment was in the Sisters' plot, St. catherine's Cemetery, Moscow.

   Unknown Newspaper - September 18, 1955


The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14, 1955 was impressed on the hearts of a saddened Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton as Mother M. Marcella Gill died. Her death occurred just three months after she had completed a vigorous fifteen years as Superior General of the Congregation. For the fifty-nine years of her membership in the Congregation she had given her all. Her work was done.

Mother Marcella Gill was born in Parsons, Pennsylvania, on December 22, 1877 and was baptized Katherine Gill in St. Mary’s Church, Wilkes-Barre. Her father, John Gill, was born in Ireland; her mother, Marie Nolan Gill, was born in Hawley, Pennsylvania. The Gills were married in St. John the Evangelist Church, Pittston, Pennsylvania.

After graduation from high school, Katherine Gill entered the novitiate of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on July 2, 1896 at its earliest location in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. She was professed on July 15, 1899, receiving the name in religion of Sister Marcella. Her first teaching assignment was at Holy Rosary High School, Scranton, where she met with great success over the nineteen years she spent there. In 1918, she was appointed principal and superior of St. Joseph’s High School, Renovo, Pennsylvania. In 1920, Mother Marcella was appointed principal of Most Holy Rosary High School, Syracuse, New York, where she remained until 1926, when she was assigned in these same leadership capacities to St. Dominic’s High School, Oyster Bay, New York.

At the time of her election as Assistant to the Superior General, Mother Josepha, on August 6, 1931, Mother Marcella was already a proven and capable administrator, greatly loved and respected by the Sisters and all who knew her in the various locales where she had served. Her knowledge of the educational systems in the various dioceses where she had previously served was a great asset to Mother Josepha.

Nine years of service by the side of so astute a leader as Mother Josepha served only to enhance Mother Marcella’s own gifts. She was well prepared upon Mother Josepha’s death in 1940 to assume the remaining three years of Mother Josepha’s term of office. That she would also serve two full six-year terms of office of her own probably never occurred to this humble woman whose motto was to live one day at a time fully for the Lord. Mother Marcella was also president of Marywood College from 1940 to 1952.

While somewhat formal in her bearing, she had a warm, friendly disposition and found time in her busy schedule to enjoy the Sisters. She was present every Sunday morning after breakfast for a conference with the Novices. Her explanations of the Rule and the Customs of the Congregation revealed to the Novices her own love of and dedication to religious life.

The respect and graciousness which Mother Marcella had shown to others during her lifetime were rendered bountifully to her at her death as hundreds of people crowded the Marywood Motherhouse Chapel and the college grounds for her funeral on September 16, 1955. The solemn requiem Mass was offered by Bishop Jerome D. Hannan of Scranton. Sixty-nine priests from the various dioceses where the I.H.M. sisters were located were present, as well as hundreds of sisters. Mother Marcella would have been happy that six of her nephews were pallbearers and that her beloved Sisters constituted the choir for the solemn Mass of burial.

   Congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - Sister M. Michel Keehan

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