"All the way to heaven is heaven because Christ said, 'I am the way.'"
Sr. Patricia Gertrude Gill went peacefully home to her Good God on December 3, 2019. Sr. Patricia was born Anne Theresa Gill in Lowell, MA, the oldest girl of Patrick Francis and Anne Gertrude Kelley Gill's ten children. She was born July 26th, 1926: the Feast of St. Anne, to whom she remained devoted all her life. She attended school at St. Patrick's in Lowell, entering the Novitiate in Waltham in 1944. She earned her BA from Emmanuel College, then an MS in Music Education from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.
Her first mission was at Our Lady of Presentation in Brighton. Sr. Patricia went on to teach music at Holy Rosary in Lawrence, Beverly, Beverly Farms, Boston, and St. John's in Peabody. At Bishop Stang High School in No. Dartmouth, MA, Sister Patricia founded the school's marching band, with eighteen students marching in their own school uniforms.
Sister Patricia Gill instituted the Humanities Program and taught at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham from 1962 – 1972, conducting excellent choral concerts and musical theater productions. For forty-five years Sr. Patricia truly brought out the best in her pupils, as they made beautiful music together.
After Hingham and St. Mary's in Waltham, she served as Superior at St. Mary's in Lawrence, at Notre Dame du Lac in Worcester, and on the Leadership Team at Ipswich. She retired to Ipswich in 2003, faithfully visited by former students and devoted family members, and cared for by the dedicated Staff of the St. Julie Billiart Residential Care Center.
Sr. Patricia (Anne Theresa) Gill was predeceased by siblings Daniel Gill, Virginia Maziarz, Frances Kirkpatrick, Barbara Monette, and infant Patricia Gill, whose name she took in religious life. Survived by brother William Gill, brother John and wife Beverly Gill, sister Gertrude and husband Leonard Brophy, and sister Margaret Latulippe, as well as brother-in-law Bill Monette, and sister-in-law Midge Gill. Also survived by thirty nieces and nephews, more than sixty great-nieces and nephews and their children, as well as her Sisters in Community, her friends, and generations of former students.
A celebration of Sr. Patricia Gertrude Gill's life was held at Mary Queen Chapel in Ipswich, MA, on Friday, December 6: Wake 12:30 p.m., Prayer Service 1:00 p.m., Funeral Mass 2:00 p.m., followed by burial at Ipswich.
Sr. Patricia's Ministries
Our Lady of the Presentation School, Brighton, MA
Holy Rosary School, Lawrence, MA
St. Mary School, Beverly, MA
St. Margaret School, Beverly Farms, MA
St. Joseph (Darmouth St.), Boston, MA
St. John School, Peabody, MA
Bishop Stang High School, North Dartmouth, MA
Notre Dame Academy, Hingham, MA
St. Mary School, Lawrence, MA
The Lake, Worcester, MA – Music Teacher
St. Jude School, Waltham, MA
Service to the Sisters
NDduLac, Worcester, MA – Community Coordinator
Ipswich, MA – Community Coordinator
Sr. Patricia's 2019 75th Jubilee Profile
Sr. Patricia Gill loves to share what it was like to be the 2nd oldest in her family of 10 children, 7 girls and 3 boys. There was little time for her to be the "baby" and like most "oldest" girls, had a lot to do taking care of everyone younger!
Anne Kelley and Patrick Gill sent all of them to St. Patrick's School in Lowell where Notre Dame had an honored history of caring for immigrant families from Ireland .
The Church property was lovingly referred to as "The Acre" because all that was important took place in that geography of Church and school. The parish took great care of all their needs.
Patricia knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a Sister of Notre Dame. But the conviction was affirmed as a Freshman when her teacher, Sr. Ellen Marie Hickey gave the class religious instruction and something just clicked within this young woman.
She never changed her mind about Notre Dame from that very day.
As Sr. Patricia Gertrude, the music teacher, she loved her missions to direct choral groups, give piano lessons, organize the School Band, create musicals, give concerts and do parish work!
One charming memory is on her first mission, being told, "Oh good there are 7 of us here and we can be the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit and you're piety!"
At this Jubilee time, she is grateful for all the blessings and her favorite quote is "All the way to heaven is heaven because Christ said, "I am the way."