Sister M. Geralda, CSC
(Ethel Agatha Lamping)
April 9, 1922 – March 3, 2018
Entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross from Chicago, Illinois: February 10, 1940
Initial Profession of Vows: August 15, 1942
NOTRE DAME—Sister Geralda was a missionary at heart, always reaching out to others in the simplest of ways. In her teenage years, Ethel was in a girls’ club whose purpose was to socialize with girls who had mental disabilities. A student herself, she taught religion several years to a little homebound girl confined to a wheelchair. Her devout parents, Arthur Lamping and Ethel Tanney, married in 1905 and were models of generosity raising twelve children in Chicago, Illinois. The Lampings gave three daughters to the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Sister Geralda being the oldest of the three religious. Sister Alice Lamping died in 2017. The youngest, Sister Mary Ann Lamping, survives all her siblings. It was said that their mother denied the family was poor, “She just said we never had anything.” At seventeen years old, Ethel applied to enter Holy Cross. The pastor of St. Theodore Parish, Father John J. Kearns, described her as “a very kind and unselfish girl. Her simple manner will also help in fitting her for a religious life.” She had already grown up in a loving religious family, dependent upon God’s goodness and bounty.
At the time of Sister’s reception of the holy habit August 15, 1940, she expressed her desire to be a future missionary abroad. Instead she was trained to be an elementary teacher and served in classrooms in Catholic schools in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan 1942-1969. She was nine years a superior/principal as well. Her gifts for special education were finally affirmed and she earned her MA in 1969 from Cardinal Stritch College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was an effective special education teacher 1969-1978 in public school programs in Danville, Illinois and Munster, Indiana. At age 55 she applied to serve in Bangladesh teaching English to young children, shocked that she was accepted because “I was never able to learn a foreign language well.” Her perseverance and love for God’s little ones helped her connect with the primary students. She served in Dacca 1978-1982 fulfilling her lifelong dream of being a missionary. Health issues brought her back home where she served as a parish visitor to the elderly in Streator and Morris, Illinois until 1995. Sister Geralda spent another ten years as a sister presence in health care at Our Lady of Holy Cross Care, San Pierre, Indiana. In 2005 she moved to the motherhouse at Saint Mary’s where her missionary outreach and prayer continued. Many of her handcraft projects contributed to the Ministry with the Poor Fund. One of her loveliest memories of Dacca, in a predominantly Muslim country, was hearing the girls sing parts of the Koran as their prayer. Sister Geralda may now be joining in praise of the compassionate God of all. For a donation in her name to the Ministry with the Poor Fund visit www.cscsisters.org
Visitation is Wednesday March 7, 2018 in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto at 9:00 a.m.; Reception of the Body at 10:15 a.m. followed by the Mass of Resurrection with Memento at 10:30 a.m. Kaniewski Funeral Home is handling arrangements.