Virgin Mary

Sister M. Gerald Anne, CSC (Mildred Johana Mahoney)

April 15, 1933 ~ February 27, 2024 (age 90) 90 Years Old

Sister M. Gerald Anne, CSC (Mildred Johana Mahoney) Obituary

Sister M. Gerald Anne, CSC

(Mildred Johana Mahoney)

April 15, 1933 — February 27, 2024

Entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross from Morris, Illinois, on August 1, 1952

Initial Profession of Vows on August 15, 1955

A consecrated Sister of the Holy Cross for over 68 years, Sister M. Gerald Anne (Mahoney) was a patient and caring woman. Despite her upbringing being harder than others, she was grateful to devote her life to serving God, and live with women of faith she was proud to call “sisters.” She was born on April 15, 1933, to Carl James Mahoney and Mildred (Thompson) Mahoney. As a child, she preferred to be called Winifred, or “Winnie,” rather than her birth name, Mildred Johana. Her transfer from a public grammar school in Chicago, Illinois, to Immaculate Conception School, Morris, Illinois, in 1944, marked the beginning of her life-long devotion to God and the Sisters of the Holy Cross. While attending high school at Saint Angela Academy, Morris, Winnie formed a friendship with Sister M. Una (Garrity), CSC, who initially inspired her to discern her vocation. One of Winnie’s fondest memories was of Sister Una attending her high school graduation in 1952. Winnie entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Indiana, on August 1, 1952. Upon reception of the holy habit a year later, she became Sister Mary Gerald Anne.

The first 19 years of Sister Gerald Anne’s life in Holy Cross involved education and domestic service. Her assignments included instructing primary grades at St. Joseph’s School, Ogden, Utah; St. Anne’s School; Las Vegas, Nevada; St. Stanislaus School, Modesto, California; and Holy Rosary School, Idaho Falls, Idaho. While Sister Gerald Ann did not see herself as a teacher, the children loved her because she understood them and affirmed them. In between teaching assignments, she was a convent housekeeper at St. Mary of the Wasatch Academy, Salt Lake City, Utah; Bishop Glass School, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Our Lady of Holy Cross Convent, South Bend, Indiana.

In 1974, Sister Gerald Anne began ministering within health care and social services. She was a nurse’s aide for eight years at Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana, before joining the staff of South Side Office of Concern, a non-profit agency that provides services to those with mental health issues and developmental disabilities in Peoria, Illinois. She returned to Saint Mary’s in 1987, and worked in the Print Shop at Holy Cross Shared Services for a year before being assigned to office duties at St. Joseph’s Care Group, South Bend. Dennis Heck, president of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center from 1985 to 1997, once called Sister Gerald Anne the highlight of the hospital’s administration, and someone who was “an example to all on living the mission of the organization.” She had “a smile which brightens the darkest day,” and was always willing to do more than what was asked, without hesitation. She left this ministry in 1995, and assisted as sacristan at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, Notre Dame, until 1999.

To say that Sister Gerald Anne was generous with her time would be an understatement. For her, it was second nature to offer her assistance, especially when someone was pressed for time. Outside of her work hours at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, she would visit patients prior to surgery and administer them Communion. She also volunteered at the Logan Center, South Bend, from 1996 to 1999. When she moved to Saint Catherine by the Sea Convent, Ventura, California, in 1999, she rekindled her love of music and discovered an interest in hand painting. She often played the organ and piano at Mass in the retirement community.

In 2000, Sister Gerald Anne returned to the motherhouse at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana, because her health continued to decline. Yet her gentle personality prevailed. She died in the early morning hours of February 27, 2024, at Saint Mary’s Convent. According to those who were present, Sister Gerald Anne seemed to be at such peace. While it is only the second week of Lent, she was already celebrating the Resurrection. May Sister Gerald Anne rest in God’s loving embrace.

Services for Sister M. Gerald Anne will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto.  Prayers in the Presence of the Body with memento begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by the Mass of Resurrection. 

Please see the Sisters of the Holy Cross website for further details.  Kaniewski Funeral Homes is assisting with arrangements.

-Written by Madisen Toth, archivist

Sister of the Holy Cross Archives and Records

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