Sister Mary Eusebia Gately, MM

Born: July 8, 1911
Entered: December 28, 1936
Died: March 27, 1979

“Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God.” (Peter 3:4)

With this letter we want to share with you the news that the Lord has called our Sister Eusebia Gately to new life in Him. Sister Eusebia died as she had lived, quietly, peacefully and without drawing undue attention to herself, while the Community was gathered for the Eucharist at 7 a.m. on the morning of March 27.

Lillian Therese Gately was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on July 8, 1911, one of eight children. She was educated in the parochial schools of Boston and came to Maryknoll on December 28, 1936. In expressing her desire to enter Religious life, she wrote, “My vocation to assist in the work Christ commanded, ‘To teach all nations’, and my own desire that soon there be one flock and one shepherd, makes me confident that it is God’s will for me.” Six years later on June 30, 1942, she made her final profession with the same confidence in the Lord who had called her to Maryknoll.

Sister Eusebia had a great love for Maryknoll and all that concerned its life and mission, as witnessed by those words she used to explain her vocation. It was consistent with her quiet personality that she joyfully served her entire missionary life right here in the U.S.A. She was a self-effacing person, gentle and reserved; though not reticent, she preferred to keep herself out of the limelight. Her kindness and consideration for others showed itself in the deep gratitude which she never failed to express, even for the smallest things that were done for her – nothing was ever taken for granted. Meeting her anywhere along the way, Sister Eusebia is most remembered for her ready smile and ever positive approach, even in the face of her discomfort and pain. Despite her own poor health, she was always interested in others who were sick and suffering, inquiring about them and showing deep care and concern. Even in her last years of diminishment and suffering, there was no trace of the pain in her clear eyes and it often seemed that Sister Eusebia had already experienced a transformation beyond human strength.

Sister Eusebia had a dry sense of humor which showed itself as she enjoyed sharing amusing anecdotes with others. Of her assignment to the Venard in 1942, she wryly commented, “I went to the Venard on a temporary assignment and stayed 16 years!” She is remembered by many for her years of service at the Junior Seminary working efficiently and diligently at domestic responsibilities as well as being responsible for the Maryknoll League members, some of whom still keep in touch today.

Characteristic of her total dedication throughout her years as a Maryknoll Sister, she remained active in the Direct Mail Desk office until just a month before she died. She is warmly remembered for her efficiency, kindness and consideration and giving equal attention in her correspondence to each benefactor.

On the Sunday before she died she received the Sacrament of the Sick after which she seemed much at peace and full of new life. Sister Eusebia’s closeness to the Lord and deep devotion to Our Blessed Mother was a constant source of strength. She lived her life in faith and hope in His never ceasing goodness and kindness to her.

“Because the Lord is my Shepherd I have everything I need. Your  goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home.” (Psalm 23)

She is truly living on in the love of her Lord.

Our sympathy and prayers reach out to Sister Eusebia’s family and friends.

As we celebrate the Mass of the Resurrection, let us rejoice and thank the Lord for the gift of Sister Eusebia’s life with us in mission.