CUMBERLAND — Sister Gertrude Mary Donnelly, formerly S.M. Petronilla, a Sister of Mercy of nearly 101 years of age, died at Mount St. Rita Health Centre on December 23, 2015.
Born in Providence, she was the daughter of the late Walter J. and Corinne M. (Brais) Donnelly. Sister Gertrude entered the Sisters of Mercy on August 2, 1933 and professed final vows on August 15, 1939.
Known lovingly as Sister “Gert or Pet” by her dear friends, she was a woman of wisdom and was widely respected as an educator and parish minister by all who knew her. Sister Gertrude began her teaching ministry at St. Joseph School, Pawtucket. She then continued her ministry for many years to follow at St. Augustine and St. Mary Grammar Schools in Newport where she was also principal. From 1971 to 1981, Sister served both as principal and director of finances at Newport County Catholic Regional School.
Prior to relocating to Tucson, Arizona, Sister Gertrude was superior and treasurer at Salve Regina University. While residing in Tucson she ministered in St. Agnes Parish as secretarial assistant.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on December 30 in St. John Vianney Church, Cumberland. Interment will be at St. Ann Cemetery in Cranston.