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Sr.Mary Virginia (Gertrude) Hagarty


Posted By: Maureen Day-Moore (email)
Date: 12/5/2005 at 11:37:40

Sister Mary Virginia (Gertrude)Hagarty.

Sometime in early adulthood, Gertrude Hagarty (daughter of Laurence & Anna (Doyle)Hagarty entered the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, a small community of Sisters in Dubuque, Iowa. She was known as Sister Mary Agnes, and was a teacher. Early in 1913, while still a member of that congregation, Sister Mary Agnes contacted the Sisters of St. Joesph in LaGrange, IL and asked to become a member of the Sisters of St. Joesph. Since a transfer from the Congregation of the Holy Ghost to the Sisters of St. Joesph required approval of the bishops of Dubuque and Chicago, this took some time, but everything was in order by June, and as Gertrude Hagarty she entered in La Grange on June 24, 1913. How long she had been a member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost is unknown, but since she was 37 years old, and an experienced teacher, we are probably safe in assuming that she had spent a number of years there. Neither do the Sisters of St. Joesph know why she left her former congregation, which is no longer in existence. We do know that the group of Sisters was very small, and that they were having difficulty in functioning effectively. It is quite probable that the Congregation of the Holy Ghost was dissolved and that its members either transferred to another group of Sisters or became lay women.
Gertrude Hagarty received the Habit of the Sisters of St. Joesph and the name Sister Mary Virginia on January 6, 1914. She professed her temporary vows on January 6, 1916, and her perpetual vows on july 2, 1920.

A few days after she entered, July 1, 1913, Gertrude passed the teacher's examination and was granted a teacher's certificate by the Cook County Certification Board. Sister Mary Virginia's apostolate during her time as a Sisters of St. Joesph was teaching. That her ability was highly regarded by the Congregation can be seen in her assignments. In 1916 she along with three other Sisters was selected to open a parish school in Franklin Park, IL. In 1917, she helped to open the parish school at St. Francis Xavier Parish in La Grange, IL. In 1924, she was one of the founding Sisters of St. Barbara School in Brookfield, IL. (The Sisters impression was that she was the Principal at St. Barbara's, but they can't find documentation for that).
In the summer of 1927, Sister Mary Virginia became seriously ill from cancer. She died December 28, 1927. She is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hillside, IL, in Lot 10, Block I, Section B. Her grave is marked with a small headstone.

It is customary for religious communities to write a short summary of a Sister's life after she has died. The following quotes are from her summary:
"Sister Mary Virginia was a good Religious and a remarkable teacher."
"Sister Mary Virginia so endeared herself, by her motherly way, to the children she taught, that even when they had reached (adulthood) they had the highest regard and respect for her and still perpetuate her memory."

From The Sisters of St. Joesph, to Maureen Day-Moore, Great Niece of Sr. Gertrude Hagarty (Mary Virginia)

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