In Memoriam

Sister Mary Louise Gass, OP (Barbara Francis)


As I look back, I hear my mother’s quote: “There are many things I can’t do anymore, but I never regret that; I just look back and thank God that I had them and enjoyed them when I did.” My prayer is often a prayer of thanksgiving for all the gifts I have experienced during my life.

These words come near the end of an addition to her life story that Sister Mary Louise Gass wrote, dated “2-22-22, 72nd anniversary of my entrance” into the Congregation.

Mary Louise was born on June 20, 1930, to Gerald and Cecelia (Sack) Gass. She was the couple’s youngest child, following Dolores, seven years older; Gerald Jr., five years older; and Barbara, three years older.

Gerald and Cecelia met in Adrian, where both worked for the Adrian Fence Company although they did not actually meet at work; they met at a Knights of Columbus convention held at St. Joseph Parish. Some of the parish’s young women who were there to serve meals took pictures of the young men attending, and Cecelia took Gerald’s picture and he gave her his address so he could get a print. 

The couple married in Adrian in 1922 and settled in Wyandotte, Michigan, in a home Gerald built next to his mother’s dry goods store. The store later became a dry cleaner which Gerald and a partner operated, and Mary Louise, a self-described tomboy who liked working in her father’s shop more than she liked doing housework, often waited on customers, sorted clothes, and even did some bookkeeping.

Growing up during the Depression years meant hand-me-down clothes and “enough to eat but nothing to waste,” Sister Mary Louise wrote. It was a loving family; Gerald and Cecelia always made time to attend their children’s various plays, recitals, and sporting events, and Dolores, who became a nurse, bought Mary Louise a lavender sweater out of her first paycheck “just because she wanted to.” Still, “law and order” was the rule, especially around the home, school, and church; Sister Mary Louise wrote that because she had spent her early years obeying, she later found the strictness of the postulate and novitiate somewhat easy.

All four of the Gass children attended St. Joseph School in Wyandotte, which was staffed by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. It was here that she discovered her love for mathematics thanks to Sister Michael Ann Glombowski; in her life story, she wrote about the pivotal moment, which came in sixth or seventh grade when the class was asked to solve “3/4 times 12” and she discovered that when a number is multiplied by less than one the answer is smaller than the original number.

Read more about Sister Mary Louise (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 



Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).

your Comment will be showing after administrator's approval

b i u quote

Save Comment
Showing 0 Comment

Cemetery of the Adrian Dominican Sisters

Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God — and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance. 

Helpful Links

Event Recordings (Video Library)

Dominican School Alumnae/Alumni

Become an Adrian Dominican Associate

What do you have to do to become a Sister?

Share our blog, A Sister Reflects

Sign up for the monthly Veritas newsletter (or view our other publications)

Employment opportunities


We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.


Recent Posts

Read More »