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. 

Sister's Prayer Card (PDF)



Memorial Mass for Sister Mary Louise

Worship Aid (PDF)

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

Remembrance for Sister Mary Louise

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


collage of photos of Sister Mary Louise Gass, OP

Left photo: Barbara and Mary Louise Gass. Center photo: Sisters Barbara Gass, left, and Mary Louise Gass. Right photo: Back row, from left, Sisters Hilda Nadine Sheehan and Mary Louise Gass and, front row, from left, Sisters Norma Dell and Mary Katherine Homan.

collage of photos of Sister Mary Louise Gass, OP

Left photo: Members of the community at St. Cyril, Taylor, Michigan, are back row, from left, Sisters Patricia Harvat, Viviana Custo, and Marian Castelluccio, and front row, from left, Sisters Mary Louise Gass and Theresa Mayrand. Right photo: From left, Sisters Mary Alice Naour, Mary Louise Gass, Kathleen McGrail, and Joann Plumpe.

collage of photos of Sister Mary Louise Gass, OP

Left photo: Sisters Barbara Gass, left, and Mary Louise Gass enjoy a game of cards. Right photo: Sister Mary Alice Naour, left, celebrates her birthday with Sister Mary Louise Gass, April 20, 2008. 

collage of photos of Sister Mary Louise Gass, OP

Left photo: Members of the Gass family include, from left, Sister Mary Louise, Gerald and Cecilia (parents), and Sister Barbara, August 1950. Right photo: Enjoying the Lands of Dominic tour in 1996 are, from left, Adrian Dominican Sisters Marie Carleen Maly, Geraldine Megel, Mary Louise Gass, Barbara Gass, Evelyn Piche, and Mary Jean Williams.

collage of photos of Sister Mary Louise Gass, OP

Members of the 2010 Diamond Jubilee Crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Carol Johannes, Rina Cappellazzo, Joseph Eugene Fogarty, Barbara Hubbard, Mary Mackert, and Mary Louise Gass; middle row, from left, Sisters Joan Marconi, Diane Erbacher, Paul James Villemure, Charlotte Francis Moser, Mary Anthony Marelli, and Kathleen Sutherland; and front row, from left, Sisters Theodora McKennan, Mary Jo Sieg, Florence Marie Viaches, Michael Claire Wilson, Barbara Ann Mason, and Donna Markham (Prioress).


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