SISTER MARY GERTRUDE McELHINNY, age 92, died at Caritas Christi, the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in Greensburg, on Monday, February 15, 2021.
Born in Pittsburgh, Sister Mary Gertrude entered the congregation of the Sisters of Charity on September 8, 1951, from Saint Philip Parish, Linesville, PA. Preceeded in death by her parents, Edward J. and Mary G. (Murphy) McElhinny, a brother, Michael D., two sisters, Mrs. James (Johanna M.) Doran and Sister Mary Joseph McElhinny, SC, two maternal aunts, Sisters Miriam Joseph Murphy, SC and Mary Peter Murphy, SC and two cousins, Sister Christine Marie McElhinny, SC and Sister Rose Agnes McGowan, SC, she is survived by two brothers: Joseph K., and Edward V. and five sisters: Mrs. James (Mary Jo) Stratton, Mrs. Ralph J. (Judith M.) Redfern, Mrs. John G. (Elizabeth Ann) Ceremuga, Mrs. Lawrence E. (Monica N.) Addison, nieces, nephews and a cousin, Sister Vivien Linkhauer, SC.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Seton Hill University and taught students in schools of the dioceses of Altoona-Johnstown, Greensburg, Pittsburgh and Erie. She was principal of Our Lady of Mercy School, Johnstown from 1964-1966, and principal of Saint Bruno School, Greensburg from 1967-1970. From 1978 until 1992, she ministered in the Diocese of Erie as a teacher at Saint Michael School, Greenville. After she retired from the classroom, Sister Mary Gertrude continued to serve at Saint Michael Parish as a member of the parish ministry staff and as a teacher of religion. In 1995, she ministered as a pastoral minister at both Saint Michael Parish in Greenville and its mission Saint Margaret Mission, Jamestown, Erie diocese. Sister Mary Gertrude retired from pastoral ministry in 2017 and returned to Greensburg to take up residence at Caritas Christi. In reflecting on her life as a Sister of Charity, Sister Mary Gertrude once observed, “My faith is always strengthened and made real by Christ in others.”