Sr. Margaret Rose
Date of Birth: April 20, 1927
Entered Eternal Life: August 26, 2019
From her eulogy by Sr. Carol Kenyon
It is with great joy that we celebrate the life of our Sister Margaret Rose, born in New York City on April 20, 1927. Her parents, James and Margaret Gilmore, gave her the baptismal name of Rose - a name which surely fitted her beauty and simplicity.
Margaret, the eldest of seven children, was predeceased by her four brothers Patrick, James, John and Owen and her two sisters Jane and Kathleen. She is survived by 3 sisters- in- law and many nieces and nephews. Some of whom are with us today. Margaret loved her family and always spoke of them with gratitude.
Margaret Rose entered the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany on August 22, 1947, among whom she lived for over 70 years as a devoted member, sister, and friend.
In preparation for her teaching ministry she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree at St. Bonaventure University and a Master’s Degree in Spanish from Fordham University. During her Postgraduate studies, Margaret even traveled as far as Spain, where she studied Spanish at the University of Madrid.
Margaret Rose was an elementary, middle, and high school teacher, as well as principal in Catholic schools in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Virginia from 1947-1972. She was a great Spanish teacher, loved by her students, many of whom, up until a few weeks ago, would come up to visit her.
In 1973 Margaret began working as a Resource Librarian at St John Baptist High School in West Islip, NY. When she returned to the Motherhouse in 1998 she immediately began working in library, and even after her official retirement in 2009 continued to assist when needed.
Margaret has been described by the Sisters who lived with her in some of the following ways: ‘kindness personified’, ‘a strong and gentle presence’, ‘a lady to her fingertips’, ‘a cultured person who enjoyed good books, fine music, and art’, ‘humble and unassuming’, ‘gracious and welcoming’, ‘never attracting attention to herself, always reaching out in kindness to others
After retirement, when Margaret was still active, she would often go to the Quick Center at St. Bonaventure to enjoy concerts and plays and the works of art housed there. One day after making the acquaintance of the director of the Center she asked him if some of the beautiful art work and famous paintings could be transported temporarily to the Public Speaking Room in the Motherhouse so more of the Sisters could see and enjoy them. Margaret, in her gentle manner, somehow made it happen and to everyone’s surprise and delight the Director agreed.
An avid reader, Margaret often walked to the Allegany Public Library, where she not only found many treasures but met and became a good friend of the librarian.
Another favorite walking adventure for Margaret was visiting the Bridge, a thrift store down the hill from Motherhouse. She not only shopped there for herself but more often for the Motherhouse Sisters who couldn’t get out.
During the last three days of her life she never complained and was grateful for every kindness. Almost to the very end she was alert and conscious. In fact, the night before Margaret died, Mary Lou said she thoroughly enjoyed, what to everyone’s surprise, was to be her last meal: a roast beef sandwich, a big dish of fruit, and two small cartons of milk which she lifted up in her swollen fingers and drank herself.
The very next morning Mary Lou and I, who were graced to be present during her dying process, can attest that even in her dying she was beautiful, serene, and radiated God’s peace and presence. Truly angels were there.
Last evening at the wake service Margaret Rose’s sister-in-law Mary shared how Margaret loved the ocean and often took long silent walks along the beach listening and communing with God.
Mary’s words reminded me of a book written in 1941 by John Lynch entitled: A WOMAN WRAPPED IN SILENCE.
I’ll close with this quote:
“A woman wrapped in silence, and the ache of silence was her heart
That tried to give all that it held to give and ever more.”