OMAHA — A Sister of Mercy who entered the Sisters of Mercy Community in Cedar Rapids is celebrating a jubilee this year. Due to Covid-19, there will not be a public celebration this year, however, this occasion is still worth celebrating.
Sister Mary Gertrude Keefe, RSM, 70-year Jubilarian
Born in Warsaw, North Dakota, Sister Gertrude moved to Minnesota with her family at a young age. In 1950, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and then graduated from Mount Mercy Academy in 1951.
Sister Gertrude was an elementary school teacher for many years, mainly in Iowa. She taught in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Fairfax, Elma, Ames, Evansdale, Anamosa, Oelwein, and Cascade.
When reflecting on her time as a teacher, Sister Gertrude said, “I praise and thank God for allowing me to bring little children to Him through His grace, teaching and guidance for 29 years. Those years were my delight. Teaching the ‘little ones’ taught me how to be more joyous, forgiving, mischievous, diligent and more alive! They were great years!”
In 1982, after receiving certificates in Pastoral Counseling, Sister Gertrude began serving as a Chaplain. In this role, she found joy in serving God’s people. She served at St. Agnes Hospital, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; St. Mary Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; St. Mary’s Regional Health Center, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota; Iowa Veterans Home, Marshalltown, Iowa; Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, Aberdeen, South Dakota; and Trinity Regional Medical Center, Fort Dodge, Iowa. She retired in 2016, and now resides and volunteers at Mercy Villa in Omaha, Nebraska.