Celebrating Our Jubilarians: S. Sheila Gallagher
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Sister Sheila attended St. Therese and St. Monica grade schools. She graduated from Holy Name High School in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1961. Later that year, in September, Sister Sheila entered the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
“Elizabeth Seton’s devotion to the Eucharist and her prayers and concern for others inspired me,” Sister Sheila said.
Sister received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1967. She earned her master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, in 1974.
Sister Sheila was first missioned as a secondary teacher to Bishop Flaget Catholic High School in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1965. She continued in secondary education teaching math at the following schools: St Vincent Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico (1968-’69); Port Huron Catholic High School in Port Huron, Michigan (1969-’70); and Seton High School in Cincinnati (1970-’74).
In 2013, Sister Sheila completed 39 years of teaching at her alma mater, Holy Name High School in Parma Heights, Ohio, where she also chaired the Math Department. With her retirement she ended the 99-year history of the Sisters of Charity at the high school, elementary school and parish. She has since returned for the high school’s centennial celebration and again in 2019 for the parish’s 160th anniversary celebration.
“Those 39 years at Holy Name were blessed ones, cementing my relations with family and friends,” she recalled. “I taught cousins and children and grandchildren of my own classmates and then the next generations of early students. I was the last in the line of 428 Sisters of Charity to share Elizabeth Seton’s legacy with thousands of ‘Namers.’”
Since returning to Cincinnati, Sister Sheila has been working in the Sisters of Charity Archives, mainly with constructing databases for each of the Community’s yearly mission assignments. In addition she is constructing each Sister’s ministry history. “Doing this has made me feel a closer connection to those who came before me and those I have known and lived with,” she says.
Sister Sheila has also spent three summers working as a docent at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland.