Sister Geraldine Thiel

Resurrection Service: Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Parish, Alton, IL
Wake: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Staten-Fine (220 Court, Alton, IL 62202). Rosary/service at 5:30 p.m.

We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved
Sister Geraldine Thiel
who departed this life on April 27, 2014
in the sixty-sixth year of her religious life
Age: 80 years, 11 months, 17 days

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3-4)

On Mercy Sunday, a week into the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, Sister Geraldine was gifted to be called home to live in eternal joy with God. Truly she has received a new birth to a living hope!

Loretta Anna Thiel was baptized and educated by the Sisters of Divine Providence at her home parish of St. Andrew’s in Tipton, Mo. With the Sisters’ example and invitation, Loretta entered the Community at age 15, leaving behind her parents and her younger brother. Named Sister Geraldine, she thrived on all she was learning, deepening her prayer life and her relationship with God, and experiencing the joys and struggles of living in community with many other idealistic young women. Following her novitiate, Sister Geraldine completed her studies, earning a bachelor of science degree in religion, with minors in philosophy and education from St. Louis University.

For almost 25 years, until 1974, Sister Geraldine taught in elementary schools from Normandy, Wardsville, California, and Lemay, in Missouri, to Meppen, Brussels, Granite City, Venice, and finally Westchester, in Illinois. At two of these schools, she also served as the principal. From teaching, Sister Geraldine moved into pastoral ministry at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Granite City, and later was a pastoral associate at St. Philip Parish in Centreville, Ill. Sister Geraldine ended her years of ministry by providing transport of lab samples to hospitals in the area of Granite City, and serving the needs of the Sisters at Mount Providence, the provincial house for the former St. Louis Province.

Sister Geraldine loved people. She loved being among them and talking with them. She was patient and pleasant, offering loving presence to those with whom she lived and those she served. Her greatest joy came while ministering as a pastoral minister among those who needed care and attention in the hospital.

As Sister Geraldine experienced the debilitating effects of dementia, she remained always the same cheerful woman she had been during her earlier days of community and ministry. On this Mercy Sunday, having prepared and loved her into fullness, our merciful God welcomed Sister Geraldine to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for [her], who by the power of God [was] safeguarded through faith, to a salvation ready to be revealed in the final time. (1 Pet 1:5-6)

Birthday: May 10

If you would like to make a gift to the Sisters of Divine Providence in memory of Sister Geraldine, visit our donation page.

Read Sister Geraldine's profile from the Meet Us section of the site, posted before her death.