In Memoriam: Sister Hilda Gleason, D.C.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Hilda Gleason, D.C. was celebrated April 8, 2017, at 11 AM, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md. Burial followed at St. Joseph Cemetery in Emmitsburg. Sister Hilda died March 28, 2017, at Villa St. Michael in Emmitsburg. She was 102 years of age and 84 years vocation as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
Born in Albany, N.Y., on November 27, 1914, Sister Hilda (baptized Margaret Mary) was the third of five children born to Patrick and Teresa (Griffin) Gleason. One of her sisters also was a Daughter of Charity, Sister Mary Gleason, D.C., who died in Bolivia in 1999.
Sister Hilda received her diploma from St. Joseph Academy in Albany in 1932, and she entered the Daughters of Charity in Emmitsburg in December 1932. Sister earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg, in 1945; and she earned her Master’s Degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Boston University, Boston, Mass., in 1950.
Following initial formation, Sister Hilda first cared for “50 lively boys” at St. John Home in Utica, N.Y., (1933 to 1936). Sister then taught science and math at Seton High School, Baltimore, Md., (1936 to 1944); and at Holy Cross Regional School, Lynchburg, Va., (1944 to 1947). Sister Hilda then was appointed Principal at St. Ann’s School in Bridgeport, Conn., (1947 to 1952). Sister Hilda opened and served as Principal at Queen of Peace School, Washington, D.C., (1952 to 1954; while there, Sister also served as the Local Community Superior). Sister then was named Provincial Councillor for the former Daughters of Charity Eastern Province in Emmitsburg, (1954 to 1962). During her tenure as Councillor, Sister Hilda also served as President of the former St. Joseph College, operated by the Daughters of Charity, in Emmitsburg, (1954 to 1961). In 1959, during her College Presidency, Sister Hilda had the honor of welcoming President and Mrs. Eisenhower to St. Joseph College when the College honored Mamie Eisenhower with an honorary degree in 1959 (please see photos from the event at the bottom of page 3). In 1963, she returned to Holy Cross Regional School as Principal, (1963 to 1968). Sister Hilda then was elected to serve at the Daughters’ Motherhouse in Paris, France, as an English-Speaking General Councillor, (1968 to 1980; while serving on the General Council, Sister Hilda was elected the Assistant to the Superioress General [1974 to 1980]). After completing her service on the General Council, Sister Hilda was asked to set up a new region of the Community in Taiwan and served as its Regional Superior, (1980 to 1989). When Sister Hilda completed her term as Regional Superior, she assumed secretarial duties and taught English in Taiwan, (1989 to 1998). In 1998, Sister returned to Emmitsburg and was missioned to Villa St. Michael where she first served as Librarian and then entered the Ministry of Prayer where she served until her death.
Sister Hilda was preceded in death by her parents and siblings. She is survived by nieces, and nephews; and by her Sisters in Community.