GLASSBORO, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.
Sister Gemma Procopio, one of the first sisters of her order to serve in the United States, died on October 25, 2013. She was 84. Maria Concetta Procopio, popularly known as Sister Gemma, was born on May 23, 1929 of Francesco and Giuseppina Procopio, the 10th of 11 children. She entered the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Rome in 1954. She worked in Ribera, Italy, from 1954-60 when she was transferred to Via Cicerone in Rome until 1963. At that time she boarded the Cristoforo Colombo and sailed to New York. She was greeted by family and lived in Vineland for two and a half months until religious housing could be established. Sister Gemma was one of the first three pioneers to bring the spirit and charism of Blessed Mother Mary Catherine Troiani to the U.S.A. Sister Gemma and the other sisters moved to what was then the newly formed parish of St. Jude's in Blackwood. She remained there, watching over parishioners, priests and sisters as they moved in and out of the parish. Her prayer and telephone ministry kept her in touch with a multitude of people. Sister Gemma is survived by her religious community now in Glassboro, New Jersey, and all the sisters of the Institute of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters, her sister Rosa Stagliano in Vineland, in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was a favorite among family members.
Dear Sister Gemma,
Our convent in Glassboro is not the same without you. There is a certain void that cannot be explained. Every moment we expect to see you coming around with your 'chair' walker, or sitting in the community room watching your favorite EWTN. Thank you for everything you did for us at St. Jude in Blackwood, Holy Saviour in Westmont, and St. Bridget in Glassboro. We miss you. Intercede for us together with Sister Erminia. May the “Sacro Ternario” – the Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph hold you tightly!
Your Religious Community in Glassboro, New Jersey