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Barry, Gerald, Mother


Educator, administrator; b. Inagh, Ennis, County Clare, Ireland, March 11, 1881; d. Adrian, Mich., Nov. 20, 1961. Barry was one of 18 children. Her parents, Michael Barry, a traveled scholar and prosperous farmer, and Catherine Barry, a homemaker, had her christened Catherine Bridget. As a young woman, Barry immigrated to America. She engaged in business for several years before entering the Dominican Sisters of Adrian on Feb. 2,1913. After making her vows, Barry served as teacher, principal, novice mistress, and prioress general. During her superiorship, community membership increased from 930 to 2,480, and two senior colleges, four high schools for girls, and a Sisters House of Studies (Washington, DC) were built. In addition, 70 parochial schools, a teachers college, and a residence for businesswomen were opened; an academy and two missions were established in Santo Domingo; and hundreds of sisters were assigned to study for baccalaureate and higher degrees. At the request of the Holy See, Barry acted as first executive chairman of the Sisters Committee for the National Congress of Religious in the U.S. (Notre Dame, Ind., August 1952). She was also appointed to preside at the meeting of superiors in Chicago, Ill., from which developed the permanent Conference of Major Superiors of Women's Religious Institutes. Barry was widely known as an energetic, humorous, and shrewd leader of her community.

Bibliography: m. gerald barry, The Charity of Christ Presses Us: Letters to Her Community, ed. m. philip ryan. m. paul, Mother Mary Gerald, O.P., Dominican Educational Bulletin (Winter 1962).

[m. p. mckeough]

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