Phelan, Gerard, Mother

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Religious superior, educator; b. Kilkenny, Ireland, Jan. 17, 1872; d. Tarrytown, New York, March 22, 1960.

Baptized Anastasia Phelan, Mother Gerard was educated by the Sacred Heart of Mary Religious, Waterford and Lisburn, Ireland. She entered their congregation at Béziers, France, in 1893. After taking temporary vows, she attended Cambridge University and served as headmistress at Crosby, England before she was called to the United States in July of 1907. On December 8 of the same year, she and Mother M. Joseph butler founded the first marymount at Tarrytown, New York. After taking the M.A. and Ph.D. at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and Fordham University, New York, New York, she specialized in educational work. As Mother Butler's closest collaborator, she also filled successive officesfrom conventual superior to superior general. Under her administration the Sacred Heart of Mary apostolate became global as foundations doubled in number and extended as far as Africa. In 1952, Fordham University, in conferring its honorary Litt.D., paid tribute to her extension of Mother Butler's work.

Bibliography: k. burton, Mother Butler of Marymount (New York 1944).

[f. s. boran]