Hello! My name is Sister M. Gemma and I have been a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George since 2011. Originally from Northern Kentucky, I grew up with my mom, dad, and brother. After an encounter on a retreat at the end of my sophomore year in high school, I came to the awareness that Jesus was a real person and that He loved ME! However, it wasn’t until four years later that I began to discern or even consider religious life. While studying Nursing at Marian University in Indianapolis, the Lord placed the question on my heart: “What do You want me to do with my life?” Much to my surprise, His answer was a gentle yet persistent nudge toward religious life. Not knowing what this meant as a 19-year-old, I googled it. Then my prayer became, “Ok, Lord, since sisters are brides of Christ, I need to know that You love me in that way…as Your Bride.” Again, He answered my prayer. For me, my discernment focused a lot on Who than where, and He took care of the rest. Sure, I was researching orders, but the questions nagging in my heart were “To whom am I called to be a wife and a mother?” and “Can Jesus be enough for me?” As the Lord gradually showed me that He was calling me to be His Bride and that He is indeed more than enough for me, He also led me to my community.
After finding us on Google, I cannot tell you what actually got me to visit except grace. The first time I met our sisters I was struck by how normal and how joyful they are. After that visit, I knew I needed to come back again. On the second visit, I knew I was home. Drawn to the Sacred Heart and our charism to make Christ’s merciful love visible, it felt like I was created to live our way of life. As a postulant, I distinctly remember learning about our charism and spirituality (to look on Him whom we have pierced) and feeling like something already planted within me was being drawn out and nurtured. Since entering I have completed my nursing degree and a Masters in Catechetics and Evangelization, both from Franciscan University, and served as a registered nurse. I took my religious name after Saint Gemma Galgani, being drawn to her devotion to the Lord’s Passion. The “m” stands for Mary, which we all take as a part of our name. I particularly chose the title of her Immaculate Heart.
I am currently serving as an assistant to the vocation director and as an outpatient chemotherapy nurse. In my time for recreation, I enjoy being outside, reading, doing anything crafty or creative, or listening to music. In allowing the Lord to lead me, I found not only my vocation, but myself—fully alive, and who I was created to be.
Learn more about Sr. Gemma’s community here: