Up Close and Personal

Sr. Geralda Meskill’s acquaintance with the Sisters of St. Francis began when her older sister, Sr. John Helene, entered the congregation. Sr. Geralda and her siblings enjoyed accompanying their parents to visit the convent in Mallow in County Cork—often bringing with them food from their farm in County Limerick. “The convent was familiar territory to me,” explained Sr. Geralda. “I used to hear the sisters laughing and decided they were a happy group of people.” She eventually joined the congregation as did her younger sister, Sr. Ellen Mary.

Most of Sr. Geralda’s years in ministry were spent on the west coast where she taught elementary school in Oregon, Washington, and California and ministered at St. Ann Children’s Home in Tacoma and St. Joseph Children’s Home in Spokane. In 1988, however, Sr. Geralda’s ministry took a different path when she became the house manager for the archbishop’s residence in Portland, Oregon—a ministry in which she gave dedicated service for the next 24 years during the tenures of three archbishops: Archbishops Laveda, George, and Vlazny. In late 2012 Sr. Geralda moved—not only to a new ministry but to a new location. “Archbishop Vlazny retired and I figured this was a good time to make a change,” she said. After she arrived in Aston, she began thinking about a new ministry. “I have no trouble being busy,” she explained. “I want to do something.” She heard other sisters talk about the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation office where there was a lot to be done. She inquired—and was gladly accepted as a volunteer. Read more