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Sisters bid farewell to a beloved bishop and friend, Tom Gumbleton

April 25, 2024

By Christine Schenk, CSJ | National Catholic Reporter

Excerpt: Created by Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Peggy Schmidt, the prayer service celebrated Gumbleton’s lifelong commitment to living his episcopal motto “Be Doers of the Word.” It was simple, contemplative and gently emphasized the wide-ranging — sometimes risky — actions this prophetic bishop took on behalf of peace and justice.

I wondered how this unique prayer and visitation had come to be. Over the next week I was privileged to interview not only Schmidt, but also Gumbleton’s longtime friend and biographer Sr. Sue Sattler; his friend Brian Joseph, who had overseen all funeral arrangements; and his dearly loved sister, Irene Gumbleton, also an Immaculate Heart of Mary sister. The latter three accompanied the bishop during his final weeks, days and hours of life. Below I share an account of this graced time of accompaniment, some treasured memories and how this special IHM send-off came to be.