“For you created my inmost being, you knit me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)
Walter and Anna Gubala immigrated to the United States from Poland in search of a better life. The couple married in the United States and eventually had five children. The couple’s second child, a girl, was born on September 15, 1915 in Youngstown, Ohio, and she was named Josephine. The couple was overjoyed with the birth of Josephine because their first child had died as a toddler. Josephine’s father worked for Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company and her mother was a homemaker who also enjoyed gardening.
Josephine was taught by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago and quickly became attached to them. After her eighth grade graduation, Josephine, along with several other girls from the parish, boarded a train for Chicago. Two Sisters met the girls and on June 21, 1929, Josephine entered the community. She was just three months shy of her fourteenth birthday.
Two weeks later, Josephine’s mother came to take Josephine back to Youngstown, but Josephine wanted to remain in the convent and sent her mother home without her. Remaining in the community, Josephine became a novice on December 8, 1930 and received the name Sister Mary Marinella. Sister professed her perpetual vows on August 16, 1937.
Sister M. Marinella began her career in education in 1932 when she was sent to Five Holy Martyrs School in Chicago to teach second grade. This was the beginning of a long ministry in education that lasted for more than 52 years. Sister taught at St. Florian School and St. Pancratius School, both in Chicago and at St. Joseph School in East Chicago, Indiana During this time as teacher, Sister Marinella was also a student. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1945 and a Master of Arts in Education and English in 1950, both from DePaul University in Chicago.
In 1953, Sister M. Marinella was assigned to Madonna High School in Chicago where she taught a variety of subjects including algebra, business math, religion, United States History, social living...and English which she taught exclusively from 1956. Sister M. Marinella encouraged students to develop their minds and to strive to be the best they could be. Sister also held various positions during her stay at Madonna, one of which was to serve five years as Local Minister.
After serving at Madonna for 32 years, in 1985 at the age of 70, Sister M. Marinella went to St. Francis Hospital in LaCrosse, Wisconsin for Clinical Pastoral Education. Afterwards Sister was assigned to the pastoral care ministry at Mount Alverna Home in Parma, Ohio. Sister became certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains in 1986 and then became the Director of the Pastoral Care Department at Mount Alverna. She served in this capacity for seventeen years. Sister put together a book of prayers and each day she would pray a morning and evening prayer over the PA system since many of the residents were too ill to pray. Imagine how many people may have greeted her when she came to heaven, to thank her for helping them to pray. While at Mount Alverna, Sister also served as Local Minister for five years.
Sister M. Marinella was a very quiet person and she found it relaxing and productive to do handiwork in the evenings and weekends. Sister tatted, crocheted and knitted. Her work was always perfect. She was frequently asked to knit baby sets with sweaters, a hat and booties. Her afghans were of exquisite design and carefully selected colors. Her handiwork was truly beautiful.
In 2002, after seventy years of dedicated service, Sister M. Marinella came to Our Lady of Victory Convent in Lemont for a well-deserved retirement. Here she appreciated the time to pray and reflect.
After 87 years of religious life and at the age of 101, Sister M. Marinella quietly left this earth on Monday, March 20th, this year the celebration of the feast of St. Joseph, her baptismal patron, to join him in heaven and especially to be with Jesus whom she loved with all her heart.