Sister Gertrude Gillette was born in 1953 and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She graduated from St. Benedict Academy in Still River, Massachusetts, and joined a new community of Sisters who taught her during High School. When this community became Benedictine in 1980, Sr. Gertrude was among the founding members. After further training in the Benedictine life at Stanbrook Abbey, England, she made her Solemn Profession at St. Scholastica Priory in 1984. The following year the community moved from Still River to Petersham, Massachusetts. She received her B.A. from Magdalen College (New Hampshire), and her M.A. (1991) and Ph.D. (1996) from the Catholic University of America in Early Christian Studies/Patristics.
Sister then had the opportunity to spend 6 years in Europe, teaching in Gaming, Austria (1996-1999), and in Rome (1999-2002), serving as superior of the international house of studies for Benedictine women (Casa Santa Lioba), and helping to set up the Monastic Formators’ Program. She also attended classes in Rome and obtained an S.T.B. from the Angelicum. It was during her years in Rome that she received the impetus to make a new Benedictine foundation which she and Sr. Theresa Scheuren began in 2003. She is received a licentiate thesis for the Collegio Sant’Anselmo in the field of Monastic Studies, entitled “Anger in Community: A look at Ancient Monastic Texts.” This was published under the title of “The Four Faces of Anger” Seneca, Evagrius Ponticus, Augustine and Cassian.” She was also an Associate Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University for over 8 years.
Besides her role as superior of the new foundation, Sr. Gertrude works on putting together a monastic liturgy for the house. She is currently working for the Charlotte Diocese in a variety of teaching roles.
With the move to Rutherfordton, NC in 2017, Sr. Gertrude retired from teaching. She continues to give retreats and lectures from time to time, but most of her energy is now spent on building up the community, physically and spiritually in their new environment.