Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Eltopia woman makes first profession of vows

the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 21, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Sister Mary Gemma Harris, formerly of Eltopia, Wash., and Bishop Jeffery Monforton of the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. (IR photo courtesy of the Franciscan Sisters TOR)

Sister Mary Gemma Harris, daughter of Todd and Mary Harris of St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Eltopia, made her first profession of vows as a Franciscan Sister, TOR of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother on Aug. 5.

She professed her first vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience before Bishop Jeffery Monforton, bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio.

The Franciscan Sisters, T.O.R. is a Religious community founded to renew the contemplative dimension of the Franciscan Third Order Regular.

Sister Mary Gemma grew up in a strong Catholic homeschooling family. She went on to attend Franciscan University, Steubenville, where she met many Religious communities and participate in several retreats that deepened her spiritual life.

One such retreat was the “Capture My Heart Retreat.” It was during this retreat that she felt her heart transformed and a deeper longing for Eucharistic adoration. Over time, this deepening spiritual life led her to desire to give her whole life to Jesus in a fuller and complete way.

Seeing the T.O.R. Sisters on campus, she visited the community, and “any hesitation I still had about Religious life just dissolved,” she said. “There was no place more natural for me to be, no place more joyful and genuine that I had ever been.”

She entered the community in 2011.

(For more information about the Franciscan Sisters TOR, visit their web site:

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