“In every ministry, it’s the people that stand out the most,” S. Kathleen remarks as she reminisces about 50 years working with school-aged children, the elderly, and almost every stage in between. “It’s been a great journey, I’ve loved everything I did,” she says. Her newest role, as Congregational Councillor, is no exception.
Like many of our Sisters, she began her career as a teacher. Her first assignment took her to Renton, WA where she served for three years; the beginning of many years of ministry in the West. S. Kathleen recalls, “I would never have chosen to go out West. I remember being so reluctant. But it turned out to be one of the best things in my entire life. There is a unique spirit among the Sisters and the people, warm and hospitable.”
After teaching for 10 years, S. Kathleen realized she wanted to work with people in a retreat setting. So she moved into vocational awareness and eventually campus ministry. “I found the way students were looking for faith, to make some sort of meaning of their lives, really drew me. I enjoyed being part of that search for a faith that they can be at home with.” In fact, S. Kathleen enjoyed campus ministry for 15 years.
Always valuing the relationships she developed through her ministry, S. Kathleen discovered renewed inspiration when she began working with seniors — first through parish work and then as a Community Leader at the Sisters’ retirement residence in Wellesley Hills, MA. “My ministry with elders will always be the highlight of my life. I have learned so much from them; it has been really a gift. For me, they embody courage and a strong reliance on faith.”
In her current role as Congregational Councillor, S. Kathleen is guided daily by the Chapter Statement focus on hospitality and collaboration. “The Statement opens you up in new ways: hospitality, hearing different views and perspectives. Making home for the new in our lives is a Chapter call to me”. It is her hope that Sisters of Charity are seen as women who exemplify collaboration at all levels. “When we work in collaboration with others, we change and are able to do so much more than we ever could alone.”
This article was featured in our September 2015 edition of Charity Alive. If you would like more information on purchasing a subscription to Charity Alive, please email us at email@example.com