Sister Kathleen Cecelia Leary died at Saint Joseph Villa on June 7, 2022. Her funeral liturgy followed on June 13, 2022. Formerly known as Sister Michael Daniel, Sister Kate resided at the Villa in a spirit of prayer and presence.
The youngest of ten children of Daniel and Jennifer Leary, Sister Kate attended St. Michael School in Chester, PA. Her mother’s prayers were answered when, many years later, Kathleen became a Sister of Saint Joseph.
Kate said proudly that in her 32 years of teaching, she taught every grade, 1st through 12th, mostly in Pennsylvania. In 1985, she was invited to be the first woman religious as full-time staff member of The Catholic Standard & Times, Philadelphia’s archdiocesan newspaper. Sister Kate noted that she enjoyed meetng ordinary people who were trying to live their faith in an extraordinary way.” After ten years in this role, she accepted the position of Coordinator for Vocations to Religious Life for the Archdiocee of Philadelphia, planning programs, visiting schools, and encouraging young people to discern God’s call.
Kate felt very blessed to experience love, friendship and support throughout her nearly 70 years. Having grown up in a large family, Kate found her adjustment to religious life relatively easy. A favorite practice was kneeling at her bedside for morning and night prayers. She loved a practice learned years earlier of meeting her mother by the window and saying a good-night. She felt united with each of her siblings as she prayed for them.
Clearly her own person, Sister Kate Leary shared that she always tried to have an “attitude of gratitude” toward God, her family and the community. A generous person herself, Kate loved the famous, “My soul rejoices…”, the Magnificat, the ultimate prayer of thanksgiving.
Kate is now joined with her loved ones forever!