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Sister Kathryn (Loretta Michael) McNulty

Sister Kathryn McNulty

“Sister Kathryn was always concerned for ‘small people,’ especially the underdog, people who were otherwise forgotten.”

“We are here this morning to remember and celebrate the life of our dear sister and friend, Sister Kathryn McNulty. Her friends, sisters she lived with, and band members have described Sister Kathryn as kind, thoughtful and considerate, often intrepid despite poor health, gracious and pleasant, a people person,” said Sister Margaret Quinlan in her commentary for Sister Kathryn McNulty, who died Feb. 13.

Kathryn Loretta McNulty was born May 26, 1933, in Detroit, to James and Loretta (Gilhooley) McNulty. She had two brothers, both of whom are deceased. She attended St. Ignatius Grade School, Chicago, and secondary school at Marywood, Evanston, Ill. Entering the Congregation July 22, 1955, she received the religious name Sister Loretta Michael. She professed first and perpetual vows Jan. 23, 1958, and 1963, respectively. Sister Kathryn earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in elementary education from the National College of Education.

Sister Kathryn began teaching in 1959 at St. Benedict, Terre Haute, Ind. The rest of her teaching ministry was spent in Illinois at Our Lady of Mercy, St. Andrew and St. Angela, Chicago; and St. Francis Xavier, Wilmette.

“In 1996 Sister Kathryn was granted funds from the Ministry Fund to develop an educational program at Providence Family Services in Chicago for people who would not qualify for other programs for various reasons. She was considered a good match for the ministry, calling people who had not showed up and showing interest in families,” said Sister Margaret.

“Because of her degree in home economics, Sister Kathryn had more talent in that area than most us. One of the sisters who lived with her mentioned that while the rest of us may be able to cook or sew something as simple as a skirt, Sister Kathryn would make a gourmet meal or sew top of the line, more classy things than the rest of us could,” continued Sister Margaret.

“Sister Kathryn was always thinking of a reason for a party. Sometimes she would simply say, ‘It’s such a blah week, so I brought cookies today,’” shared Sister Margaret.

“Sister Patty Fillenwarth said that though she did not speak Spanish, she spoke the language of the heart. Her work with the children as a volunteer at Children’s Hospital showed her concern, literally, for small people. When she spoke of that ministry, her eyes softened,” said Sister Margaret.

“Sister Kathryn was not afraid to attack difficult tasks. And she enjoyed making life homey and comfortable for others. She liked to plan a good time for others. Even after she returned to the Woods, residing in Lourdes, she often helped plan get-togethers for celebrations with sisters on the fourth floor. She was definitely a people person. As one friend said, she was welcoming, no matter how lousy she felt!” continued Sister Margaret.

“Sister Kathryn loved her family, as her pictures of nieces and nephews in her room attest,” said Sister Margaret.

“Several friends mentioned Sister Kathryn’s sense of humor, her clever, dry wit. Even last Thursday evening, her teasing about going shopping at Tuscola, Ill., fooled us into thinking she was going to rally. But alas, she did not rally, but left us early Saturday morning. Now we leave her in the hands of our loving Savior. Sister Kathryn, we will miss you. Thank you for your gracious friendship and your talent for making cookies, especially on blah days,” concluded Sister Margaret.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Kathryn was celebrated Feb. 19, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding.

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