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‘It is marvelous.’ A look back on Sister Kathleen Marie Cronin

Sister Kathleen Marie Cronin

Not long ago, a friend of the Sisters of Providence on Facebook offered many suggestions for the regular Throwback Thursday blog.

Kevin Ridge asked that we research information through the sisters’ vast amount of Archives about these sisters. Well, Kevin, here is another one of your requests.

Sister Kathleen Marie Cronin was born Mary Irene Cronin, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on Dec. 6, 1916, to William F. and Marie A. Healy Cronin. She was the family’s oldest child.

She entered the Congregation on Sept. 10, 1936.

Sister Kathleen Marie earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and received a master’s degree in guidance counseling from Providence College in Rhode Island.

Sister Kathleen Marie ministered mostly as a teacher at the elementary or junior high level in schools in Maryland, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire and California. From 1951-54, she ministered as the Principal at Sacred Heart in Evansville.

Sister Kathleen Marie also ministered at the Providence Center Gift Shop. Her final ministry, prayer, began in 1997.

Sister Kathleen Marie Cronin

In her commentary for the funeral of Sister Kathleen Marie Cronin, Sister Carolyn Glynn referenced the many times she heard Sister Kathleen Marie use the phrase, “it is marvelous,” hence the title of this blog.

But it was Sister Kathleen Marie’s final ministry while in California that Sister Carolyn wrote about that was particularly interesting.

After finishing her ministry as a teacher in California, Sister Kathleen Marie began her “ministry to strangers.” Sister Carolyn wrote that Sister Kathleen Marie would just start walking down the streets where she lived at the time and talk to strangers.

“People love someone to listen, just to listen,” Sister Kathleen Marie would say of this ministry.

Sister Carolyn also stated that at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council – which modernized the Catholic Church – Sister Kathleen Marie was “free as a bird, a very colorful one at that.”

“All of her charm, innate graciousness, sense of the ridiculous and love of people became the hallmark of her evolving ministry,” Sister Carolyn wrote.

Sister Kathleen Marie died Jan. 3, 2004, at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She was a Sister of Providence for 67 years. ‪#‎throwbackthursday ‪#‎tbt

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

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1 Comment

  1. Cynthia MacWhorter on March 23, 2017 at 10:03 am

    I taught with Sister Kathleen Marie at St. Matthew’s grade school in Indpls. In 1960-61, I think. (I might be off by a year!) At the time I was taking instructions to become Catholic. Sister was very instrumental in my being baptized. We shared playground duty, and as we froze, we talked! She was an amazing woman much loved and respected by her students and all of the families. I am honored to have known her and to have been her friend.

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