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Remembering Sister Kathryn McNulty

Sister Kathryn McNulty

Editors note: Do you have an idea for Flashback Friday? Email Jason Moon at jmoon@spsmw.org.

Recently, Kathleen Boshold contacted us asking if we could cook up a Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday blog on the life of Sister Kathryn McNulty, formerly Sister Loretta Michael.

“She was my seventh and eighth grade teacher as Sister Loretta Michael and remained a friend of mine all her life,” Kathleen said. “I’d love to hear about some of her background …”

This week, we’ve decided to take a look at the life of Sister Kathryn McNulty.

Sister Kathryn was born Kathryn Loretta McNulty on May 26, 1933, in Detroit to James Michael and Loretta Gilhooley McNulty. While she was born in Detroit, her family moved to Chicago where Sister Kathryn spent most of her life.

She graduated from Marywood High School in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods with a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics and earned a master’s degree in education from the National College of Education in Evanston.

Sister Kathryn entered the Congregation on July 22, 1955, two months after graduating from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and professed first and final vows on January 23, 1958 and 1963, respectively.

She began her teaching ministry at St. Benedict School in Terre Haute in 1959 before moving on to Our Lady of Mercy in 1962 in Chicago. In 1967, she taught at St. Andrew in Chicago and in 1970, she taught at St. Francis Xavier in Wilmette, Illinois.

An undated photo of a young Sister Kathryn McNulty

In 1976, Sister Kathryn began a 20-year ministry at St. Angela’s in Chicago, where she taught seventh and eighth grade Religion and English. She stayed there until 1995 before beginning a ministry as a teacher at Providence Family Services in Chicago. She came home to the Woods in 2007.

In her commentary for Sister Kathryn’s obituary, Sister Margaret Quinlan wrote that “She was definitely a people person … She was welcoming, no matter how lousy she felt.”

Sister Margaret added that Sister Kathryn loved to shop and travel with friends, describing a trip with three other sisters to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago.

Sister Margaret said Sister Suzanne Dailey told her that during the parade, the four Sisters found themselves in the middle of a protest that almost turned into a riot. The sisters were separated, but re-grouped a few blocks away in front of a bank that was in the process of being robbed.

Sister Kathryn died on February 13, 2010. She was 76 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 54 years.

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Jason Moon

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. Avatar Gloria Memering, SP on August 24, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Thanks much for all the wonderful pictures, especially for featuring Sr. Kathryn McNulty.
    So many good memories!

  2. Avatar Kathleen Boshold on August 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you so much for the flashback of Sister Kathryn McNulty. I never saw a picture of her prior to her entering the Sisters of Providence. Beautiful !

    Do you have any background on Sister Agnes Celine ? That was the only name I knew her by. She was my piano teacher at Our Lady of mercy in Chicago back in the late 50’s and early 60’s. She prepared myself and 2 of my older brothers for the love of music. We were allowed to leave class once a week for a lesson at the convent. I remember it being the way of my classroom teacher teaching me to tell time. I had to be able to know on my own the correct time to go for my piano lesson. I couldn’t be late. No digital clocks back then.

  3. Avatar Lynn OLinski on September 6, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    id love a flashback on Sr Amy Donohue who was at Guerin ’72 and Sr Kathy Martin who was at Marywood in Evanston in ’69

  4. Avatar Joanne Murphy on October 22, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    How I’d love to see a flashback about Sister Joseph Eleanor Ryan.

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