We celebrate the life of a women of deep faith, loyalty, action, and courage, an educator, S. Kathleen Sullivan, a Sister of St. Joseph for sixty-seven years.
Born in Queens to Mary and Timothy, Kathleen attended St. Sebastian’s elementary school and Bryant High School. Soon after graduation, Kathleen entered our congregation and taught young children in a number of parish schools throughout Brooklyn and Queens.
Kathleen earned a Bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a Master’s from Brooklyn College with graduate study at Fordham University. In 1970, Kathleen taught first grade at St. Francis Xavier and in 1974 she became principal, serving the families of this parish and St. Augustine’s until 2011 when she was as a volunteer continuing her ministry to this neighborhood.
Over those forty plus years Kathleen saw many changes and with her energy and determination, worked tirelessly to support parents and children to develop their potential and deepen their faith. She accompanied families in their joys and in their struggles, always present to encourage, challenge and provide for their needs.
Kathleen loved our congregation and served on many committees and participated in Chapter and Assemblies helping to set direction for our sisters. She loved our vacation and retreat house in Hampton Bays and always had ideas on how to make things better. She sugar coated tasks with an endless supply of World’s Finest Chocolate.
Nothing was impossible and Kathleen lived out the tradition of a daughter of Joseph. Supported over many years by her sisters in community, Margaret, Helene, Rosemarie, Dolores and Clare, Kathleen epitomized the Portrait of a Sister of St. Joseph:
Eyes open, ears attentive and spirit alert
never settled down, always searching in order to understand,
to divine what God and the dear neighbor await from her today.
Kathleen’s faith and trust in God enabled her to exude joy and enthusiasm as she met whatever need came before her. In these final days, Kathleen struggled but with her faith and trust in God said to me one day, “I have always done whatever God asked of me.”
Kathleen, yes, you have done all that God has asked of you and you have left the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph in this neighborhood, revealing God’s healing, reconciling love to all who knew you. May you now enjoy eternal peace knowing that we are deeply grateful to you, we have learned a great deal from you and we will never forget you.
Sister Kathleen Sullivan, CSJ died on July 31, 2017 in the 67th year of her religious life.