We celebrate the life of Katherine Ann McLaughlin, Kari, a Sister of St. Joseph for seventy one years. Born to Catherine and Charles, Katherine and her sisters, Eleanor, Joan, Mary and Ann grew up in Philadelphia. Many of us know the Brentwood congregation was founded from Philadelphia and when Kari met with a local priest to inquire about religious life, he introduced her to S. Joan de Lourdes.
After high school Kari entered the Brentwood Congregation and taught elementary grades in the Brooklyn Diocese at Holy Name, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Victory, St. Brendan, and St Vincent de Paul. After earning her Bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a Masters in Religious Studies from Providence College, Kari taught Religious Studies at Bishop McDonnell High School, Bishop Kearney Jigh School and Fontbonne Hall.
Adapting to the needs of the time Kari became certified in Educational Computing from Iona College and taught at Our Lady of Angels, St. Anselm and St. Athanasius. She brought those computer skills with her and served our Motherhouse Community using them whenever needed.
As we will hear in the first reading in today’s liturgy from Paul to the Corinthians: Love is many things. Living to foster the mission of congregation, Kari’s spirituality embraced the evolving meaning of love in her own life. Kindness surrounded her in her family. But being kind to anyone who was not a Phillies fan was definitely a learning expierience.
Not brooding over injury is something we have all had to learn in our own lives as well as rejoicing in the truth which we need to express honestly to one another. Paul also associates love with bearing all things and endurance. I had the privilege of a conversation with Kari a few weeks ago where we mused about the mystery of why things happened in life. It was clearly her reflection on the diminishment and suffering she was bearing in her illness. But the gift to me and to all who knew Kari is that, at this time in her life, her question did not bear any fear or anger but a resignation to what was happening and a realization that she was accompanied by God, the source and sustenance of all life and love.
As we come together to celebrate Eucharist we thank Carrie for her faithfulness, dedication and long-suffering. We rejoice that she now shares life fully with all who loved her and, as one who was fed by the Bread of Life, she now has the fullness of life forever.
Sister Katherine McLaughlin, CSJ died on April 13, 2018 in the 71st year of her religious life.