Sister Kathleen Anne Loughlin, CSJ

Sister Kathleen Anne Loughlin, CSJ died on February 24, 2023 in the 55th year of her religious life.

Kathy was a Sister of St. Joseph for 55 years, and she lived those years in deep faith, great love, and total commitment to the God who had called her by her name, and who has now called her home.

In a special way I welcome Kathy’s dearest friend, Sister Mary Lou Buser, with whom she lived for more than 40 years.  Kathy and Mary Lou were a real team and together they enjoyed travelling…to Vermont and other more exotic places.  They encouraged each other to explore new fields and pursue new initiatives, whether it was adult learning, IT, or the garden ministry.  They shared many things, especially their love of their doggies, of which they had many over the years

Kathleen Ann Loughlin was the eldest of three daughters born to William and Catherine Loughin.  Kathy attended Bishop McDonnel High School and St. Joseph’s College for Women before entering the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1967.  Her early years in the Congregation were spent teaching in elementary and high school but, after earning two Master’s degrees, one in English, the other in Adult Learning, and then her doctorate in Adult Learning from Teachers College at Columbia University, Kathy taught in the Adult Education program at St. Joseph’s College for a number of years.  I can attest that her creativity and openness to new modalities of teaching made her not just a very effective teacher but also a valued colleague.  She was generous in sharing the most recent research and techniques and the program benefited greatly from her leadership.  I am sure that there are many of her former students, the majority of them immigrant women of color, who are now in administrative and leadership roles in hospitals and nursing homes because Kathy taught them to read and write effectively, thus opening up doors to a successful career for them.  She was a brilliant teacher!

Kathy also taught at Teachers College at Columbia, and during that time she developed expertise in technology, which she put to very good use on behalf of the Congregation.  She served as co-editor of FOCUS, our in-house journal, she introduced email to the Congregation…I honestly don’t know whether to thank or blame her for that!…and she helped many sisters adapt to the great new world of IT.  In these, and other ways, Kathy shared the many gifts and talents with which she had been richly blessed, and we were the grateful beneficiaries.  Kathy also had many wonderful friendship outside the Congregation, and I am happy to introduce Ann Cregan Drew, her good friend for many years, to share some memories.


Kathy and I have been very good and loyal friends to each other for the past 55 years. Our friendship began the very night we entered. As you know, In the Convent dining room we were seated by seniority so Kathy and I, being at the older end of the party, were seated diagonally opposite each other. Seated to Kathy’s right was Nikki Fried. I guess from want of anything else to say, Kathy turned to Nikki and asked, “So why did you enter?” Nikki looked at her disbelievingly and said, “It’s none of your business!”  Well, being the mature table that we were, no one reacted. Everyone just put their head down except Kathy and me. Both of us looked at each other, didn’t visibly react, but our eyes were laughing hysterically. I am happy to say that soon after that we became very good friends with Nikki and also Helen Hanley and Helen Kearney. The five of us had all finished college and, frankly, they didn’t know what to do with us so we bonded over cleaning other people’s homes and weighing babies at a nearby clinic. One benefit of this arrangement was that we were able to sneak cigarettes. I want to be clear that neither of the Helens participated in this rule breaking. However, Kathy, Nikki and I were always glad to get off the Motherhouse grounds.

The spirit of our initial encounter that night in the Convent dining room has lasted until now. We frequently had very serious discussions punctuated by lots of fun and enjoyment. One of the best things we loved to do was have a yearly, yes, yearly Jubilee trip to the Hamptons with Joanne Forker in case we didn’t make it to our 25th Jubilee. Kathy and Joanne did make it. I did not.

I can speak from experience that Kathy was always loyal to her friends. I knew I could tell her anything, and I did, and she never betrayed my confidence.

Kathy has a long list of people who will forever miss her, not the least being Mary Lou Buser. Mary Lou has shown Kathy compassion, understanding, forbearance and generosity over the many years of their friendship. Her life has been forever impacted by Kathy’s passing.

We all share in the very deep sorrow of Kathy’s sisters, Anne and Eileen. They loved each other deeply, as only sisters can. Anne and Eileen will miss Kathy’s presence in their lives but will recall the love and concern they always showed each other since their childhood in Woodhaven when Kathy would always refer to them as her “little sisters”.

Kathy’s friends are also experiencing a great loss. I pray that each of you will find the support you need, not only in the sorrow of this moment, but in the remembrance of the joyful and meaningful times you spent with her.

Kathy’s life at St. Joseph College, always referred to as “THE College”, defined her life very significantly. Her studies and experience there set her on a demanding intellectual path that resulted in her lifelong curiosity and master of many disciplines and skills, including a doctorate from Columbia.

One of Kathy’s little known contributions to my life was turning me into a “dog person”. One afternoon, about ten years ago, I stopped by Kathy’s house to have lunch with her on my way home from Montauk. She was fostering a lovely dog named PT along with her own dog, Celine. I went home with that dog and my life has never been the same.

Kathy, in closing, let me just say that you lived your life with a profound sense of spirituality and purpose and determination to not let the negative stuff prevail. I and so many others will never forget you and the impact you have had on our lives. I promise you that you will continue to be an unseen presence at the lunches I will continue to share with Mary Lou and Helen Hanley.

With all my heart, Kathy, I wish you peace and the absolutely overwhelming love of God for all eternity.



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