Sister Kathryn Margaret Walsh, CSJ
We are all here to celebrate the life of a sister of the neighborhood who spent sixty years of her sixty six years as a Sister of St. Joseph ministering to and with the people here at Transfiguration and she loved each and every one.
Kathryn Margaret Walsh was born in Brooklyn to Kathryn and Paul and grew up in St. Francis of Assisi Parish. She attended Bishop McDonnell High School and upon graduation she entered the congregation. Peggy taught elementary school in St. Brendan’s and St. Patrick’s and came to teach at Transfiguration in 1959.
Joining with other sisters who shared community, they wanted to be part of the wonderful parish community of immigrant families who brought their deep faith and rich traditions. It was always the hope of our sisters to bring out the richness of the cultures in the parish and share the best of the congregation with them. Sisters participated in everything that was going on in the Parish, celebrations and events, and shared new opportunities to attend concerts, the opera and cultural experiences in New York City. It was all about relationships to encourage participation and leadership in the parish. Sisters here today, Babs Barry, Loretta McGrann, Eileen McCann, Miriam Blake and many others shared that vision and sister Marcie companioned Peggy to carry it out. Organizations like YCS were formed to develop leadership, social clubs supported athletics with names from Paul’s Epistles and Parades brought neighboring parishes together. This included the Epiphany Parade where all the participants were bound together, holding a huge rosary with everyone holding a large silver bead to join together as one. Young girls joined together as dancers in the Marionettes and as in all of these experiences each person’s talents were recognized and appreciated as gifts from God.
These bonds grew deeper as Peggy and Marcie supported the formation of Fraternities, small Parish communities that nurtured spirituality and engendered trust in God’s unconditional love. Peggy was always the teacher in the Mother’s Club supporting parenting while nurturing faith. She worked long and hard to refine her Spanish to be able to communicate the gospel message to the people of this parish. The nurturing of faith was the foundation of this parish and Peggy began her important retreat ministry. With the availability of space in Tarrytown, she got people to the country to nourish their souls with John Mulhearn, Brian Kavalis, Lou Maynard and John Brogan. So presence and faith were the backbone of his parish.
All of these experiences helped Peggy realize the needs of people new to our country, immigrants who needed support and guidance to have a secure and meaningful life in a new country. The Southside Mission worked to do that and Peggy was there for the people from 1977 to 2008. As in the reading from Proverbs in today’s liturgy, Peggy reached out her hands and extended her arms to the needy and did whatever needed to be done to help families arriving to a new land.
All of these endeavors were strengthened with prayer and openness to God’s Spirit. The Prayer of Abandonment so dear to Peggy’s heart speaks of this trust and openness to God’s Spirit for she loved her Lord and gave of herself without reserve, with boundless confidence in God’s love.
Today we celebrate Peggy and all of you here today who benefited from her guidance and love. The compassionate bonds are real and tangible, something that each one here is inspired to carry on in Peggy’s name. I think her legacy is clearly stated in a review posted on your Parish web site:
Great place to nurture faith. My home sweet home. This place and its people embrace me when I needed the most.
Peggy, we thank you, we honor you for your faithfulness and dedication to our congregation and to the people of God here at Transfiguration. We promise to live out the lessons we have learned from you and depend on God’s unconditional love in our lives with confidence and hope.
Sister Kathryn Margaret Walsh, CSJ died on March 18, 2019 in the 67th year of her religious life.