Sister St. Philip Kiely, CSJ

 As I start to speak, I need to take you back in time. For those who are not aware,in times past Sisters asked permissions for almost everything, and when a sister was not sure of getting the needed permission she assumed the permission and moved ahead. So,fast forward to today. I know that if I had asked Sister Philip for her permission to speak of her and her ministry in Education, I can hear her with her Irish lilt saying,” Oh no Mary please don’t do that!” So, I went back to the good old days and I have assumed her permission.

As a congregation of great love of God, the Sisters believe our loving God is intimately present in all of creation and desires it’s flourishing. Philip committed herself to sharing her spiritual and material resources, to networking and to creating educational opportunities   justice, immigration reform, human trafficking, LGBTQIA biases, gender inequality, climate change and other emerging issues. In this way, she worked toward the transformation of herself, the Congregation and the diverse communities in which she lived.

Sister Philip Kiley, a Sister of St. Joseph. walked among us as a religious educator.  She came to St. Francis Prep from St. Pascal Baylon well over 45 years ago. Sister Philip’s talents were in the business department.

There is a saying in Latin “Ite ad Joseph”, Go to Joseph. St. Joseph was the silent Saint who accomplished more than we will ever know. So too students and faculty and staff went to Sister Philip. She created in her computer room a haven of learning, caring, reaching out and equality for all who entered   West 201.

Since Friday of last week, 300 posts were put on our web site by alumni sharing how their lives were affected by Sister Philip and I received personal stories from faculty and staff that were touched by Sister Philip’s legacy of care, concern and faith.

And so, I share those posts…

Sister Philip arrived early each day; she played her CDS of Irish music. Students recalled being told by her that she or he was her star pupil. She said children have to feel special somewhere because you do not know what their life is when they walk out the door.

If ever you did something for her there was a handwritten note of thanks and a prayer.

Sister Philip never had anything bad to say about anyone, she was the kindest person and her students loved her.

God sent Sister Philip to be a living and breathing model of the Prep’s mission and values. She made ever person she interacted with a better person.

Sister Philip … A living Saint who cared about you and lived out the Franciscan Mission. Thank you for all that you did for St. Francs Prep.

When I visited her room, she would show me what her students were working on- she was so proud of their accomplishments. She and I have both lived through an incredible number of technology changes- we knew what it was like to use a type writer, to do math without a calculator and have lived through the entire history of computer science.

She was my teacher for Business computer applications. Word, Excel, and

Power Point were really enjoyable and insightful.

I took typing with Sister Philip over 40 years ago….she was the kindest, most patient teacher. She made every student feel good about themselves.

It’s amazing how the kindest of souls make the biggest impact.

Sister Philip praised students for doing things on the computer even if the work was simple. Her praise and smile could turn anyone’s day around.

She was the sweetest soul! She believed in everyone’s potential  and was so encouraging towards everyone.

Rest in peace Sister Philip I will never forget you being one of the kindest souls at St. Francis Prep. The memories made and the lessons taught in your computer classes are truly unforgettable. Thank you for everything.

I leave you with a humbling comment from a young man…Sister Philip  the only teacher from prep that actually taught me something I use today. Rest in peace beautiful soul,

As I conclude, I quote one final post:  May we make this world a better place by spreading the kindness and the joy Sister Philip gave to us each day.

Sister Philip a life well lived!
Sister Maryann Napier, CSJ

Sister St. Philip Kiely, CSJ died on April 28, 2022, in the 63rd year of her religious life.

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