sister kathleen kevin ryan, csj

July 10, 1928 - December 20, 2016

Overflowing with generosity, a great sense of humor, 
and the gift of hospitality

Michael and Mary Elizabeth (Walsh) Ryan of Chicago, Illinois, welcomed twin daughters, Norine and Kathleen, July 10, 1928—numbers eight and nine of their ten children. When they were about three and their younger sister, Patsy just one and a half, their father, a city construction worker, caught pneumonia and died, leaving their mother to raise ten children on her own. “We found out that Mayor Daley was really Santa Claus to us. We found out he did many good things for us.” 

Norine also remembers how good their parish (Nativity of Our Lord) and the sisters were to her mother. Often her mother sent her over to the convent to wash dishes or run errands for them. 
Finishing at Nativity, the twins went to St. Mary’s for a year and then to a commercial school with the Sisters of Mercy. Norine entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on February 11, 1947. She received the habit and the name, Sister Kathleen Kevin, August 15, 1947 and earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Fontbonne College in 1958.
Sister Kathleen Kevin began teaching in St. Louis. She taught primary students at Most Holy Rosary (1949); St. Margaret of Scotland (1951); St. Philip Neri (1952) and St. Rita (1954). She continued teaching primary at St. Mary on the Hill, Augusta, Georgia (1962); St. Joseph/St. Patrick, Hancock, Michigan; St. Viator, Chicago (1970); St. Theresa, Honolulu, Hawaii (1971); St. Peter, Marquette, Michigan (1974) and at Bishop Baraga Central (1976).
In 1977, Sister Kathleen Kevin returned to her home city of Chicago, teaching at St. Bede the Venerable (1977); St. Viator (1978); Nativity of Our Lord (1979); and Bridgeport Catholic Academy (1985-1994). In addition, she added the role of religious education/CCD coordinator at Nativity of Our Lord (1991-1995) and parish ministry, 1993-2003.
Sister Helen Flemington reflects:
Kathleen and I were together at Nativity in Chicago. She was the pre-school teacher with me for many years. What a treasure she was with the little ones whom she loved—they loved her, too. She was a pied-piper. As soon as the children were safely at home, she would dash out her school door to take care of her family and other neighbors. As we know she was always active and serving. I was amazed by her energy and her love for everyone.
Sister Kathleen Kevin answered the call to minister as a hospitality associate at the St. Joseph Provincial House in 2003. Sister Fran Voivedich shares:
I still have very fond memories of her endearing ways when I would visit Carondelet. She was most solicitous in making me feel at home.
Nell Jones (Mrs. John L. Jones), sister of Sister Fran, echoes similar sentiments: 
Sister Kathleen Kevin took great pleasure in showing us all around the motherhouse. My sweet husband, now deceased, was a masterful woodworker and Sister thoroughly enjoyed showing off all the beautiful woodwork of Carondelet ... She was very kind to us every time we visited. Heaven is richer.
Sister Pauline Komrska, who entered with S. Kathleen Kevin on February 11, 1947, writes: 
On the death of one of her family members in Chicago, I found out what an Irish wake can be—joyful, full of faith, at peace besides enjoying some of the best snacks at any gathering … Saying that Kathleen had a heart of gold is an understatement. She was the most generous person that I have ever known.
Sister Kathleen retired to Nazareth Living Center in 2009 to a ministry of prayer and presence.
Helen Oates, CSJ
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