Dear Kathleen

Dear Kathleen,

You have been gone for ten years. February 19 was a Tuesday in 2008. That afternoon your breathing stopped quietly, simply, almost unnoticed. You had gone home, as you had joyfully anticipated from the time of your stroke four months earlier. You had joined your Spouse, your parents, your beloved Madre Angela.

Together below the statue of St. Angela in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome

I still miss you. When we were starting this new Company in the USA, we conferred constantly by phone and in visits between Cincinnati and San Francisco. Your astute insight and your humor were invaluable. Your prayer was deep and scriptural. Your faith was solid. No wonder your gifts in counseling and spiritual direction left such a deep impression in retreat centers in Montana and Juvenile Services in San Francisco! Do you hear me calling on you now, when I face a challenge or prepare for a formation conversation with one of our new members?

Yes, new members! You did not live to see our expansion, but maybe you hear me complaining to you about how gradual it is. In your last weeks, we used to joke that you would be in charge of our heavenly “recruitment desk.”

Consecration, January 27, 2008

We were still new members of the Company of Canada when you made your consecration during Mass in your living room on the feast of St. Angela. It was the last time you were up and dressed. Each evening thereafter, we drew on our shared Irish heritage with a Celtic night prayer. It ended with a pause to recall the day‘s reasons for gratitude. “What are you grateful for today?” I would ask.

“Everything,” you said, literally on your deathbed. “Everything!”

In your many-layered legacy to our Group of the USA, the richest treasure may be your spirit of gratitude.

Thank you, Kathleen, for “everything”!

Love from your sister in Christ,

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