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Sister Kathleen M. (Donall) O’Sullivan, BVM

Sister Kathleen M. (Donall) O’Sullivan, BVM

Sister Kathleen M. (Donall) O’Sullivan, BVM died Wednesday, September 12, 2018, at Caritas Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

Natural Burial Rite of Committal was Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in the Marian Hall Chapel.  Burial was in the Mount Carmel cemetery.  Sharing of Memories will be Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at 10:30 p.m. in the Marian Hall chapel followed by a Memorial Mass.

Sister Kathleen was an elementary teacher in Chicago; Butte and Missoula, Mont.; San Francisco and Kauai, Hawaii, where she also served as principal.  She ministered as a religious education teacher, receptionist, and volunteer hospice coordinator in Butte, Mont., and as coordinator of religious education, parish minister, and volunteer in social justice programs in Missoula, Mont.

She was born on May 13, 1928, in San Francisco, to Daniel and Katherine Murphy O’Sullivan. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1946, from St. Philip Parish, San Francisco. She professed first vows on March 19, 1949, and final vows on Aug 15, 1954.

“Kathleen called her work as an activist the ‘most difficult and most fulfilling.’ . . . ‘Unless you come in contact with someone who is suffering or oppressed, it doesn’t become real for you,’ she commented.  ‘I’ve begun to understand that this is what the Gospel is about.  This what Jesus talked about when he spoke about all those marginalized people, “What you do to them you do to me.”’  One pastor remarked, ‘Her whole journey of faith has been moving in [the] direction of living the Scriptures . . . She has done it wonderful ways.’”

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister Sheila O’Sullivan. She is survived by cousins and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 72 years.

Memorials may be given to Sisters of Charity, BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003 or make an online gift.

   Watch Memorial Mass and Sharing of Memories

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Sr. Kathleen was a good friend and member of our book discussion group for well over 15 years in Missoula MT. Her insights were always insightful and her example was always inspiring. Her dedication to social justice issues made her a role model across the area. A new part of the journey has begun and I wish her well.
    Love you KOS

  2. For nearly 40 years, Sister Kathleen was a special mentor for me. I first met her in 1981 when I was young new college graduate. I had just moved to Butte, Montana, right after the mines shut down. Jobs were scarce, and I was shy. At the time, she juggled multiple roles, one of which was volunteer coordinator for Highlands Hospice. We spent hundreds of hours doing hospice work together. She took me under her wing and led me to many other community activities that helped the poor and vulnerable. Kathleen had Energizer Bunny mojo and a reliable VW bug.

    Social justice ran deep through her veins, which I loved most about her. She was probably the kindest, most compassionate woman I have ever encountered. And she had a great sense of humor that shone through those smiling Irish eyes. The one thing I never did learn from her was selling World Book Encyclopedias despite her inordinate faith in me. For her, she was a natural, although it probably didn’t hurt to say: “Hello, I’m Sister Kathleen O’Sullivan” when knocking on the doors of a heavily populated Catholic community. Few in Butte could say no to her.

    After she left Butte, we kept in touch periodically over the years and it was always like reconnecting with an old friend. I had hoped to see her one more time before she left Missoula, but it was not to be. However, we did share a few emails after her relocation to Dubuque. We earthlings have lost a fun-loving, generous, spiritual soul.

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