Sister Kathleen Cecelia Leary, S.S.J. (formerly Sister Michael Daniel), age 88, died June 7 at St. Joseph Villa, Flourtown.
The daughter of the late Daniel and Jenny (Cauley) Leary, she attended St. Michael Grade School in Chester and Notre Dame High School in Moylan, Delaware County.
Sister Kathleen ministered in the dioceses of Charlotte and Harrisburg, the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where she served for many years.
She taught in various grade schools in the archdiocese then moved on to service for some two decades at Archbishop Prendergast High School for Girls, Little Flower High School and St. Hubert High School.
Following those positions she began the work for which she become well known throughout the archdiocese when she joined the staff of The Catholic Standard and Times, former newspaper of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, in 1985.
Over 11 years “Sister Kate” served as an assistant editor, youth editor and feature writer, telling the inspiring stories of hundreds of local Catholics.
She remained on staff until 1996 when she served as archdiocesan coordinator for vocations to religious life until 2011.
In that year Sister Kathleen marked her 60th in religious life, and in an interview told her former colleague Lou Baldwin of the CS&T that, “I’m absolutely optimistic there are so many good young people out there. I encourage them to consider the church. We need them.”
Whatever vocation they discern, but especially that of religious life, she gave sage advice: “Work as if everything depends on you, and pray as if everything depends on God. Live life, every golden minute of it, and love life, every God-given second of it,” Sister Kathleen said.
Sister Kathleen’s funeral Mass was celebrated Monday, June 13 at St. Joseph Villa.
She was predeceased by her parents and siblings James, John, William, Edward, Daniel, Mary, Rita and Margaret. She is survived by her sister Jane Czerski and by nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews, as well as members of her congregation, the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Donations may be made in Sister Kathleen’s name to Saint Joseph Villa, 110 W. Wissahickon Ave., Flourtown, PA 19031.
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