Mary Kathleen Sheehan, SCN

Posted by Spalding Hurst

January 7, 2022

Mary “Kathleen” Sheehan, SCN, 89, (formerly Sister Mary Aurelia) was born in Brockton, Massachusetts on April 10, 1932. She died Jan. 7, 2022, at Nazareth Home in Louisville, Kentucky. She was a professed Sister of Charity of Nazareth for 67 years.

Sister Kathleen’s earliest ministries were in education as a teacher for several grade schools. She taught fourth grade at St. Margaret in Lowell, Massachusetts, and at St. Raphael in Hyde Park, Massachusetts. From 1958-1966 she taught second grade at St. Pius X in Louisville. She also taught first grade at St. Brigid in South Boston, Massachusetts.

In the late 1960s, Sister Kathleen began her ministry in social work and activism. She first focused on educational social work, and later on housing inequalities. She spoke out regularly against unfair housing policies and worked closely with City Hall and the Housing Court in Louisville. She got into “good trouble.” In 1986, Sister Kathleen led a group of volunteers to open the first day shelter for the homeless in Louisville, St. John Center. She would head St. John’s Center until her retirement in 2008.

She is survived by her sisters, Margaret Cohen of North Easton, Massachusetts; Eileen Cifizzari of Brockton, and Claire McWade of Plymouth Massachusetts; by her extended family, and by her religious community, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

The Wake was Thursday, January 13, 2022, at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Nazareth, Kentucky. The Funeral Mass was Friday, January 14, 2022, at St. Vincent de Paul Church followed by burial in the Nazareth Cemetery. Funeral Arrangements were handled by Ratterman Funeral Home, 3800 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY. Memorials may be sent to the SCN Office of Mission Advancement, P.O. Box 9, Nazareth, KY, 40048.



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