Sister Kathleen Marie Till, CSC

(May 8, 1923 - June 24, 2012)

Word has been received of the death of Sister Kathleen Marie Till, who died at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, 2012, in Queen of Peace Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Sister Kathleen Marie’s love and appreciation of nature stemmed from her early years growing up on the family farm. In recent years she often reminisced fondly about her life there. Her father, a true farmer, had a great respect for the land and Sister Kathleen grew up with that same respect. Anyone who knew her recognized and appreciated her connection with nature and her amazing ability to make things grow.

As she moved from assignment to assignment in her years in ministry, Sister Kathleen Marie, given the opportunity, would bring the beauty of nature to each place by planting a flower garden that she tended with loving care. Because she was shy, she found this quiet time to be nourishment for her spirit.

When Sister Kathleen Marie came to Saint Mary’s in 1985 she began a garden behind the church and guest house. It flourished under her diligence. The flowers that bloomed there were not for picking, but were grown for all to enjoy their aesthetic value. She even transplanted peonies and rosebushes from the family homestead to enhance the beauty of the garden plot.

Sister Kathleen Marie was also well-known as a meticulous and accomplished seamstress. This skill was put to good use when, after 25 years as a teacher in the primary grades, she became what she characterized as an “itinerant” seamstress for the sisters in the convents of the Midwest. She traveled from convent to convent sharing her talent. This ministry was a real gift to those who did not have the time or perhaps the ability to accomplish the tasks that seemed so simple to Sister Kathleen Marie. She continued this service to the local sisters when she returned to Saint Mary’s.

Service to the community was a role Sister Kathleen Marie willingly embraced. Whether as a driver for sisters requiring transportation, directing general maintenance and housekeeping, or providing hospitality for sisters coming to Saint Mary’s for summer programs, she did them all with efficiency. She was serious about her responsibilities and zealous in providing for the needs and comfort of the sisters. Seeing that all of the rooms were correctly assigned and properly furnished was a task she took on every summer for 10 years.

Love of family was a high priority in Sister Kathleen Marie’s life. She gave devoted support to family members in every way possible. When she could no longer go to them, she loved having them come to visit her at Saint Mary’s.

Sister Kathleen Marie’s love of Holy Cross began at age 7 when she informed her second-grade teacher at Sacred Heart Academy in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that she was going to become a sister. True to her word, after graduating from the eighth grade, she entered the juniorate at Saint Mary’s to complete her four years of high school. Then in February 1941, she finally accomplished her goal and entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, where she served with loyalty and perseverance. During her 71 years of dedicated community service, she was always faithful to duty and to the prayer life of the community. This dedication now earns her eternal rest.


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