100 years of caring for the world's people

Sister Kathleen Egan to mark a century on March 13

Teacher. Librarian. Author. Friend of Mother Teresa.

Sister Kathleen Egan and Mother TeresaSister Kathleen Egan has played all of those roles during her nearly 100 years, 74 of which have been spent at Mount St. Scholastica. 

Thousands of students will remember her as a teacher, though many will remember her as Sister Janice: She taught speech and drama at Mount St. Scholastica College and Benedictine College from 1948-1971. One of her students was the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Wangari Maathai.

Others will remember her as a lover of books: Sister Kathleen earned a master’s degree in library science from St. John’s University in New York, then was the reference librarian at Benedictine College from 1972-1989.

And still others will know her as an author. With her sister, Eileen Egan, Sister Kathleen wrote “Prayer Times with Mother Teresa: A new Adventure in Prayer Involving Scripture, Mother Teresa and You,” “Blessed Are You: Mother Teresa and the Beatitudes,” and “Suffering Into Joy: What Mother Teresa Teaches about True Joy.”

It was through Eileen, who worked as a peace and justice activist and became Mother Teresa’s biographer, that Sister Kathleen met Mother Teresa. Sister Kathleen helped to bring Mother Teresa to Mount St. Scholastica for a visit in 1980.

A native of Wales, Sister Kathleen came to the United States with her family as a child. She graduated from Cathedral High School in New York City, and studied at Hunter College. It was her work with the poor at New Foundling Hospital in that city that made her aware of the plight of the poor and fueled her lifelong interest in peace and justice.

“Sister Kathleen is a beloved, faithful community member who invited her sisters to care for the poor and fight for justice,” said Sister Anne Shepard, prioress.

In 1965 Sister Kathleen served on various committees in connection with the economic Opportunity Act of 1965, which included the establishment of Head Start.

Also in the 1960s, she initiated the Neighborhood Center that sponsored tutoring and recreational activities for Atchison youth, and was the regional chairwoman for the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa of Calcutta during the 1970s and 1980s.

Sister Kathleen Egan

Help us celebrate!

Sister Kathleen will turn 100 on Friday, March 13, and the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica are inviting her friends, former students and partners in peace to send her greetings to honor the day. Our goal is 100 cards and letters, sent to 801 South 8th St., Atchison, KS 66002.