Sister Kathleen (Mary Janice) Egan, OSB
March 13, 1915 – August 24, 2017
Sister Kathleen (Mary Janice) Egan, OSB, 102, a Benedictine sister of Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kans., died Thursday, August 24, 2017, at the monastery. The vigil service will be Sunday, 27 Aug, at 7 p.m. in the monastery chapel, and the Mass of Resurrection will be Monday, August 28 at 10:30 in the monastery chapel.
Sister Kathleen was born in the United Kingdom, to Jeremiah and Mary Agnes Ahern-O’Sullivan Egan on March 13, 1915. The family moved to New York in 1927. After four years as a social worker in New York City, she entered the Mount community in 1941. She served over 50 years at Mount St. Scholastica College, which became Benedictine College, as a professor of speech and drama and later college librarian. She retired from Benedictine College as professor emerita in 1971, and in 1980, received the Offeramus Award, an honor bestowed by the college on an outstanding alumna.
She and her sister Eileen were friends of St. Teresa of Calcutta; together they wrote three books about her. A friend also of Dorothy Day, Sister Kathleen started several initiatives for the poor of Atchison and beyond. She belonged to professional associations and peace organizations and was a charter member of the American Benedictine Academy. She affirmed the gifts of others and was able to draw out gifts they did not believe they had. Among her students was Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Her polite gentle approach was tenacious and persistent in matters of peacemaking and of justice for the poor.
Sister Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, by her brothers James and Brother John Mark, F.C.F., and her sister Eileen Egan. She is survived by her sister Mabel Gil, Albany, N.Y., brother Jerome Egan, New York, N.Y., nieces and nephews, and her monastic family. Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home (www.beckerdyer.com) is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be sent to Mount St. Scholastica or made online at the Mount’s web site (www.mountosb.org).
Reflection by Sister Maria Larkin | August 27
We wish the fullness of Shalom to the members of Sister Kathleen Egan and sister Mary Benet Obear’s families and to their many friends. We give a special welcome to Carol Burns and Michael Obear, Niece and nephew of Sister Mary Benet, who have joined us this evening. We, Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, will greatly miss Sisters Mary Benet and Kathleen, but we have joy that they are with our resurrected Lord.
On this eve of the Feast of St. Augustine we recall his insight: “A Christian should be an Alleluia from head to foot.” Sisters Kathleen and Mary Benet Greatly resonated joy and Alleluia from head to foot. They opened wide the door of hospitality to welcome with great peace and love all with whom they journeyed. They so radiated love and peace that they became model peacemakers.
As foretold in Isaiah, the source of peace would send his people a Prince of Peace. This evening Jesus the Prince of Peace is present with us on this Mount. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messengers of peace.” We hear again: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
With joy, we receive the peace offered to us as Jesus leads us to the Father and the Holy Spirit. In this Trinity, we find the perfect model of peace and love. Jesus told his disciples on the eve before his crucifixion: “those who love me and will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to love them and make our home with them…I have said these things to you while am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
Contemplation of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection lead us to deepen our love, of God and each other. He, the Prince of Peace, died that we may share in the perfect peace of the Father, Son, and Spirit now and forever.
Shalom was promised to God’s people by the prophets of the Old Testament. We are reminded by Psalm 29 of one of the prayers asking for peace: “May the Lord give strength to his people; may the Lord bless his people with peace.”
St. Benedict, in the Holy Rule, explored ways that people can live in peace with one another and with God.
Father Bernard Haring reminds us that Christian life is essentially the living of the Beatitudes. “In the Beatitudes, Jesus speaks directly to us. If we listen to his voice, we become Mature, loving, compassionate followers of Christ. We are called sons and Daughters of God if we accept the gift of peace with such gratitude that it becomes our mission in life to be channels of the messianic peace for others.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the Beatitudes are “at the heart of Jesus’s preaching…They depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his Charity. They Express the vocation of the faithful associated with the Glory of his Passion and Resurrection; they shed light on the actions and attitudes characteristic of the Christian life; they are the paradoxical promises that sustain hope in the midst of tribulations….”
Sisters Kathleen Egan and Mary Benet radiated their vision of Christ, the mainspring of their lives and they followed him with great fidelity. They understood that the wisdom teaching of Jesus is a challenge to the continued in the words and works of disciples for all time.
The Beatitudes teach us the final end to which God calls us, entrance into the Trinitarian life. May Sisters Kathleen and Mary Benet know the fullness of Shalom and be resting in the Joy of God’s Glory.