Kathryn Connolly, SSJ, formerly Sister Jane Catherine, 89, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, died on Thursday, January 31, 2013. She was in the 61st year of her religious life. Born in Corry, Pennsylvania on March 28, 1923, the daughter of the late Daniel and Emma Smith Connolly, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Joseph Parish, Erie, on August 30, 1952 and professed her final vows on August 15, 1957. She celebrated her 50th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph in 2002. Sister received her high school diploma from Mercyhurst Seminary in 1941 and a bachelor's degree in social work/education from Mercyhurst College in 1945. After graduation, she was employed as a social worker at Family and Child Services for seven years before entering the Sisters of St. Joseph. Additionally, she completed a year of study at Boston College's School of Social Work from1957-58. Early in her religious life, Sister Kathryn taught at Blessed Sacrament School, St. Peter Cathedral Grade School and St. Andrew School, all in Erie. In 1955, she began a career in social work that spanned more than 50 years. She spent 14 years as Director of Social Work at Saint Vincent Hospital and she served five years in counseling and adoption services with Catholic Social Services (now Catholic Charities). Most of her career in social work was spent at St. Mary's Home of Erie from 1974 until 2008. She later served as a part-time activity aide at Saint Mary's Home of Erie. Sister Kathryn loved to travel, read, and participate in church activities. One of her favorite pastimes was knitting for her many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death her brother, John and his wife Shirley and sister, Margaret Jane Connolly. She is survived by her brother, Daniel and his wife, Patricia; and three sisters, Mary Pierce, Dorothy Connolly, and Elizabeth Schultz Miller and her husband, Paul. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and great-great-nieces and nephews. She is also survived by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Friends may call at the Villa Maria Community Living Center, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, on Sunday from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. when a prayer service will be held. Calling hours will continue on Monday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 4:30 p.m. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Community Support Fund of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, PA 16506-1249. The Francis V. Kloecker Funeral Home, Inc., 2502 Sassafras St. is handling arrangements. Send condolences to www.kloeckerfuneralhome.com
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Feb. 2, 2013