Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Sister Mary Kathleen!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! My Great-Great Aunt Sister Mary Kathleen (Bridget Mullen) was a Roman Catholic Nun. Her life story is very inspiring. Born in the Townland of Pollaturick Co. Galway, Ireland in 1888 she migrated to Chicago Illinois around the turn of the twentieth century. Firmly committed to her calling as a Nun she she talked a resistant church official into allowing her to join inspite of apprehensions about her age. I guess they thought 23 was told old to join that order? She worked at various Catholic Boarding Schools during her long career with the Church. She lived to a very old age, dying at the age of 103!! She received a letter from the Pope when she turned 100.
The first mention of the maiden name of my Great-Grandmother Ellen (Helen) Mullen-Mason's mother was in an unexpected place, her sister's eulogy. I had never heard of the name before and thought it didn't sound Irish. I thought maybe someone got the name wrong? I did some research and found it is indeed Irish. It's a variant of the surname Hoban common around Irish Town Co. Mayo, Ireland. Here is a link to my website with more info about the surname

Funeral Reflection
Sister Mary Kathleen Mullen
October 17, 1991

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood."
"For 103 years Sister Mary Kathleen Mullen searched the reflection in the mirror and added to the vast store of knowledge her years had accumulated. Today we celebrate because at last that dim reflection is fully revealed and her knowledge is complete.
Mary Kathleen Mullen was born in County Galway, Ireland on February 1, 1888, just two months after Mary Frances Clarke died. The BVMs motherhouse was still St. Joseph's on the Prairie and Mt. Carmel was only a dream.
The year Kathleen was born there were only 440 sisters in the Congregation. They did their reading and sewing by kerosene lamps, they pumped their water from the well, and they traveled by horse and buggy.
Kathleen's parents Mary Huvane and Patrick Mullen baptized her Bridget, and Bridget's crossing from Ireland to the United States was very similar to that of Mary Frances Clarke's and the early founders. Bridget entered the BVMs on March 19, 1911 from St. Ita's Parish, Chicago and received the name Kathleen."

"For Kathleen's parents, Patrick and Mary Huvane; her brothers and sisters Ellen, Michael, Thomas and Winnifred; her nieces and nephews who preceded her in death, that they all be reunited."

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