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Sister Kathleen Fitzgerald

Sister Kathleen is one of 600 Medical Mission Sisters in 17 nations trying to be present to others in the spirit of Jesus the Healer.

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Sister Kathleen graduated from St. Aloysius High School and became a registered nurse at Jersey City Medical Center. She served in the U.S. Army Nurses Corps during World War II, and was stationed in England. After the war, she joined our Community.

Sister Kathleen’s first missionary assignment was for six years at Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, India, where she worked as a nurse and became a registered midwife. She returned to the U.S. in 1955 to serve as our Postulant Mistress, and went on to serve as Novice Mistress in South Shields, England, and in Lipa City, the Philippines.

In 1967, Sister Kathleen began several years of nursing work at Holy Family Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. She was then called back to Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, where she became Directress of the School of Nursing.

After Sister returned to the U.S. in the early 1970s, she continued her education, receiving a B.A. in Health Sciences and Community Health Education from Jersey City State College, a M.S. in Pastoral Counseling from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola College in 1990. During these years, she worked as a clinical instructor at both the Monmouth College School of Nursing in Jersey City, and Brook-dale Community College in Lincroft, N.J.

In 1992, Sister Kathleen co-founded the Anna Center for homeless women in Washington, D.C. She recalls, “It was a privileged and blessed time…we were able to offer respite care for many women who needed a place to stay while they recuperated from illness or surgery.”

From 1995 until late last year, Sister Kathleen cared for hundreds of women in a prison ministry at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup. She used the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI) to “help the women grow in self-understanding and appreciation of their gifts, as well as fostering understanding of others and enhancing communication skills.”

Sister Kathleen celebrated her 60-year jubilee in 2009. She shares, “I am grateful for God’s patient, forgiving and enduring love…and for the opportunity and privileges I have had to serve, to be in the midst of the poor.”

February 15, 2011