Sister Kathleen O'Neill; directed home

Sister Kathleen O'Neill
Sister Kathleen O'Neill
Posted: April 07, 2012

Sister Kathleen O'Neill, 84, a former assistant director of a retirement home for Catholic nuns in Rosemont, died Monday, April 2, of heart failure at Delaware County Memorial Hospital.

A significant part of her ministry was spent outside the Philadelphia region, including 10 years in Ghana.

Born in Philadelphia, Sister Kathleen entered the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus in Rosemont in 1945, the year she turned 18, and became known as Mother Mary Agatha. Her religious order founded Rosemont College in 1921.

Sister Kathleen taught from 1948 at St. James School in Philadelphia, then left the region to teach at St. Mary's School in Melrose, Mass., from 1951 to 1954 and at St. Rose School in Portland, Ore., from 1954 to 1961.

Her foreign ministry was at Holy Child Training College in Takoradi, Ghana, where she was vice principal from 1961 to 1966 and principal until 1971.

She returned to Rosemont as assistant director of the retirement home, Holy Child Center, from 1972 to 1974.

Sister Kathleen earned a bachelor's degree at Villanova University and a master's degree at Gonzaga University, and then became a licensed practical nurse.

She worked as a nurse at the Rosemont retirement center from 1975 to 1978 and, until 1993, at the Convent of the Holy Child in Rye, N.Y.

In 1993, she moved to Washington to become director of religious education and coordinator of senior activities at the Church of the Annunciation, for which she received the Archdiocesan Merit Medal in 2002.

Sister Kathleen is survived by a brother, Frank; a sister, Mary Quinn; and several nieces and nephews.

A wake service was set for 4 p.m. Monday, April 9, in the New Sharon Chapel, 1341 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont. There will be a viewing at the chapel at 10 a.m. Tuesday, followed at 11 by a Funeral Mass. Burial is to be in Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken.


Contact Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.

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