Sister Mary  Leahy


Sister Mary Leahy died on April 30, 2019, in Mother Theodore Hall, St. Mary-of-the-Woods. She was born on January 25, 1935, in Chicago, to Patrick and Sheila Keating Leahy and was baptized Mary Ann.
Sister Mary entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence on January 7, 1952, and received the name Sister Marie Anita. She professed Final Vows August 15, 1959. She earned a bachelor's degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and master's degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, St. Mary's University, Winona, Minn., and Rosary College. Of her 67 years as a Sister of Providence, she ministered in elementary and secondary schools for 25 years in Indiana and Illinois. Having earned an MBA, she moved into development work, first at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Rolling Meadows, Ill., and then at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, at the National Catholic Educational Association and at Georgetown University. In 1997 she was named director of the National Religious Retirement Office, an office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that coordinates fund raising for the retirement of members of all religious congregations. In 2000, she retired but continued work as a development consultant as well as serving in her local parish in Bradenton, Fla. She returned to the motherhouse in 2018 where she committed herself totally to the ministry of prayer.
Sister Mary was a diligent worker, totally committed to whatever ministry she was given. This commitment, along with a sincere interest in others, made her successful in all her endeavors.
Sister is survived by two sisters, Sheila Ruskauff of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and Margaret Frederick of Libertyville, Ill. She is preceded in death by a brother, John Leahy. The wake is in the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Friday, May 17, beginning at 9 a.m., with the commentary at 11 a.m. The mass of Christian burial, with the Reverend Daniel R. Hopcus presiding, will immediately follow the commentary. Burial is in the cemetery of the Sisters of Providence. DeBaun Funeral Homes and Crematory assisted with arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence, 1 Sisters of Providence, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876.
Published on May 14, 2019
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