Out of the thousands of young women who have arrived at the Motherhouse over the decades intending to become Adrian Dominican Sisters, only one is known to have done so hiding on the floor of a car: Kathleen Donnelly.
As she related the story in her autobiography, she was sixteen years old when Mother Gerald Barry visited Florida, where the Donnelly family lived, and Mother Gerald brought her back on the train with her. A man met the train at the station in Toledo, Ohio, to drive Mother Gerald to the Motherhouse, and when they got there
I was told by Mother Gerald to hide on the floor as she had not told anyone I was coming. Many sisters and postulants and novices were waiting outside for her when she arrived. After they departed I was told to get out of the car. Mother Gerald had told no one that she was bringing a new postulant with her and wanted to surprise the Sisters, especially Sr. Mary Philip (Ryan).
Kathleen Donnelly was born October 7, 1921, in West Palm Beach, Florida. Her father, Charles Henry Donnelly, was a professional baseball player for several teams and became an umpire when his playing days were over. When he was hurt during a ballgame in Toledo, he was taken to the hospital where he met a young, pretty nurse named Kathleen O’Hare. The two ended up eloping, and when Charles was sent by his ball club to find a winter practice facility and chose West Palm Beach, the couple settled there.
Read more about Sister Kathleen (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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