In Memoriam

Sister Mary Kathryn (Helen Maureen) Cliatt, OP

Sister Mary Kathryn Cliatt, OP(1935-2023)

My life has been amazingly graced by the excitement of call, the love of community and the fulfillment of mission. It has been blessed beyond anything that I could have imagined or hoped for. I could not ask for more. 

Sister Mary Kathryn Cliatt, known simply by her middle name Sister Kathryn, wrote those words while reflecting on her life’s journey, a journey that began on January 27, 1935, in Miami, Florida. 

Kathryn was the oldest child of James and Thelma (Barfield) Cliatt, with her sister Martha following five years later. Neither James, a police officer, nor Thelma was actively practicing Catholics, but they nonetheless were deeply spiritual, prayerful people, and Kathryn’s own spiritual journey was shaped by them. She wrote in her autobiography that her mother would rise early in the morning to pray before awakening the children, and her father knelt in prayer at his bedside before retiring. 

“When I was five I had my first experience of Divine presence,” she wrote. 

In my bedroom, I sensed the Presence of what, even in my child’s heart, I knew to be Divine. I also understood I could not talk about it, for I had no words to capture the essence of this. This experience was profoundly formative and initiated my lifelong search for intimacy with the Divine. 

Soon thereafter, she began attending Sunday school and church with her friends, which, over time, led her to experience a variety of denominations and, in college, to become a Catholic.

Read more about Sister Kathryn (PDF)


make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

Sister's Memorial Card (PDF)


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Avatar  Don Cameron, Atlanta, Georgia 7 months agoReply

I was a student at Tampa Catholic High School from 1969-1973 and it was there that Sister Mary Kathryn was a competent instructor and Director of Guidance, involved in multi-faceted way to the welfare, well being and and quality of education to students. I was also taught by Sister June Raciot and later learned that she and Sister Mary Kathryn had established a place for low-income housing and health care in the greater Dahlonega, Georgia area, north of where I live, with great courage and despite hostility of anti-Catholic forces in North Georgia. Then later I found out she established a Girl's School in Africa with no less I am sure great courage and fortitude. And in-between all these ministries were continuous things Sister did to contribute to the Kingdom of God and make the world a much better place. As St. Timothy tells us, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." Sister has finished the race. She has earned her award, and I know the angels have led her into paradisium. Well done, good and faithful servant.

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