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Remembering Sister Kathleen “Kate” McDonald, CSJ

 St. Paul Province

June 7, 1929 – January 23, 2024

Kate McDonald, CSJ

Sister Kathleen “Kate” McDonald, CSJ died peacefully at Carondelet Village in St. Paul, on January 23, 2024. This gentle yet strong and insightful promoter of goodness and peace, who brought so much joy and happiness wherever she went, was born in Watertown, MN, on June 7, 1929, to Kenneth and Margaret (Burns) McDonald.

Kate entered the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1951 and was first missioned to serve at St. Mary’s Hospital in Minneapolis where she worked for 17 years in admitting. She then went on to serve five years at the Minneapolis Catholic Welfare Association, later called “The Branch,” serving the poorest ones in the community by providing food and clothing, resources for services, and a listening, caring heart. From there, Kate spent more than 30 years teaching as an aide to children at St. Luke in St. Paul and St. Stephen in Minneapolis, as well as teaching English as a second language to adults at The Vineyard in St. Paul, and Learning in Style in Minneapolis.

Through it all, Kate was ardently, deeply and faithfully committed to peace and nonviolence. She brought this ideal to her teaching, and parents praised her for helping students reconcile differences and work for a world without war. Along with many Sisters of St. Joseph including her three familial sisters Rita, Brigid and Jane, Kate was a constant presence at peace protests that sometimes led to her arrest. ate had this to say of these times (with tender wrists from tight handcuffs), “Sometimes the suffering cuts deep. There is no end to what we must speak out against. This work is not comfortable. You have to pay a price for justice and go to jail if necessary.” Kate’s love of people, of justice, of making music, and her generous spirit will be truly missed by all who knew her.

Kate is preceded in death by her parents; her sisters Margaret Mary Borer, Dorothy Vidlund, and Rita McDonald, CSJ; her brothers Ewan, Patrick, Edward, Kenneth and Phillip McDonald. She is survived by sisters Brigid McDonald, CSJ, and Jane McDonald, CSJ; many cousins, nieces and nephews; grand and great-grandnieces and nephews; dear friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates.

A celebration of life will take place on Monday, February 12, at 11:00 a.m., in Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, 1884 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, with burial following at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights. Memorials preferred to the Sisters of St. Joseph Ministries Foundation.

Dear Kate, rest in love and peace.

Category: Obituaries

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The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.


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