In Memory

Sister M. Espiritu Kennedy, IHM

June 4, 1894 – January 3, 1920

Sister M. Espiritu Kennedy, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, January 3, 1920 in Spokane, Washington.

She was born on June 4, 1894 in Rib Lake, Taylor County, Wisconsin, and given the name Catherine A. She was the daughter of the late Daniel B. and Mary Teresa McDonald Kennedy. She was a graduate of the IHM Academy in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 9, 1910, received the religious habit on August 2, 1911, and made profession of her vows on August 2, 1913.

Sister Espiritu served as a teacher at St. Joseph Elementary School in Spokane, WA.

In addition to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Kennedy, she is also survived by a brother, John Alexander, and three sisters, Dolores, Mary Fowler, and Frances M. Dunmire, and cousins.

The funeral mass will be held at St. Thomas Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and interment will follow in the Kennedy family plot at St. Thomas Cemetery, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

“The next mission opened in the West was that of Saint Joseph’s Parish, Spokane, Washington. Father De Kanter, the pastor, had built a convent and parochial school combined, a substantial three story brick structure with white stone trimmings. A band of Sisters was sent there during the summer of 1905 and the school was opened on September 8th. Sister M. Loyola was appointed superior. With her were associated Sister M. Anselm, Sister M. Catherina, Sister M. Luigi and Sister M. Mechtilde.

This mission later was to be sanctified by the death of Sister M. Espiritu Kennedy. Sister M. Espiritu was one of the first fruits of the western mission, having been before her entrance into the novitiate a pupil of the Immaculate Heart Academy, Coeur d’Alene. After her profession her health began to decline. It was thought that her native air might benefit her and Sister Espiritu was sent to Saint Joseph’s, Spokane. The change benefitted her greatly and there was every reason to hope that her health would be completely restored. She was suddenly taken ill, however, in January, 1920, and only lived a short time after receiving the last Sacraments. Sister M. Espiritu was a young religious of bright promise and was greatly loved for her generosity of soul. It was hoped until the end of her life that she would one day return to the harvests in the East, where, as in the West, the laborers are all too few.”

Excerpted from The Sisters of the I.H.M.: The Story of The Founding of The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Their Work In The Scranton Diocese by Sister M. Immaculata Gillespie, IHM, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, NY, 1921, pp. 315, 316

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