In Memory

Sister M. Ina Kenney, IHM

January 24, 1911 – March 3, 2008

Ina Kenney, IHM

Sister M. Ina Kenney, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Monday, March 3, 2008 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on January 24, 1911 in Pittsburgh, PA, and given the name Virginia Anna. She was the daughter of the late Francis Louis and Anne Alphonse Carey Kenney. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 24, 1928, made temporary profession of her vows on April 14, 1931, and final profession of her vows on August 1, 1934.

Sister Ina served ad a music and art teacher at the following schools: St. Mary Elementary School in Patton, PA, from 1931 to 1932; St. Paul Elementary School in Edgewood, RI, from 1932 to 1941; IHM Academy in Coeur d’Alene, ID, from 1941 to 1944; Laurel Hill Academy in Susquehanna, PA, from 1944 to 1948; South Scranton Catholic High School in Scranton, PA, from 1948 to 1950; St. Mary of the Mount High School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1950 to 1959; Cathedral High School in Scranton, PA, from 1959 to 1963; St. Patrick Elementary and High Schools in Scranton, PA, from 1963 to 1967; Little Flower Elementary School in Bethesda, MD, from 1967 to 1971 and 1979 to 1981; Immaculate Heart of Mary School in North Carolina, from 1971 to 1972; St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1972 to 1974; St. Rita Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1974 to 1977; and St. Mary Elementary and High Schools in Manhasset, NY, from 1978 to 1979.

For twenty years Sister Ina served on the faculty of the music department at Marywood College in Scranton PA, teaching music during summer sessions.

Sister also served as an art and occupational therapist at the Marian Convent in Scranton, PA, from 1981 to 2004.

From 2004 until the time of her death, she served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence in, both Scranton PA.

She received a Bachelor of Music degree from Marywood College, and a Master of Music Education degree from De Paul University.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Francis L, Jr.

She is survived by a brother, Edward C. and his wife, Joan of Pikesville, Maryland, a sister-in-law, Eleanore of Missouri, nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Friday, March 7, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Interment will follow at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Thursday, March 6, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:30 p.m.

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.

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Fall 2008 issue

With ninety-seven years of wonderful life, our Sister Ina Kenney was surely a national treasure.

This beautiful, refined, talented and generous person blessed our congregation with her presence for over eighty years. Throughout a long career, she left a wake of beautiful music, amazing arts, encouraging friendships, and a deep, rich, tender love of God. Sister Ina was an exquisite violinist, a master teacher, a person of tremendous creativity. Whatever passed through her hands was always of the finest quality.

Her kindness and sensitivity touched so many of us. She had a tender way of reaching our hearts with her thoughtfulness, and a strong ministry of supporting our work with her prayers. I visited with Sister Ina as she was celebrating her 70th Jubilee. She said: “It’s been a good, good life” with IHM. She showed us in a million ways how to round out our days with beauty. In her retirement she was as active as ever, inviting the sisters to enjoy the arts that would engage and delight them. When her considerable energy began to wane, her mind remained engaged, active, always growing and learning. Even in her latest years, she would read avidly, and pass on the best volumes of things that had interested her. Her spirit percolated with beautiful and gentle life.

Sister Ina was a petite and fragile woman, but with a resilience that continually amazed us. She bounced back from many illnesses and injuries, especially in her later years. She bore it all with such patience and serenity of soul. And how remarkable that with all these challenges, God rounded out her full circle with such a long life.

Sister Ina had prepared for her services; she searched for words that would ingather and reveal the dignity of her precious, long, dedicated life. This is what she left for us – so fitting, and like her, so beautiful:

“May He support us all the day
long, til the shades lengthen and the
evening comes, and the busy world
is hushed and the fever of life is over
and our work is done. Then in his
mercy may he give us a safe lodging
and a holy rest and peace at the last.”
-Cardinal Newman

She leaves us like a haunting melody long remembered.

by Sr. Paula Gallagher, IHM

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