In Memory

Sister M. St. Kenneth Polley, IHM

June 21, 1930 – December 19, 2019

St Kenneth Polley, IHM

Sister M. St. Kenneth Polley, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, December 19, 2019, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on June 21, 1930, in Scranton, PA, and given the name Jule Annette. She was the daughter of the late Kenneth and Jule Hughes Polley. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1950, made temporary profession of her vows on August 2, 1953 and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1956.

Sister St. Kenneth served as a teacher at the followings schools: St. Agnes Academy in Washington, NC, from 1953 to 1954; Laurel Hill Academy in Susquehanna, PA, from 1954 to 1958; St. Ann High School in Scranton, PA, from 1958 to 1964; St. Michael’s School for Boys in Hoban Heights, PA, from 1964 to 1965; St. Patrick High School in Olyphant, PA, from 1965 to 1968; Bishop Klonowski High School in Scranton, PA, from 1968 to 1982; and Bishop Hannon High School in Scranton, PA, from 1986 to 1990.

Sister also served as an administrative assistant at Marian Convent in Scranton, PA, from 1990 to 2006, and on the support staff at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA, from 2006 to 2016. She lovingly cared for her aged mother, from 1982 to 1986 in Clarks Summit, PA.

From 2016 until the time of her death, Sister St. Kenneth served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Music degree in music/voice/instrument from Marywood College, and a Master of Music degree in music education from University of Notre Dame.

She is preceded in death by two sisters, Joan Johnson and Janet.

She is survived by a brother, Kenneth of Reading, PA, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Monday, December 23, at 10:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Sunday, December 22, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Monday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

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, Spring 2020 issue

Sister M. St. Kenneth Polley, IHM

Reflection given by Sister Nancy DeCesare, IHM Congregation Councilor, at Sister’s funeral on December 23, 2019:

Welcome! It is good for us to be here to celebrate the life of our dear Sister St. Kenneth, who lived her life in service and love of others.

I think we can all thank God for this wonderful, gentle, loving woman of faith who lived her life as a testimony of how to love.

Anyone who ever met St. Kenneth, knew they were in the presence of a woman of great faith. Her face and gentle spirit radiated God’s loving
presence, and they felt blessed to be with her as they shared their own deeply personal story. Her capacity to listen, provide insights, and her willingness never to judge, brought many a person to her always open door. Even in her final days, St. Kenneth declined the opportunity to limit her visitors because I think she knew that those she had listened to and cared for over many years and those who had cared for her during her time at Our Lady of Peace wanted to say their final good-byes. Even in her last days, everyone was amazed at her gaze of joy and her deep peace.

Her life was a life well-lived, and she never said no to serving the people of God, the God she loved so well. The joy of sharing her gift of music took her to schools as far away as Washington, North Carolina, and as close as Scranton, Pennsylvania, where she offered both grade school and high school students the opportunity to share their love of music with those they loved. Her life has left a lasting impression on those students, and students were among her most recent visitors, including one student who played the guitar and sang to her. She shared with me how she loved that experience.

Sister was a masterful music teacher, but she was also a caregiver. God, in His wisdom, entrusted the lives of members of her family to her for several years, and she gently and lovingly gave of herself to their care. It was during those years that I first had the opportunity to work with St. Kenneth and her dear friend Sister Dolorosa. During the summers, these two sisters traveled to Bushwick Brooklyn, a neighborhood at the time with the highest infant mortality rate in the county. They volunteered their gifts to care for homeless teenage mothers and their babies. I am forever grateful for their love for those children and for me.

During her later life, sister was missioned to our Marian Convent, where she spent sixteen years of her life caring for our most beloved sisters, and from 2006 forward, she ministered as support staff and in prayer ministry here at Our Lady of Peace.

Sister St. Kenneth responded to every need that God sent her way with a one-word answer, YES, and trusted in God in whom she knew that nothing was impossible.

The Book of Wisdom states that “the souls of the just are in the hands of God. Those who trust in God shall understand the truth, and the faithful
shall abide in love.” Indeed Sister St. Kenneth is now abiding in the love of God with her parents Kenneth and Jule and her dear sisters Joan and

For sure, she is enjoying in her renewed friendship with her dear friend, Dollie, our Sister Dolorosa, and all her IHM sisters who have walked before her and who now enjoy the fruits of eternal life.

We thank God for the love, care, warmth, and commitment that were St. Kenneth’s gifts. We can honor her best by striving to live our own lives, believing that nothing is impossible with God and by manifesting to others the virtues of compassion, non-judgment, gentleness, and love.

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