Mary Kathleen Groh, SHCJ
July 21, 1924 – March 29, 2020
Teacher and Retirement Community Aid
Rosemont, Pennsylvania – Kathleen Groh, SHCJ, who was a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 75 years, died at Holy Child Center in Rosemont. She was 95.
“Sister Kathleen was the kindest and gentlest person I have ever known, all wrapped with a sense of humor.”
Sister Kathleen grew up on a fox farm on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. Together with her four siblings, she learned many practical skills, including mastering the art of sewing. After graduating from Holy Child Academy in Portland, where she had come to love the Holy Child Sisters, she entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in 1944. She made her final vows in 1951 and became well known by her religious name Mother Mary Kathleen.
Despite her fears of teaching, Sister Kathleen decided to trust in God and embarked on a four-day trip east to begin her career as an educator. After a bumpy start to teaching, Sister Kathleen found herself at Assumption School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1947-1955). She enjoyed the small class sizes and happily taught for eight years. In 1955, she returned to Portland and was missioned to teach in Portland – first at Saint Rose School (1955-1956) and then Saint Rita School (1956-1970).
In 1973, Sister Kathleen discovered a new ministry at Mt. St. Joseph’s Retirement Home in Portland, where she served in many roles, including as an aide to the occupational therapist. In the meantime, her creativity and sewing skills flourished as she produced a variety of items from huggable stuffed animals to smocked baptismal robes. She lived and served in the Portland area for more than 30 years.
In 1987, Sister Kathleen moved to the Holy Child Sisters’ community in Rye, New York. She continued her sewing projects both for the community and School of the Holy Child and was gracious in welcoming and caring to all who visited. In 2013, she moved to Holy Child Center in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where she shared her many gifts with the Sisters and local ministries.
Maureen Duffy, SHCJ, shared that Sister Kathleen “was the kindest and gentlest person I have ever known, all wrapped with a sense of humor. She was a very talented seamstress and craftsperson. She had incredible attention to detail and was very creative.”
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Marylhurst University in Marylhurst, Oregon, in 1959.
Sister Kathleen joins her parents Albert and Marie (Schmitz) and siblings Edward, Robert, Rosemary (Groh) Normile, and Florence (Groh) Larson. She is survived by nieces Jeanette Groh, Jan Groh, Kathy Larson, Shari Moser, Terry Millard, Lori Nelson, Janet Larson, and great grand nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus – American Province, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, PA 19010, or make a gift online at www.shcj.org/american/donate.
Due to the Corona Virus pandemic, burial will be private. A Memorial Mass will be scheduled at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sr. Mary Kathleen Groh, S.H.C.J., please visit our floral store.
Society of Holy Child Jesus - American Province
1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont PA 19010