A Fond Farewell to Sister Kathleen

 
 
 
 
Kathleen Klarich grew up in St. Helena’s parish and attended Cardinal Dougherty High School moving on to Temple University. She began her teaching career at Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls in 1972, in the Business Education department. 
 
The impact of working among the rich mix of Religious women who had dedicated their lives to the service of Little Flower's students, along with her own strong devotion to St. Thérèse and her 'Little Way', led her to discern a religious vocation of her own. In 1982 she left Little Flower to join the religious community of the Sisters of Mercy.
 
She was called back to service to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at John W. Hallahan High School, where she served as a Business Education teacher and Dean of Students from 1985 to 1995. She returned to Little Flower in 1995 as Principal, where she has served in that capacity since, and she will retire as Little Flower’s longest serving principal.
 
 
 
 If St. Thérèse's manner is described as 'the Little Way', Sr. Kathleen's would be described as ‘the Gentle Way'. She is the gentle smile that greets each student and staff member as they come in each day. She is the calming presence in professional meetings, leading the call to worship at liturgy, or greeting guests. She is the bridge of reason, seeking restorative justice for those students and staff who need counsel when they’ve followed the wrong decision path. She is the soul of Little Flower, always reminding everyone that no matter how long you stay at Little Flower, you were meant to be there.
 
This borrows from her abiding devotion to St. Thérèse, who said, “May there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.” Sr. Kathleen was meant to be at Little Flower.
 
Some years ago, Sr. Kathleen was diagnosed with an illness and had planned to retire at that time. Not wanting her to leave, the building administrative team asked that she just use the time she needed to recuperate, restore and heal, and all shared in assuming her duties until she was ready to return. She went on to serve several more years at Little Flower until her retirement this year.
 
Like our 2020 Senior Class, this is not the way we would have wanted Sr. Kathleen’s tenure at Little Flower to end, amidst a global pandemic and a city boiling over in racial disharmony. We know the day will come, hopefully in the not too distant future, where there will be opportunities to celebrate in a signature Little Flower way, and to pay honor to her service and love of Little Flower. It has been a blessing to have worked with her and to learn what it means to surrender into your faith and to allow the Holy Spirit to work through you to do the work that is needed on behalf of Little Flower’s students. Her gentle spirit, her kindness, her sense of humor, and her unflagging belief in the possibilities open to us with St. Thérèse by our side will carry Little Flower into its next finest hour.