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Thursday, October 14, 2021
Starts at 9:00am (Central time)
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Starts at 10:30am (Central time)
God is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
Our beloved Sister Catherine Ann (Kate) Kallhoff, 89, died at 9:00 a.m., on October 8, 2021, in Notre Dame Health Care, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato, Minnesota. She had been in declining health over the last several years, grew steadily weaker in these last few weeks.
The Funeral Mass for Sister Catherine Ann will be held at 10:30 a.m., October 14, 2021, in the Good Counsel Chapel with Father Gene Stenzel as presider. A 9:00 prayer service will precede the funeral. Burial will follow in the Good Counsel cemetery. We extend our sympathy to Sister Kate’s sisters, Genevieve Adelman, Wilma Schreck and Dorothy Adelman, her brothers, Leander, Dean David and Michael, her nieces and nephews and their families, her colleagues and former students, and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and SSND Associates. She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Katherine (Venteicher) Kallhoff, her brothers, Maurice, Alfred, Richard and Robert, and twins Louis and Louise, who died in infancy in 1924.
On March 6, 1932, Paul and Katherine Kallhoff welcomed their sixth and seventh children, twins Leora and Leander, into the family, near Elgin, Nebraska. (Sister Kate commented about her baptism at St. Boniface Church in Elgin: “Without my consent, I was named Leora Catherine.”) Seven more children, including a third set of twins, were added to the family after Leora and Leander. About three years after Leora’s and Leander’s birth, the family moved to their grandfather’s farm near Clearwater, Nebraska, which is where Leora attended elementary school. Horse and buggy was the common means of transportation to school. In 1939, the family moved to a farm near Pipestone, Minnesota, where they remained for five years. Then, because of the advantage of a Catholic school, the family moved to a farm near Madison, Minnesota, where Leora completed her elementary education at St. Michael School, taught by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. In 1946, desiring to extend their Catholic education, Leander attended a Catholic high school in Graceville, Minnesota, and Leora came to Good Counsel Academy in Mankato as a boarder. She loved her years at Good Counsel and, feeling God’s call to a life of service and community, entered the candidature of the School Sisters of Notre Dame following her high school graduation in 1950. Leora spent her first year in the candidature taking college courses in preparation for a teaching ministry. During her second year as a candidate, she taught first at Sacred Heart School in Eden, South Dakota, and then at Sacred Heart School in St. Paul. At her reception into the novitiate in 1952, she was given the name Sister Catherine Ann and was often called “Sister Kate”. Following profession of First Vows in 1953, Sister Kate taught third and fourth grade at All Saints School, Madison Lake. The school was located on the shore of Lake Madison, affording a unique playground setup. Sister Kate wrote in response to an All Saints student, “I have great memories of my teaching days at All Saints. I remember especially the good times I had with students in the classroom, on the playground, and on the frozen lake during the winter.” She remained at All Saints until 1958 and then taught one year at St. Andrew, St. Paul and three years at St. Casimir, Wells. From 1962 through 1964, she taught at Trinity High School in Dickinson, North Dakota. Then, after one year at St. Matthew School, St. Paul, she spent the 1965-66 year at Viterbo College in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where she finished her BA in Home Economics with a minor in English. She later earned an MA in Home Economics from Stout State University in Menomonie, Wisconsin (1969) and an MA in Human Development from St. Mary’s College (later University), Minneapolis Campus (1991). In 1966, Sister Kate moved to New England, North Dakota, where she taught and was later the administrator at St. Mary’s High School. Among her many experiences, she became the legal guardian for one of her students, something that is described in detail in her book, Life Is a Journey of Faith Walking with God. An interest in Native American life and education was also ignited while she ministered in New England. She wrote, “It was here where I first became acquainted with the Native American and their plight. I was located just 120 miles south of a reservation and we had many Native American students in our school. I spent many weekends on the reservation visiting families. Later the tribal council members came to ask my help in upgrading the education system on the Fort Berthold Reservation.” This led to Sister Kate applying to teach in the Bureau of Indian Affairs school system and, in 1969, she was hired as an English and speech teacher in Mandaree, North Dakota. Within a year she was asked to move into administration and was instrumental in changing the school into an independent public school. Many new programs were begun and families became involved in the educational process. She also served in pastoral ministry at the Mandaree parish. Sister Kate continued her ministry in North Dakota as Director and Supervisor of Schools for the Diocese of Bismarck (1975-80); Professor in the education department at Mary College (now University), Bismarck (1980-85); and administrator at Bishop Ryan High School, Minot (1985-86). She initially accepted the position at Mary University because she could teach children’s literature. She commented: “It was also at this time that I began to reach out to a larger area of concern. I became a member of the national group called Women’s Church Convergence. Regionally, I helped organize a workshop for a four-state area on the role of women in the church.” She became the chairperson of the education division and helped develop a new curriculum. She also worked with three others to develop a new language arts curriculum for the state of North Dakota. After a year of free-lance lecturing, Sister Kate participated in a one-year program, the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality at Holy Names College, Oakland, California. From 1988 through 1990, she was Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Crookston. Beginning in 1990 and continuing through 2005, she served as Director of Total Catholic Education for the Diocese of St. Cloud. She described the concept: “Total Catholic education is built on the premise that we need education and faith formation at all stages of our lives, and that specialized educational ministers need to emerge from their niches and reach out to one another in support and collaboration.” Her service in St. Cloud modeled this concept as she promoted Catholic education on all levels. She was a board member for national associations for Catholic Schools (CACE-Chief Administrators of Catholic Education, a subdivision of the National Catholic Education Association) and for catechetical leadership (NCCL-National Conference of Catechetical Leadership). With others in the diocesan office, she helped develop two five-year educational plans for the diocese. Recognized for her leadership role, she was often called on to give talks and workshops on that topic. She used this focus for her presentations: “The ultimate goal of leadership is to effect change which will bring about wholeness that is God-centered.” As an educational leader in the diocese, she truly enjoyed “journeying with staff and constituencies – staff and administrators such as teachers, adult educators and priests.” Her outreach went beyond the diocesan office. With four other SSNDs ministering in St. Cloud, she drafted a proposal to the community’s Fund for Mission to provide college scholarships for four single mothers in St. Cloud. Sister Kate kept in contact with the women on a monthly basis. Sister Kate retired from her position in St. Cloud in 2005 and remained in St. Cloud until 2010. She taught part time at St. John’s University, offered spiritual direction, and worked on writing her book which contained the main ideas from her many presentations. She retired to Good Counsel in 2011, sharing her gifts with her health care community members as she was able. “God is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” Following her Shepherd, Sister Kate helped lead many others to the Divine Sheepfold. May she now experience the eternal joy of living in the presence of her God.