Visionary Mercy Sister, 76, dies

A funeral Mass for Religious Sister of Mercy Katherine Nueslein was offered Oct. 18 at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Baltimore.

She died Oct. 14at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium on Oct. 14. She was 76.

Sister Katherine was known for her work in education, outreach to the poor, and for those with special needs and substance addictions.

Affectionately known as “Kitty,” she professed her first vows in 1954. As Sister Mary George, her first name in religious life, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Mount St. Agnes College in Baltimore. She later earned a master’s in special education from Loyola University Maryland.

She taught primary grades in Montgomery County, Washington and Baltimore. Her ministry later shifted toward social needs in Georgia and Alabama.

After previously serving at St. Peter’s, Sister Katherine returned in 1978, along with Sister Kenneth McGuire, to continue the work of the Christian Life Center there. St. Peter the Apostle closed in 2008 and became come part of Transfiguration Catholic Community.

Their work flourished and they were soon joined by other Mercy Sisters who assisted in the development of various neighborhood services. On July 19, 1982, her 49th birthday, Sister Katherine initiated the St. Peter’s Adult Learning Center with the assistance of a grant from Catholic Charities.

Six special needs individuals first benefited from the new ministry, which later received full funding through the Developmental Disabilities Administration of Maryland.

By its 25th anniversary, the Adult Learning Center numbered 60 participants and staff. Sister Katherine also initiated Southwest Visions, a program to renovate nearby houses, and the Hezekiah Movement, for those suffering from addictions and other diseases.

In 1989, Sister Katherine visited war-torn El Salvador and was deeply touched by the poverty and deep faith of the people. She returned to the United States determined to establish a Sisters of Mercy relationship with Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Calle Real.

In 1991, six Sisters of Mercy and several Mercy Associates from the Baltimore Regional Community of Mercy visited Calle Real to formalize the relationship between the parish and the sisters.

Sister Katherine made annual visits to the area, each time taking a delegation to support the mission.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.