Dominican Sister of Peace Pauletta (Lucille) Kelly, (96), died on All Saints Day, November 1, 2019, at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY. Born in 1922 in Greeley, Nebraska to Lucille Welsh and Thomas Francis Kelly, Sr. Pauletta grew up in the community of her eight siblings, and entered the Community at St. Catharine, KY, in 1943. She took her final vows in 1948, and served God’s people as a Dominican Sister of Peace for nearly 75 years.
Sister Pauletta earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education and English from Siena College (Memphis, TN) in 1959 and her Masters’ in Education and English from Spalding College (Louisville, KY) in 1990. She also participated in the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, NE. Her belief that her “first need is to study what is happening in renewal of religious life and then to look into new possibilities for the apostolate” also led to her participate in the Better World Movement program in Rome.
Sister Pauletta ministered as a teacher, principal and librarian for thirty years in Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska and West Virginia. In true Dominican fashion, she responded to the needs of the times by changing the focus of her ministry, working in the Medical Records Department at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Lincoln, NE, as Director of Staff Development at Mary Immaculate Hospital in Lebanon, KY, and, later, at Sansbury. After returning to the field of education in Nebraska for several years, Sister Pauletta moved to Saint Catharine Motherhouse and offered her many gifts and talents to the Sisters in community service. She moved to Sansbury in 2012, where she began a ministry of prayer and presence.
“Just as Jesus was a nurturer and community builder, I found Sr. Pauletta the same way both times I lived with her,” said Sr. Charlene Vogel, in her reflection at Sr. Pauletta’s funeral. “She loved working with the earth, and her green thumb with flowers always showed results.
Sr. Pauletta is survived by one sister, Patricia Kittridge, and several nieces and nephews.
A Vigil of Remembrance was held at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel on November 6. The Mass of Christian Burial was held on November 7 at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Sr. Pauletta was buried in the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Pauletta’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219.
To download a printable version of this memorial, please click here.