Dominican Sister of Peace Paschala (Leone Margaret) Noonan, OP (102), a native of Quincy, MA, died on Jan. 30, 2021, at Sansbury Care Center, St. Catharine, Kentucky.
One of two siblings, Sister Paschala was born in 1918 to Helen Gene Gurney and Leo Noonan. She entered in religious life in St. Catherine, KY, in 1935. She ministered as a consecrated religious Sister for 83 years.
A true Dominican in her love of study and service, Sr. Paschala earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy/English/History from DePaul University in Chicago. She used this knowledge to excel as an elementary school teacher in Illinois and Nebraska.
Feeling called to enter a medical ministry, Sr. Paschala traveled to Dominican-founded St. Rose School of Nursing in Great Bend to earn her RN. She went on to earn a Certificate in Gerontology from University of Massachusetts (Boston, MA); and a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from the Diocese of Brooklyn (Brooklyn, NY).
She worked with the National Catholic Conference of Bishops as a liaison for health care, was the Director for Catholic Charities in Brooklyn, and directed the Office of Elder Affairs for the Archdiocese of Boston. She taught at the Congregation’s St. Catherine College, and served her Congregation as a member of the General Council.
Sister Paschala loved history and spent one summer on an archaeological dig in the Holy Land. She studied journalism at Creighton University in Nebraska, and these skills supplemented her medical experience to become a correspondent for the American Journal of Nursing in New York, Mexico, California, Nigeria, and Puerto Rico. She was a writer and researcher for the USCCB and wrote The Church’s Responsibility for the Elderly. In 1997, she published Signadou, a history of the Congregation’s foundation in Kentucky and later wrote the companion book The Beautiful Circle of Friends (La Bella Brigata).
Sr. Paschala entered a ministry of prayer and service at Sansbury Care Center in Sr. Catherine, KY, in 2008. She is survived by several nieces and nephews and her Dominican Sisters.
Sr. Paschala was interred in a private graveside service on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. A memorial mass will be held at a later date at Sansbury Care Center, St. Catharine, KY.
To view and download a PDF of Sr. Paschala’s memorial, please click here.