Sister Katherine (Kay) Byrne


Sister Katherine (Kay) Byrne

Sister Katherine Byrne, M.M.

Current Ministry Location-Maryknoll Sisters Center

Sister Kay, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, entered Maryknoll in 1952. She earned a BS in nursing from the College of Mount St. Vincent in New York City and was a staff nurse at New York Hospital in New York City before she entered Maryknoll.

Sister Kay went to Sri Lanka (which was known as Ceylon at the time) in 1956.  She joined other Sisters at a public hospital. The country was going through changes, and when the government changed, the Sisters’ visas were cancelled. Sister Kay moved to Hong Kong, where she worked in educational and medical ministries for seventeen years.

Sister Kay earned an MA in mental health nursing from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1973. She was then appointed Director of Congregational Health Services at Maryknoll, a position she held for three years.

Sister Kay’s right arm had to be amputated in the early eighties because of cancer. This did not stop her from mission work: she moved to the Holy Land and taught nursing at Bethlehem University in Israel.

In 1987, Sister Kay moved to Hawaii, where she coordinated an interfaith caregiver program on Oahu and later worked with the homeless in Hilo.

In 1993, Sister Kay moved to Waterbury, Connecticut, where she did pastoral care in St. Mary’s Hospital.  She moved to the Maryknoll Retirement Center in Monrovia, California, in 1998, to become the center’s coordinator.

Sister Kay is an active member of our Chi-Rho community in Maryknoll, New York, where she teaches English as a second language to a student from a nearby college.

Return to Sisters Archive