“What I treasure most is the people from other cultures who have become my friends, realizing that in Jesus we are one.”
A native of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Sister Kathryn Shannon entered Maryknoll in 1945 and, after earning her B.E. at Maryknoll Teachers College in 1951, embarked on her first mission assignment to Hawaii, where she taught fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. During these six years of loving ministry, Sister also studied for her M.E. at the University of Hawaii.
Sister Kathryn then spent one term teaching fifth grade in the Bronx before being assigned to Tanzania. There she lived and served for the next ten years, first tutoring in Tabora Teacher Training College and later teaching college history, engaging in pastoral work and primary evangelization, and studying Swahili.
In 1978, Sister Kathryn offered three years of Congregational Service in the Maryknoll Center’s Development Department. On her return to Tanzania shortly thereafter, she immersed herself again in primary evangelization and pastoral work. In 1982, however, Sister was assigned to a new African region, Zimbabwe, where, after studying Shona, she continued her pastoral work and taught secondary classes to ex-freedom fighters. Sister Kathryn also served through significant community development until her return to the Center in 1991.
On arriving back in New York, Sister did three years of Justice and Peace work while contributing Congregational Service in the Hospitality Department. She then spent five years in South Sudan, teaching, catechizing, and working in Biblical translation before retiring to Monrovia in 1999.
Sister Kathryn has remained active in both the Maryknoll Sisters community and the Los Angeles area since her retirement, engaging in various Justice and Peace projects with the same dedication that has characterized her throughout her life.