Sister Virginia Instructs and Inspires!
This article is from
a publication of Kfoury Keefe Funeral Home in West Roxbury, MA
"If you don't love what you are doing, you aren't going to do a good job," said Sister Virginia Kelleher. If you have ever met with Sister Virginia you know what an accurate description that is of her life's work. Sister Virginia is a shining example of not only dedication, but inspiration. She will renew your faith and have you asking yourself what you can do to make a difference.
Massachusetts native and teacher, Sister Virginia Kelleher is the Director of St. Theresa's Parish Outreach Program.
Sister Virginia was born and raised in Massachusetts. At the age of 17 she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. "I wanted to be a Sister and a teacher from my earliest years," said Sister Virginia. "I had the Sisters of St. Joseph in school at St. Agnes in Arlington, MA and Immaculate Conception in Revere, MA. I thought they were very happy people who loved what they were doing, so when I finished high school, I made plans to enter the convent." Sister Virginia completed her Bachelor's Degree in education in 1957 from Regis College in Weston, MA. She began her teaching career in the 6th grade classroom and continued at the middle school level teaching not only Religion, but also Math, English, Spelling, Social Studies, Science, Music, Art and, at times, French. Her first classroom assignment was at St. Matthew's in Dorchester, MA. She also spent years at St. Mary's in Franklin and St. Joseph's in Lynn. "My life has been a very happy life no matter where I was or what I did."
One of Sister Virginia's favorite passages is a letter St. Paul wrote that speaks about how we plant and water a seed, but it's God that brings about the growth. "All my life I have pictured myself carrying a watering can. It's a symbol to me of planting and watering the seed, where you don't know what's going to happen, like all my years of teaching. It's all flourishing and you don't know it. But it is God that brings about that growth," she said.
Since 2003 Sister Virginia has been a Pastoral Associate at St. Theresa's as well as the director of their Parish Outreach Program. After retiring from St. Theresa's in 2002 the prospect of a Parish Outreach Program was presented to Sister Virginia. "I wanted to do something brand new and go with my gut," she said. The program was launched in 2003. "When I first started I thought I would be living the spiritual works of mercy, but now I am actually carrying out the corporal works of mercy. That's how it works, the body and soul together. I've learned a lot doing this work."