Sister Eileen Kinnarney, Daughter of Charity, age 98, died at St. Louise House, Albany New York on December 28, 2020. Sister Eileen (Eileen Jane) was born in June 1922 in Framingham, Massachusetts to Margaret A. (Garvin) and Hubert P. Kinnarney, and grew up in Ashland, Massachusetts with her brother and two sisters. After high school Sister Eileen studied nursing at Carney Hospital, Boston, and took care of patients at Natick Hospital, Natick, Massachusetts. At 29 she entered the Daughters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Nursing in all its aspects remained the love of her life.
Sister Eileen was well prepared for hospital ministry. She received a B.S. from St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg, Maryland; an M.S. in psychiatric nursing from The Catholic University, Washington, D.C., an M.S. in public health nursing from the University of Michigan; and an honorary doctorate from Niagara University.
Sister spent 55 years in a variety of positions striving to improve quality in health care delivery. Among her roles were nursing, supervision, administration of departments, CEO, board member, board chair, and finally as a certified chaplain in St. Mary’s Hospital, Troy, New York.
Sister Eileen’s service in health care took her to Washington, D.C; Baltimore, Maryland; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Southfield, Michigan; Waterville, Maine; and Buffalo and Rochester, New York. For several months in 1980, Sister responded to an emergency in the camps for displaced persons on the Cambodian border with Thailand where she helped to care for 150,000 refugees who were suffering from malaria, dysentery, typhoid, and malnutrition.
Sister was also called upon for special services to the Daughters of Charity in her own Province. Because of these, it took Sister a while to resume her nursing career for she was the Assistant Novice Director for five years, she was the Local Community Superior in five different mission houses, and she served on the Provincial Council and as the Provincial Assistant from 1972 to 1981. Sister also enjoyed guiding individual Sisters in their annual retreats.
Her prayer life, love of Scripture, sense of humor and kindness were noteworthy.
Failing health brought her to St. Louise House in 2007, but she continued her pastoral ministry at St. Mary’s Hospital two mornings a week.
Sister is survived by her brother-in-law, Lawrence Geoghegan; and her nieces, Eileen Geoghegan and Eileen Warren; many nieces and nephews, all from Massachusetts; and her Sisters in Community. She was predeceased by her two sisters, Virginia Sibson and Kathleen Geoghegan, and her brother, Joseph.
A private wake service and funeral Mass was held at St. Louise House in Albany on January 4, 2021; internment followed at St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, New York.