A funeral Mass for Sister Karen Flaherty, DC, was celebrated Jan. 12 at Seton Residence Chapel in Evansville, Indiana. Sister Karen died Jan. 7 at Seton Residence in Evansville. The Daughter of Charity was 84 years old.
Sister Karen was born in St. Edward, Nebraska, on Nov. 19, 1938, and was one of five children of Leo Eugene and Helen (Van Ackeren) Flaherty. She graduated from Cathedral High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1955 and entered the Daughters of Charity in St. Louis in 1958.
After initial formation, Sister Karen was sent to St. Joseph High School in New Orleans, where she served as a counselor, teacher and assistant principal (1961-72). She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Marillac College in St. Louis (1961), a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Xavier University in New Orleans (1968) and a master’s degree in historical theology from Saint Louis University (1974). She also received an honorary doctorate in humane services from Our Lady of the Holy Cross College in New Orleans (2001).
Sister Karen served as vocation director for the Marillac Provincialate in St. Louis (1972-78), as a teacher and counselor at St. Vincent High School in Perryville (1978-83), a co-director of Learning Clubs in Sallisaw, Oklahoma (1983-88), a member of the pastoral ministry team in Prescott, Arkansas (1988-89) and a guidance counselor at Reicher Catholic High School (1989-91).
She was executive director of Learning Clubs and the William Cobb Education Club in Waco, Texas (1989-94), coordinator of outreach endeavors at St. Anthony Hospital in Amarillo, Texas (1994-96), coordinator of Vincentian ministries in New Orleans (1996-2002), parish worker at Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) V Project in Lake Providence, Louisiana (2002-09), family literacy coordinator at Rendu Services in Dunbar, Pennsylvania (2009-11) and as a missionary at Christ the King Parish and St. Kizitos Parish in Kitale, Kenya (2011-17).
Sister Karen also volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Evansville, Indiana (2017-20), before coming to Seton Residence to serve in a ministry of prayer.
Burial took place in St. Joseph Cemetery.