Sister Mary Camilla Kennedy, MM, missioner-educator to Hawaii and the Marshall Islands, died on Dec. 14 at the Maryknoll Sisters Home Care, Maryknoll, N.Y. She was 88 years old and celebrated 70 years as a Maryknoll Sister this year.
Born in Syracuse, on June 20, 1926, to Matthew P. Kennedy and Irene Deschamps Kennedy, Sister Camilla was one of seven children.
Following graduation from St. Patrick’s High School in 1944, Sister Camilla entered the Maryknoll congregation at its motherhouse in Maryknoll, N.Y., on September 6, 1944, from St. Patrick’s Parish, Syracuse, and made her final vows on March 7, 1950.
A 1980 graduate of St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., where she earned her doctorate in philosophy, Sister Camilla also held an M.A. in theology from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, and a bachelor’s degree in education from Mary Rogers College, Maryknoll, N.Y.
Sister Camilla was sent to the Marshall Islands in 1950, where she taught Grades 3-8 in Likiep until 1955. She was then sent to Hawaii, where she taught third grade at Maryknoll Elementary School until 1958. She then returned to the Marshall Islands, teaching seventh and eighth grade in Majuro until 1964.
Sister Camilla was named assistant novice mistress of the congregation’s novitiate in Valley Park, Mo., in 1964 and then Director of the Orientation Program until 1976 also in St. Louis. Returning to the Center at Maryknoll in 1977, Sister Camilla was appointed the Center Coordinator and then elected a member of the Center Council until 1982. Sister Camilla also served as the Maryknoll Center’s Due Process Moderator from 1985 to 1993.
Following completion of her doctorate dissertation in 1982, a book published entitled To the Uttermost Parts of the Earth, Sister Camilla served simultaneously as Ongoing Education Director and Renewal Coordinator for the congregation. She was appointed Coordinator of Mission Research in 1994, a position she held until 1999. She then worked as the congregation’s consultant for Canon Law from 1999-2004, officially retiring in 2006.
Sister Camilla is survived by two brothers, Rev. Laurence Kennedy and Rev. James B. Kennedy, and a sister, Mrs. Ralph (Helen) Lorenzini, all of Syracuse, N.Y.
A vespers service was held for Sister Camilla on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, N.Y. Interment followed at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery at the Center.