St. Vincent’s Recognizes Sisters of Mercy for Contributions to School

| August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

Celebration in Honor of 50 Years of Service

St. Vincent de Paul Parish was established in 1910 and in 1950 St. Vincent de Paul School was founded. Initially, The Dominican Sisters provided much needed support for the school but they were transferred in 1969. Monsignor Peter Mimnagh, the pastor at the time, invited a group of sisters from the Religious Sisters of Mercy from Ireland to staff the school. Over the next 35 years, new instructional and enrichment programs were added to the school day, staff increased to meet the growing number of students, and an extended care program was established. All of the development was made possible through the nurturing support from the Sisters of Mercy.

Sister Ursula Doherty served as principal of the school from 1969 to 1974 and again from 1986-2008.

In 1983, Sister Kathleen Walsh came to St. Vincent de Paul School from Ireland to work as a first grade teacher. At that time, Sister Doherty was serving as principal. When Sr. Ursula retired from her service as principal in 2008, Sr. Kathleen took the helm as the leader of the school.

During Sr. Kathleen’s tenure of 11 years she implemented the school-wide use of technology including Promethean interactive white boards to help present material in multi-dimensional methods. She also oversaw a tremendous expansion in afterschool enrichment activities like chess and drama as well as watched the sports program grow stronger.

Under the Sisters of Mercy’s leadership for the past 50 years experienced and committed teachers have implemented the school’s robust curriculum that strengthens Catholic identity while integrating the knowledge and skills acquired in the religion program with other subject areas that include science, art, and music.

The Sisters of Mercy have been responsible for ensuring the academic and spiritual growth of thousands of students. Additionally, they have instilled a family-based community at the school that has created strong bonds amongst the students and their families. During their tenure, students have been able to successfully engage in learning experiences, coupled with practicing appreciation and respect for the diversity of all people and cultures, and provide opportunities for spiritual growth.

Sr. Mary Gallagher was the manager of Spiritual Care for over 17 years at Scripps Mercy Hospital. She was responsible for spiritual needs of the patients. She was also a strong supporter of St Vincent’s School and frequently attended school and parish events.

Sr. Kathleen can be credited with working in partnership with parents to teach children to be life-long learners, good decision makers, as well as knowledgeable and responsible citizens. Sr. Kathleen recently accepted a leadership position with the Regional Team of the Sisters of Mercy.

Please join the St. Vincent’s community as they gather to give thanks to the Sisters of Mercy for their longtime service and dedication to St. Vincent’s School and Parish. A mass in their honor will be held on Sunday, September 15 at 10:30 a.m. Following the mass there will be a celebration luncheon at 12:30 p.m. at Admiral Kidd Club. Tickets are $75. For more information, email Tiffany Heon at

“I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Sister Kathleen for spending 38 years of her life in service to St. Vincent de Paul School. We appreciate her countless contributions to our school said Father Alex DePaulis, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish. “We thank God for blessing us with the Sisters of Mercy for the past 50 years. They have made an incredible impact on our community.”

In the heart of Mission Hills, St. Vincent de Paul School is a Catholic, co-educational, school with a family based community. Since 1949, St. Vincent’s has been providing a high quality education in a small school environment while building good character and instilling Catholic values. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, St. Vincent’s serves children from Preschool through Eighth Grade. For more information, please visit or call (619) 296-2222.

Sister Ursula (left) and Sister Kathleen (right) share a celebratory moment with a graduating student of St. Vincent de Paul School.

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