Sr. Therese Kearney, IHM

May 20, 1927 ~ October 10, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Sr. Therese Kearney, IHM Obituary

Monroe, MI-- Sister Therese Kearney, IHM, 96, died Monday, Oct.10, at home, the IHM Senior Living Community.

Parents Kelwin and Anita (Spicer) Kearney welcomed daughter Marguerite Therese to their family in Detroit, Michigan on May 20, 1927. Her parents were raised and married in Ontario Canada. In Michigan, the family belonged to St. Cecelia parish, and later St. Scholastica. As a child, Marguerite attended Cooke, a Detroit Public School and graduated from Redford High School. She studied at the University of Detroit and the Detroit Institute of Musical Art, accumulating three years of undergraduate credits.

In 1948, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and received the religious name, Sister James Marie. The completion of her bachelor’s degree at Marygrove College in Music was quite appropriate for a young woman from St. Cecelia gaining recognition as a teacher of piano.  

Early ministry began at Hall of the Divine Child, Monroe, St. Agnes, Gesu and Epiphany, Detroit, and St. Anne in Warren. In late 1950s, she was missioned to St. Felicitas, Chicago, and St. Monica, Mobile, Alabama. Classes related to all facets of Music and Voice emerged as an area of expertise, and students eagerly met the challenge set by Sister James Marie. In her personal chronicles she noted the achievements of her musical and choral students in working together and the special occasions they accompanied.

Five years at Immaculata High School gave insight to teen students and bringing out the best of their skills and talents. Sister Therese took a year of respite at the Monastery of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Liguori, Missouri, and returned to new work in Parish Music Ministry. Over twenty years, she served as Parish Music Director, Music Educator and Parish Organist, and as coordinator, director of Applied Music and Learning Resources. This was by way of many locations: Sacred Heart, St. Kevin, St. Sabina (Dearborn), St. Cecelia and St. Thomas (Detroit), the Detroit Board of Education, Urban Revitalization, Inc. St. Anthony Academy, Mack Educational Services, and St. Gerald parish, Farmington. In addition, she gave private music lessons and served as a liturgist in local parishes. She was very committed to Detroit and its neighbors, often teaching and working with the homeless in the same day. Sparing a few out of state assignments, Sister Therese resided in the Detroit area for most of her life and remained independent. Only recently did she transition to the IHM Motherhouse when health concerns became predominant. She often remarked that she still needed to be with the people she served in Detroit.

Sister Therese was preceded in death by her sister Anita Lorraine Kearney Hicks and brother Anthony K. Kearney. She will be remembered by her IHM sisters in community.

A Remembering and Memorial Liturgy will be held Thursday, October 25 at the IHM Motherhouse Chapel, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, beginning at 10 a.m. Livestreaming begins at 10 a.m. and may be viewed until Oct. 28, 2023. Green Burial has already taken place. Arrangements by Rupp Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, MI 48162.

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Memorial Mass
October 25, 2023

10:00 AM
IHM Motherhouse Chapel


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