“THIS DAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.” – LUKE 23:43
Sister Kathleen was born in Salida, Colorado, on February 4, 1929. Sister Kathleen said she is most fortunate that she comes from a family of 3 boys and 4 girls, who worked side by side with their parents on a ranch in the Arkansas Valley homesteaded by her dad and uncle. That ranch, still owned by the Cogan family, is located four miles south of Buena Vista, Colorado.
Sister Kathleen attended grade and high school in Buena Vista Colorado. She attended Mount Saint Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas where she joined the Benedictine Sisters in June 1949. Sister Kathleen and her sisters Leann & Elizabeth are members of Benet Hill Monastery. She received her MS in Biology at St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota and a BS in Nursing at the University Hospital Program in Denver, Colorado.
Sister Kathleen taught school for about thirty years in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, and in Colorado schools in St. Mary’s in Walsenburg, RE 10 in Antonito and Benet Hill Academy in Colorado Springs.
After becoming a nurse she worked at Penrose Hospital in the nursery and intensive care nursery. Sister Kathleen was in charge of the infirmary at Benet Hill Monastery, while also teaching part time at Benet Hill Academy. She later returned to nursing at Penrose Hospital for a number of years.
Sister Kathleen received her training and Certification for chaplaincy in Oxnard, California. She held chaplaincy positions in Mercy Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa, and St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado. William Burns then the CEO at St Thomas More Hospital wrote the following about Sister Kathleen when she worked there. “She is extremely organized, an excellent facilitator and one of the most compassionate individuals that I have had the opportunity to work with. She lives dedicating her life to the Lord.”
She next worked in the finance office at Benet Hill Monastery and faced the challenges of working with numbers instead of people. She handled the medical billings and was appointed to oversee the Human Relations Department for many years.
Sister Kathleen says that the Christ-like relationship of her parents and family taught her to love her God. On the ranch all of their animals, God’s beautiful mountains and fishing streams profoundly touched her soul. She credits the sisters of her Benedictine community for teaching her to be holy. She loves communal prayer, quiet times to be alone with her loving God, scripture, discovering her God within herself. She is grateful for her previous gifts of serving many students, the sick and the dying.
Sister Kathleen will celebrate 65 years in vowed religious life in 2015. The dreams she has for her life would be to continue her prayer life and serving their community with time to complete the writing of her book, ”THREE NUNS FROM THE RANCH”. She looks forward to having time to read, enjoy our beautiful Black Forest and our Pikes Peak in the distance while growing old gracefully.