Sister M. Jane Katafias died on November 3, 2015 (four days before her 90th birthday) at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania, Ohio. The daughter of Anthony and Charlotte Katafias came to the convent from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Toledo, Ohio in August of 1944. She made her first profession of vows in 1947 and her final vows in 1950. After a brief stint of teaching, Sister Jane’s many other gifts were put to good use in a variety of settings and ministries over her 68 years as a consecrated religious woman.
Early on, Sister Jane did office work in the Sisters’ sponsored hospitals in Detroit, Michigan; North Platte, Nebraska; Steubenville, Ohio; and in Refugio and Bryan, Texas. She also worked in central supply and coordinated maintenance at some of the hospitals as well as at the Motherhouse in Sylvania. For almost 25 years, Sister Jane served as manager of various housing projects, including Delaware Acres in Fremont, Ohio; Hurley Manor Apartments in Jacksonville, Florida; Catholic Housing Initiatives, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia; and the off campus sites for the Sisters of St. Francis. She also managed the warehouse for the Texas County Food Pantry in Houston, Texas.
Looking back at Sister Jane’s ministries today causes one to realize that she was a pioneer, prophet and woman ahead of her time. She worked hard and long and brought a Franciscan love for the poor and marginalized wherever she lived and worked. She also had a love for animals, and trained her parakeet, Peter, to greet guests by name as well as joining them in prayer. Her dog, Sam, was her friend and partner as she went about her ministry. Sister Jane will be dearly missed by her longtime friend, Sister Mary St. Paul, her Sisters in Community, her brother, Patrick and Sister Mary Jo Klocinski as well as her family members and friends. There was a welcoming liturgy on Nov. 9 and her funeral was Nov. 10 both in Queen of Peace Chapel. She was buried in Porta Coeli Cemetery on the Motherhouse grounds.