Garden will remember Sister Delora at St. Mary’s

Published 5:49 am Friday, June 17, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Members of St. Mary's Catholic Church wanted to honor the late Sister Mary Delora, who passed away in October 2004, for all of her years of service to the church and the Niles Community.
On Thursday afternoon a group of volunteers from the church got together at the Christian Service Center located at the corner of State and Clay streets in Niles to plant a memorial garden.
Sister Delora was born Kathryn Grace Geraghty in Chicago, Ill. on April 22, 1922 and was one of eight children born to Frank and Theresa Geraghty.
After completing the eighth grade she decided she wanted to become a nun.
In February 1940, she entered St. Mary's Convent in Notre Dame, Ind. and in August received her new name, Sister Mary Delora.
She eventually was officially accepted into the Congregation of the Holy Cross and continued her studies at Saint Mary's College, earning her degree in education.
She then returned to Chicago where she began teaching and earned her masters degree from DePaul University.
She then began a career of service serving as teacher and/or principal at numerous Catholic grade schools in Illinois and Indiana.
In 1979, Sister Delora arrived in Niles taking charge of the food pantry program then housed in the basement of St. Mary's Convent in Niles.
That same year she organized the Christian Service Organization.
In 1988 St. Mary's parishioners built the a new home for the pantry at its current location.
The pantry assists about 100 needy families a month and even more duing the holidays.
Saxton added that Sister Delora was an outgoing person, who was kind to everyone and wanted to be a part of anything she could.