I was born in the south of Ireland in a little town called Tipperary. I was raised in a very strict
Catholic household. My mother was never without a prayer book or rosary in her hands. Every
Sunday for Mass we had to dress up in our best clothes out of respect for God’s house. I have
fond memories of having to wear a scarf or hat!
I came to this beautiful country in 1952. It seems long ago. I initially lived with my uncle
on the south side of Chicago. Thirty-eight years ago I moved into St. Juliana parish where I live
today. I’ve met so many wonderful people and clergy along the way. They have all enriched my
life and have made my time in the parish seem to fly by.
I retired from my last job at Resurrection Hospital (Food Services Department) in 1997. I
made up my mind that I was going to stay active in some way and not just waste away sitting
around the house. I feel it’s critical to living a long, healthy life.
I enjoy getting up every morning to attend Mass and receive the Blessed Sacrament. I
took on duties to care for the main altar in the church and chapel. This has been a personally
rewarding experience for me. I felt a much closer connection to Jesus and the Blessed Virgin
Mary. I’ve hopefully contributed in some small way to the success of our vibrant parish!
I also started visiting with dear friends and family that were living in nursing homes in
the area. I did what I could to help them by assisting with meals or to just sit and talk and let
them know someone cared. My husband Pat spent five years in a home once he lost his ability to
walk. I tried to be there for him every day. I brought him some home-cooked meals and helped
the staff to care for his needs. Pat was a very religious man and went to Mass everyday as long as
he was able. He went to be with the good Lord in 2007. I miss him still.
The United States of America has been everything I could ask for and more. It is truly the
greatest nation on earth. My hope is that everyone can mutually respect each other.
I hope you enjoyed my story. I’ll leave you with a little poem I wrote:
The Prayer I dreamed
If at times life seems unfair
It dishes out more than you can bear
Just stop awhile and say a prayer
And God will keep you in his care
Long live St. Juliana Parish! God bless you all.
Kathleen (Kathy) Grace is a retired employee of Resurrection Hospital and has been a
parishioner of Saint Juliana for 38 years.