Entered Life: July 2, 1942
Entered Religious Life: October 8, 1961
Entered Eternal Life: June 17, 2017
“Giving Thanks and Singing for Joy”
Gail (Sr. Jane Patrice, Sr. Jane) McKirchy was born in 1942 and was raised in Chicago, Illinois. She first met the IBVM Sisters at St. Bride Elementary School. For much of her childhood she lived with her cousins, the Hollands.
Her cousin, Larry, wrote this of Jane:
“Before you were Jane, you were Gail
Before the sister you became, you were the sister we needed
Love – you taught that; song – you brought that.
Oh, how we love you!”
Song – Jane brought that to everyone everywhere! Her beautiful voice accompanied congregations for Sunday liturgies, weddings, professions, sing-alongs, funerals and any occasion that came along. Song was her prayer and her gift.
Jane entered the IBVM in September of 1961, was first professed August 15, 1964 and celebrated her Final Profession on December 10, 1970. She was a song-filled and compassionate sister to all for almost 56 years.
A great love of God and a desire to do good, an attitude of openness to do all good works, a freedom to refer all to God, and a readiness to follow the way of justice and sincerity in lightness of spirit: this is the charism Mary Ward desired to shine through all our words and works. Cons. 1.11
Jane’s ministries included education and clerical support in Carol Stream, Sacramento and Chicago, but her heart was in service to those isolated, rejected, bereaved or alone. When Jane was director of Hope House in Sacramento, and AIDS patients were not given long to live, Jane cheered for them, sang for them and waited through long nights with them and their families. Jane arranged for their funerals and cared for their friends.
Later, Jane used her many gifts for the women of Wellspring Womens’ Center in Sacramento. There she created a beautiful space, listened well, and shared in the ministry of empowering women.
From Wellspring she went nearby to St. Patrick Academy to run a Rainbows program, a safe time for students who had experienced loss through death, divorce or separation. She hugged, listened and comforted. She shared her hundreds of stuffed animals to delight and to be silent companions for the students. Courage, strategies for surviving and hope for happiness again – these are the gifts Jane brought.
Truth – you sought that; justice – you brought that.
O how we love you!
–Mary Carton, IBVM