Sister Kathryn Disbrow, OSB
September 24, 1938 - May 7, 2020
God of all blessing,
our sister, Kate, passed into your arms
quietly and peacefully, gently and without fanfare.
Known for her steadfast spirit,
Kate faced hardship with stamina
and rejoiced in opportunities
to celebrate life and living.
She grasped her independence
with direction and purpose,
and kept her mind and heart
on the monastic way,
to be in the mainstream
of community life and prayer.
Kate was ever mindful of family and friends,
always nurturing the bonds of relationship
with attention and affection, kindness and care.
May our living be marked by faithfulness and love,
modeling the example of this religious woman,
so that you will be glorified in all manner of being,
now and evermore. Amen
Sister Kathryn Disbrow (formerly Sister Mary Gerard), OSB, 81, and in the 61st year of religious life, died on May 7, 2020, at UPMC Hamot.
A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Sister Kathryn was the daughter of Henry Disbrow and Mary (Hurn) Disbrow Cifolelli, and step-daughter of John Cifolelli. After graduating from Saint Benedict Academy, she entered the Benedictine Sisters of Erie in 1957, pronounced her first monastic profession in 1959 and most recently celebrated her Jubilee of 60 years in August of 2019.
Sister Kathryn held a BS in Education, with a concentration in math, from Mercyhurst College, an MS in Math from Clarion State and an MA in Elementary Administration from the University of Dayton. She spent 10 years in elementary education as a teacher and 11 years as an elementary school administrator serving throughout the Diocese of Erie: St. Mary and Our Lady of Calvary, Erie; St.Joseph and Sacred Heart, Sharon; St. Joseph and St. Stephen, Oil City; and Immaculate Conception, Clarion. After then working in the community’s Business office for 13 years, including some time as the community’s treasurer, she spent 21 years in child care at St. Benedict Child Development Center. Beginning in 2017, and until the time of her death, Sister Kathryn was active in the hospitality ministry of the community as well as the ministry of prayer and presence.
Sister Kathryn, affectionately known as Kate, will be remembered for the steadfast spirit which allowed her to face declining health with stamina while rejoicing in opportunities to celebrate life and living. She grasped her independence with direction and purpose and kept her mind and heart on the monastic way, working tirelessly to be in the mainstream of community life and prayer. Relationships were important to her and she nurtured them with kindness and care, attention and affection.
Sister Kathryn was preceded in death by her parents, step-father, sister, Mary Ann Groh, and brothers Henry and George. She is survived by her Benedictine community, the Belmonte Family to whom she was “Nanny Kate”: Jill, Anthony, Michaela and Lauren; sisters-in-law: Karen Disbrow (Henry) and Fran Disbrow (George); and nieces, nephews and cousins.
Due to national guidelines concerning the Coronavirus, no public visitation will be held. A memorial mass will be announced and celebrated at a future date at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery. A private interment will be held at Trinity Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, 6101 East Lake Road, Erie, Pennsylvania 16511. Brugger Funeral Homes and Crematory, Pine Avenue Branch, 845 East 38th Street, is in charge of the arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, 6101 East Lake Road, Erie, PA 16511. Click here to offer an online memorial.