NORTH SMITHFIELD — Franciscan Missionary of Mary Sister Kathleen Eilinger, 79, a member of the Ein Karim Community, died August 28 at St. Antoine Residence.
Born in Rochester, NY, she was the daughter of the late Raymond and Helen Eilinger. She entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on December 7, 1946, professed first vows on June 13, 1949 and final vows on June 12, 1952. Her first mission assignment was to work with the Navajo people in Arizona. Sister Eilinger also traveled throughout the United States for many years selling handiwork made by the sisters to support missionary work.
Sister Eilinger was sent in 1967 to mission in Monrovia, Liberia, where she worked in pastoral ministry, rural village development, agricultural self-help projects and human development programs on behalf of women and children. During the war in Liberia, she ministered to Liberian refugees.
Upon her return to the United States, Sister Eilinger served as a catechist and made home visits to parishioners of St. John the Baptist Parish, Pawtucket.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated September 3 in Holy Family Chapel, North Providence. Bishop Ernest Boland presided, and Father Edward G. St. Godard was the celebrant. Burial was in the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Cemetery, Fruit Hill, North Providence.