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Obituary: Garvin, Sister Mary

Age 73

Sister Mary Garvin (Kathleen Mary), SNJM Mary Katherine Garvin was born in Spokane, Washington on February 4, 1939, the first of five children born to Catherine McGowan Garvin and Wilmot Garvin. She was raised in Spokane, spending many summers at the family home in McGowan on the Washington coast. She graduated from Sacred Heart Elementary School in 1952, and Holy Names Academy in 1956. After two years at Marquette University, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary at Marylhurst, Oregon, pronouncing her vows in 1960 as Sister Kathleen Mary. She earned her B.A. from Marylhurst College in English Literature. While teaching at Holy Names Academy in Seattle, she completed an M.A. in Drama from the University of Washington in 1971. In 1972, Mary came to Spokane to serve as Co-Director of the first Research and Planning Office for the Washington Holy Names Sisters. That year she started teaching part-time at Fort Wright College, and from 1973 to 1980 she served as a full-time professor teaching theater, communications, and religious studies. During this time she began her additional work in Formation for new members of the Sisters of the Holy Names which she continued in various roles for the next 30 years. From 1981 to 1987, Mary was Associate Director and taught in the CREDO Program at Gonzaga University. After a year of professional study in Israel and Boston, she entered Andover-Newton Theological Seminary in Boston and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1990. In 1991, Mary undertook the position she would hold with distinction and pride until her death, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University. Mary is co-author with two of her SNJM Sisters of the book The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed, Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women, as well as numerous articles and presentations. Over a twenty-five year span Mary traveled extensively to serve as presenter, retreat leader, delegate, and spiritual advisor for religious women and men, lay Catholics, bishops, Jesuits, theological societies, women-and-church groups, and her own congregation. She especially treasured her opportunities to share her gifts across cultures in Israel, Lesotho (South Africa), New Zealand, Alaska, French Canada, and at the United Nations. Within the Sisters of the Holy Names, Mary shared her intellectual and spiritual gifts across the United States, Quebec, and Peru, assisting in major projects such as updating the Sisters’ Constitutions and Acts of the General Chapters. Mary’s daily philosophy of life embodied Ignatian spirituality and the Sisters of the Holy Names’ spirit, fostering the full human development of each person and their education in faith. Her joyful spirit, appreciation for celebration, and her support of the Gonzaga “Zags” will be missed by all. Mary died January 5, 2013 in Spokane. Her parents preceded her, but she is survived by the Sisters of the Holy Names, and by her siblings Jane Reese (Dick), William Garvin (Cherrie), Patrick Garvin (Nell) and Kathleen Garvin (Tom), and by her nieces and nephews. Mary died January 5, 2013. A Vigil Service will be held in the Gonzaga University Chapel in the Administration Building on Friday, January 11 at 4:00 PM. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Saturday, January 12 at 10:00 AM at Convent of the Holy Names, W. 2911 Fort George Wright Drive. Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, 2911 W. Fort George Wright Drive. Spokane, Washington 99224. Please visit Sister Mary’s tribute and leave a condolence at Arrangements have been entrusted to:


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