Sister Collean Walsh CSA

Sister Collean Walsh CSA, baptized Mary Theresa, died peacefully July 6, 2022, at Nazareth Center in Fond du Lac, WI.

Mary was born in Yonkers, NY, on March 23, 1925, the daughter of John Joseph Walsh and Mary Esther Hannon Walsh. She spoke fondly of her childhood growing up in Yonkers and attending Sacred Heart Parish with her devoted parents and her two brothers and two sisters. Having attended Sacred Heart School from kindergarten through high school, Mary always acknowledged the Sisters of St. Agnes and the Capuchin Franciscans who ministered in her parish and school for nurturing her call to religious life. ln August of 1943, Mary entered St. Agnes Convent. She made her first profession of vows in the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes as Sister Collean on August 15, 1946, in Fond du Lac, WI.

Sister Collean earned a BS in Elementary Education from Marian College, Fond du Lac, WI, in 1956 and an MA in Education and Administration from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, in 1965. Throughout her years as an educator, Sister was a learner herself attending many seminars and classes to enhance her skills as an educational leader. Sister Collean taught every elementary grade beginning with her first position as second grade teacher at St. Luke’s School in Two Rivers, WI. She helped to open Our Lady Help of Christians School in West Allis, WI, in 1949, and St. Louis School in Fond du Lac, WI, in 1958. She was teacher and principal at St. Ignatius School, Houghton, MI; St. Zachary School, Des Plaines, IL; and St. Patrick’s School, Hudson, WI. From 1975-1997, Sister Collean served as full-time principal at St. Mary’s School in Crown Point, IN; Precious Blood School, Ft. Wayne, IN, and St. Elizabeth Seton School, Oshkosh, WI. In 1997, Sister became the principal of the primary campus of FACES (Fond du Lac Catholic Education System) now known as St. Mary’s Springs Academy. She served in that role until her retirement in 2003. Sister Collean is remembered with great love by her students, their parents, and her faculty members to this day.

After retirement from full-time ministry, Sister Collean continued to be a vital presence at St. Mary’s Springs, Holy Family Parish, and in the Fond du Lac community. She was a volunteer in the Foster Grandparent Program tutoring students at the intermediate level. She also could be seen volunteering at St. Agnes Hospital, Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul. Sister and her friend, the deceased Sister Ruth Ann Baudry, were familiar faces at Mass, on committees and at activities sponsored by Holy Family Parish.

In March of 2016, Sister Collean joined the community of Sisters at Nazareth Court and Center remaining actively engaged in life up to the time of her death, motivated by her belief in the power of presence — offering a smile, a prayer, and a word of encouragement to all. She will also be remembered for her devotion to Blessed Solanus Casey, a Capuchin Franciscan priest who ministered in Yonkers, NY, and is being considered for canonization by the Catholic Church for his life of service and his gifts of healing and prophecy.

Preceding Sister Collean in death were her parents; her brothers James and John; her sisters Margaret (Thomas) Holahan and Agnes Lucille (William) Keating.

Sister is survived by her sister-in-law, Joan Walsh, her beloved nieces and nephews and their families, and the Sisters of St. Agnes, with whom she lived, prayed and ministered.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 14, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. at Nazareth Court and Center, 375 Gillett Street, Fond du Lac, WI.

A Prayer Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. in the Nazareth Center Chapel. Please check in for the Visitation and Prayer Service at the 375 Gillett Street entrance only.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for Sister Collean at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, 2022, at St. Francis Home Chapel, 33 Everett Street, Fond du Lac, WI, with Tom Zelinski, OFM, Cap., presiding. Cremation will take place following the services. Burial will be at St. Joseph Springs Cemetery, Fond du Lac, WI, at a later date.

Memorials may be directed to the CSA Mission Advancement Office, 320 County Road K, Fond du Lac, WI 54937.

The Sisters of St. Agnes are grateful to the nurses and staff of Nazareth Court and Center and Hospice Hope for their care of Sister Collean.

Zacherl Funeral Home is serving the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes.