Sister Betty Cahill, 1931-2014

Born July 11, 1931 in Erlanger, Kentucky
Entered St. Walburg Monastery for the third time, December 8, 1957
Received habit, June 14, 1958
First Profession, August 24, 1959
Died October 23, 2014

      Sister Betty Cahill was born to James C. and Georgia Hummel Cahill in Erlanger, KY on July 11, 1931, the feast of St. Benedict. She was given the name Betty Ann at her baptism. Betty was the fourth of six children—four girls and two boys. Each sibling was known by a nickname. The Cahill family has long resided in Erlanger, home of St. Henry Parish where Betty was educated for twelve years by the Benedictine Sisters. Betty’s lifelong friendships blossomed during these years and matured with age.

     After entering St. Walburg Monastery twice before,  Betty re-entered on December 8, 1957 and became a novice, Sister Kent, on June 14, 1958. First and perpetual profession followed in 1959 and 1962. When sisters were given the option to return to baptismal names, she became Sister Betty.

     Sr. Betty has always been a lover of the great outdoors. During her first years at the monastery, she helped on the farm and studied at Villa Madonna College. By the time she received her BS in 1974 the college had moved and been renamed Thomas More College. Sr. Betty taught 3rd, 6th, 7th and 8th grades from 1961-1975 in diocesan schools, twice serving as principal and house superior. From 1978-1986 she spent happy years serving the people of Appalachia in Floyd County, Kentucky.

     In 1987 Sr. Betty became part of the formation team at the monastery and continued as novice director until August, 2004. She worked hard to keep the grounds in tiptop shape and took an active interest in the natural environment for the rest of her life. Sr. Betty served as archivist in her later years, organizing, sifting, sharing. Her anecdotes from the archives were a featured event at each community meeting. In the most recent LEAVEN is a reflection on the running of the Kentucky Derby with admonitions from St. Benedict’s Rule.

     Sr. Betty’s physical condition deteriorated in the last several months. Not one to complain, she made several trips to the hospital and frequent doctor trips. Having moved to the infirmary several weeks earlier, Betty made the choice for hospice care which continued for only one day. She died peacefully on Thursday, October 23, 2014. Surviving Sr. Betty are her sisters Birdie, Ritzie and Dolly, and her brother Bill, her sister-in-law Ginny, many nieces and nephews and the Benedictine community.