Updated Oct. 16
School Sister of Notre Dame Catherine Ann (Kate) Kallhoff, 89, died Oct. 8 in Notre Dame Health Care, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato, Minnesota. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Oct. 14 in the Good Counsel Chapel, followed by burial in the Good Counsel cemetery.
Leora Catherine Kalhoff and her twin brother Leander were born March 6, 1932, to Paul and Katherine (Venteicher) Kallhoff near Elgin, Nebraska, the sixth and seventh of 14 children.
In 1946, Leora started to attend Good Counsel Academy in Mankato as a boarder. She entered the candidature of the School Sisters of Notre Dame following her high school graduation in 1950. At her reception into the novitiate in 1952, she was given the name Sister Catherine Ann and was often called “Sister Kate.” She professed first vows in 1953. She taught at a number of schools in South Dakota and Minnesota during her early years.
In 1966 she earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics with a minor in English from Viterbo College in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She earned a master’s degree in home economics from Stout State University in Menomonie, Wisconsin, in 1969 and a master’s in human development from St. Mary’s College (later University), in Minneapolis in 1991.
In 1966, Sister Kate moved to New England, North Dakota, where she taught and was later the administrator at St. Mary’s High School. She became the legal guardian for one of her students while there.
She spent many weekends on a nearby reservation visiting families of her students. Later the tribal council members came to ask for her help in upgrading the education system on the Fort Berthold Reservation. This led to Sister Kate applying to teach in the Bureau of Indian Affairs school system and, in 1969, she was hired as an English and speech teacher in Mandaree, North Dakota. Within a year she was asked to move into administration and was instrumental in changing the school into an independent public school. Many new programs were begun and families became involved in the educational process. She also served in pastoral ministry at the Mandaree parish.
Sister Kate continued her ministry in North Dakota as director and supervisor of schools for the Diocese of Bismarck, professor in the education department at Mary College (now University) in Bismarck and administrator at Bishop Ryan High School in Minot. She became a member of the national group called Women’s Church Convergence, becoming the chairperson of the education division and helping to develop a new curriculum. She was also part of a small group that developed a new language arts curriculum for the state of North Dakota. Later she was superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Crookston.
Beginning in 1990 and continuing through 2005, she served as director of Total Catholic Education for the Diocese of St. Cloud. She described the concept: “Total Catholic education is built on the premise that we need education and faith formation at all stages of our lives, and that specialized educational ministers need to emerge from their niches and reach out to one another in support and collaboration.”
She was a board member for national associations for Catholic Schools and for catechetical leadership.
Sister Kate retired from her position in St. Cloud in 2005 and remained in St. Cloud until 2010. She taught part time at St. John’s University in Collegeville, offered spiritual direction and worked on writing a book titled “Life Is a Journey of Faith Walking with God.” She retired to Good Counsel in 2011.
She is survived by her sisters, Genevieve Adelman, Wilma Schreck and Dorothy Adelman, her brothers, Leander, Dean, David and Michael, her nieces and nephews and their families, her colleagues and former students, and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and SSND Associates. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Maurice, Alfred, Richard and Robert, and twins Louis and Louise, who died in infancy in 1924.