Sister Kathleen Appler, 68
Sister Kathleen Appler, 68

Sister Kathleen Appler, 68, died on March 18 at the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Motherhouse in Paris following a long battle with cancer. She had been a Daughter of Charity for 47 years.

Sister Kathleen was elected Superioress General of the worldwide community at the General Assembly of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul on May 25, 2015. She was the first American and only the second non-French daughter to be elected to that position. In August 2019, she was named to the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life by Pope Francis.

Sister Kathleen (baptized Kathleen Mary) was born on Feb. 23, 1952, to George and Mary (Fahy) Appler. Sister Kathleen, who had five sisters and four brothers, was a 1970 graduate of Utica Catholic Academy, Utica. Sister Kathleen earned her associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from Maria Regina College, Syracuse, in 1975; a bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a concentration in Elementary Education from Sacred Heart University, Bridgeport, Conn., in 1978; a master’s in Elementary Education from State University of New York at Cortland, in 1984; and her certification in Spiritual Direction from the Center for Spirituality at Work, Denver, Colo., in 2006.

In April of 1973, Sister Kathleen entered the Daughters of Charity from St. Paul’s Parish in Whitesboro. She served in education, administration, and vocation and formation ministries, as well as in schools in Syracuse (Cathedral School, 1974-75); Bridgeport, Conn., (St. Ann’s School, 1975-79), Utica (Our Lady of Lourdes School, 1979-82 and 1985-95); and Wilmington, Del., (St. Peter’s School, 1982-85). Sister Kathleen served at St. John’s Parish Center, Brooklyn, from 1997-99 before moving into governance in the Daughters’ former Northeast Province in Albany; she served there until her 2009 appointment in Paris.

Sister Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, George and John Appler. She is survived by her family of Daughters of Charity throughout the world, and many Applers including: brothers, Jim (Cheryl) Appler of Lincolnwood, Ill., and Daniel (Robyn) Appler of Whites­town; sisters, Susan (Steve) Bassi of Rome, N.Y., Deborah Appler of Yorkville, Linda (Tim) Voorhis of Rome, N.Y., Donna Appler (Jerry Swarthout) of Marcy and Diane (Dale) Brown of Lexington, Va.; sister-in-law, Jacqueline Appler (Bill Ross) of Westmoreland; 20 nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held March 24, at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris. Donations in Sister Kathleen’s memory can be made to the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louis, 4330 Olive St., St. Louis, Mo., 63108.