Champion of Immigrants Rights Is Remembered

Tags: Currents, Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Queens, NY

By Emily Drooby

A tearful goodbye to Sister Kathryn Margaret Walsh, known as Sister Peggy. A heroic religious woman who devoted her life to helping others, especially immigrants.

The pews of Transfiguration Church packed this morning with family and friends.

Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, the church’s pastor said, “She was very dedicated to the parish to working with the people here, very humble, strong, a phenomenal person, great human being.”

Sister Peggy was born in Brooklyn. After high school, she joined the Sisters of St. Joseph. She devoted 67 years of her life to her faith. Friends, like Sister Mary Ellen Vesey, the Regional Superior for the Sisters of St. Joseph, remembered Sister Peggy for that strong commitment.

Sister Vesey said, “I would say faith filled, and that was something she practiced in her daily life, and nourished and also gave to others.”

Sister Peggy also being remembered for her commitment to teaching and to immigrants. Her ministry began as a teacher. She transitioned to pastoral ministry, eventually working at Transfiguration RC Church in Williamsburg, where she found her true calling.

Sister Vesey explained, “She was involved in the immigration movement because of where she was ministering. There was such a need within the parish, a lot of people had come to Transfiguration and they needed to change their status.”

Sister Peggy became a certified advocate for immigrants.  She helped them with their status, their documents, and accompanied them in court.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated for Sister Peggy at the church where she spent so much of her time.

Father Jason Espinal, the Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Angels Church, knew Sister Peggy since childhood he says she’s now being repaid for the selfless way she lived.

Father Espinal said, “Sister Peggy, today we bid farewell to her with the sure and certain hope that because she lived her life out of love for others, the Lord will reward her, that was just the kind of person she was.”

Her commitment to immigrants, her faith, and her loving heart will be long remembered.