Cover photo for Sister Mary Kay Leuschke, PHJC's Obituary
Sister Mary Kay Leuschke, PHJC Profile Photo
1941 Sister 2024

Sister Mary Kay Leuschke, PHJC

July 29, 1941 — January 20, 2024

Sister Mary Kay Leuschke, Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, died peacefully on January 20, 2024, at the Hospice Center of Cincinnati.

As the second of two children of Ralph Albert and Elizabeth Mary Leuschke (Elsie Rotter), Mary Catherine was born in Alton, IL. Her parents and brother Ralph Joseph preceded her in death. She is survived by her long-time House of Peace community member, Lucy Juarez, and her PHJC Sisters.

Sister Mary Kay entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ on August 22, 1959 and the following year received the name of Sister Mary Elissa.  She professed vows on August 22, 1962. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Alverno College, Milwaukee. She received a Master’s Degree in Education from St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, IN and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Loyola University, Chicago.

Sister Mary Kay served at St. Boniface School in Germantown, IL (1964-1967), St. Joseph School in Mishawaka, IN (1967-1977) and the PHJC Novitiate in Cincinnati, OH (1977-1984). From 1986 to 1995, Sister Mary Kay ministered in the Cincinnati area as a private clinical therapist and consultant. In 1995 she was part of a therapeutic team working with Mercy Professional Services, which enabled those from a low economic background to receive counseling services. With a focus on education, PHJC service and mental health, she also had a strong compassion for those who are unhoused.

Through her continued service as therapist and supervisor with Mercy Services, Sister Mary Kay helped bring healing to many people. After her retirement in 2017, she continued as a private therapist and volunteer in her neighborhood and parish, visiting the sick and dying.

Thank you, Sister Mary Kay for your witness of trusting in God, reaching out to those most in need and your compassion for those struggling and hurting in life.


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Catherine Kasper Convent Chapel

Donaldson, IN

4:30 p.m. EST – Welcoming her body

Followed by Visitation

7:00 p.m. EST – Wake Service


Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Catherine Kasper Convent Chapel

Donaldson, IN

10:00 a.m. EST – Visitation

10:30 a.m. EST – Funeral

The services will be livestreamed at:

For those unable to attend in person, the Mass of Christian Burial will be livestreamed at

. Memorial contributions to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, P.O. Box #1, Donaldson, IN 46513 or on
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sister Mary Kay Leuschke, PHJC, please visit our flower store.


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