Incarnate Word Sister Imelda Moriarty, who served as principal of St. Catherine of Siena School for 29 years, died Dec. 29, 2018, at The Village at Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.
She was 93 and had served for 76 years in religious life.
When Sister Imelda boarded the plane for San Antonio at the end of WWII, she knew she might not see her mother and her six siblings in County Kerry, Ireland, again.
She arrived in Metairie in 1969 and taught math at St. Catherine of Siena School for five years before being named principal. In a 2012 interview with the Clarion Herald, Sister Imelda said she got the job because the nun who was running the school fell ill. Sister Imelda told her superior that she wanted to remain teaching math because that was her first love.
A week later, the superior called back and said she had two choices: become the principal at St. Catherine or become principal at a school in San Antonio.
“My choice was to stay with what I knew,” she said. “A parent called me one night and said she had asked her daughter when she came home, ‘Are you afraid of Sister Imelda?’ The girl said, ‘Yes, I’m afraid of Sister Imelda, but I just love her.’”
St. Catherine of Siena will celebrate a Memorial Mass for Sister Imelda Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. A reception will follow.