Summer 2016

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Sister Fleurette Kennon’s “Quiet Room”

Sister Fleurette served 22 years as Saint Joseph’s Director of Library Services

By Sister Mary George O'Toole, RSM, '51, HON '90

When Sister took on her responsibilities in 1977, the library was simply the entire wing of Mercy Hall where the bookstore and several offices are now located.

Some few short years after her arrival, she was quickly immersed and challenged to design, detail and deliver all that would be entailed for the opening of a new, up-to-date facility, later to be named the Kathleen and Daniel Wellehan Library in 1983 and which was located on the second floor of the Margaret H. Heffernan Center. All of this, Sister did generously, joyously and quietly! Over the 22 years that Sister Fleurette was director of the library, many faculty, staff, and students came to know and appreciate her and her giftedness, as well as her expectation that the library environment must be one of “QUIET” in order to facilitate learning and research. Her expectation would have us periodically hear her saying: “Please be quiet,” which would be followed by “the look.” This was sufficient to have offenders quickly resume proper study and research behavior.

Though Sister “retired” in 1999, phone calls and notes continue to come in good number because of the role she played as listener, consoler and friend to so many.

On April 22, 2016, we surprised Sister by celebrating and dedicating the Quiet Room in the Wellehan Library in her honor, as a testimony of appreciation for all that she gave of herself, while serving “quietly” here at Saint Joseph’s College.

Many former and present faculty, staff, and students came to join in the festivities and to thank her for the meaning she has given to their lives. As our forefathers in Faith were accustomed to pray:

May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May he let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may he look upon you kindly and give you peace.
Amen.

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