Sister Sharon Kirk, SSMO

June 16, 1938 – March 11, 2018

A Vigil Service and Mass of Christian Burial will be held on March 14 and 15 for Sister Sharon Kirk, SSMO, who died on March 11 at the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Motherhouse in Beaverton.

The Vigil Service will take place on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:00 p.m. in the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Motherhouse Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, March 15, at 4:00 p.m. in the SSMO Motherhouse Chapel. Interment will take place on Friday, March 16, at 9:00 a.m.

Memorial offerings may be directed to the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Retirement Fund.

The life and ministry of Sister Sharon Kirk

Sister Sharon (aka Sr. Shannon) Kirk was born on June 16, 1938, in Newberg, Oregon, to Lester and Loretta Kirk. Her elementary and secondary education through grade 11 took place in St. Paul, Oregon. Sr. Sharon graduated from St. Mary of the Valley High School (now Valley Catholic) in 1956. She continued her education at Marylhurst (BS in Elementary Education in 1962), Portland State University (MST in Education in 1975), and the University of San Francisco (MA in Administration in 1983).

Sister Sharon was received as a novice by the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon on August 15, 1957, and became known as Sr. Mary Shannon. She made her perpetual profession in 1962. She taught and served as principal in various Oregon and Washington elementary schools throughout her 61 years of religious life: St. Peter in Spokane; St. Cecilia in Beaverton; Holy Trinity in Beaverton (where she served on the staff that opened the school in 1963); St. Mary of the Valley in Beaverton; St. Mary in Stayton; Sacred Heart in Tillamook; St. Matthew in Hillsboro; St. Pius X in Portland; St. Luke in Woodburn; and St. Agatha in Portland.

While serving as principal at St. Luke School in Woodburn, Sr. Sharon participated in a faculty-student volleyball game which altered the course of the rest of her life. SSMO Superior General Sister Charlene Herinckx said, “A serious hip injury that did not mend well was a cross she has bravely carried since 1992. However, a smile was never far from her lips while laughter and a quick wit never left her.”

From 1995-2000, Sr. Sharon’s compassionate heart shone brightly at WIAR (Women Intercommunity AIDS Resource). Concurrently – from 1996-2000 – Sr. Sharon served as the SSMO Motherhouse Administrator. Following that, she served in the CYO office for a year before assisting in the education department at the University of Portland for a year. In 2002, Sr. Sharon returned to the Motherhouse where she helped with daily chores for as long as she was able.

Sister Sharon Kirk is survived by her Sisters in the SSMO Community; her brothers, Dick, Mike (Gloria), Butch, and Joe (Debbie); as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, Philip and Ron.

May Sister Sharon rest in God’s eternal embrace!