“Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.”
― Romans 10:17
Sister Delia Ann Lawless, 85, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) for 67 years, died on Aug. 11, 2023. She entered religious life on Aug. 19, 1956, and took the name Sister Nicholas Marie in 1957 when she received her habit. Nicholas was a family name. Her grandfather’s name was Nicholas Lawless, and that was the middle name of her father (Walter Nicholas, Sr.), brother (Walter Nicholas, Jr.), and nephew (Paul Nicholas). She later returned to her baptismal name.
Born July 31, 1938, Sister Delia was the youngest of three children. Her parents, Walter and Stella (née Oliaro) Lawless, were examples for Sister’s prayer life, taking her to Mass, and praying novenas devotionals of the Church. She was influenced by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth while attending St. Peter’s School in Kansas City, Kansas. She attended Bishop Ward High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary College.
Sister Delia was not the first family member to join the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. Her great-aunt, Sister Mary Cecilia Lawless, and cousin, Sister Marie Paula Hardy, were also SCLs.
Sister Delia taught in schools in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska. Later, she worked at St. Joseph Home in Kansas City, Kansas, followed by Saint Mary College, and at the SCL Mother House in Leavenworth, Kansas. Sister enjoyed crocheting, listening to and playing music, photography, and traveling.
Preceding Sister Delia in death were her parents; brother, Nick, and sister-in-law, Mary; sister, Mary, and brother-in-law, Joe Weigel. Survivors include nephews Paul (Erin) Lawless; Peter (Amy) Weigel; nieces, Teresa Lawless; Cathy Weigel; cousins Paul Michael Oliaro (Kathy); Judy Oliaro Walsh; great-nieces and nephews; and the SCL Community.
There will be a vigil service at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 21, 2023 in Ross Chapel, SCL Mother House, Leavenworth. Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated in Ross Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. Interment will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Mother House grounds. Memorial contributions can be made to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, 4200 S. 4th St., Leavenworth, KS 66048.
Click HERE to view a short video celebrating the life of Sister Delia.