Sister Jane Leach was a Sister of Mercy for 65 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Siena College, Loudonville. She ministered as a teacher at schools in the Albany Diocese. Contemplative by nature, Sister Jane was grateful for the opportunity to spend three years at Our Lady of Grace Dominican Monastery in Guilford, Connecticut, living the vowed life according to the monastic tradition. Upon returning to the Albany Diocese, she served as a receptionist at St. Peter’s Home Care. Quiet and unassuming, Jane reached out in kindness to the staff; they loved her and appreciated her warm smile and the service she offered them.
Sister Jane enjoyed a simple lifestyle; she loved nature, especially birds and plants. She could readily identify multiple species of both and was in her glory when she could spend time at Five Rivers or at the ocean. Reflective of her commitment to protect the environment, she maintained current memberships in the Sierra Club, Earth Justice and Nature Conservancy. Jane was a voracious reader, devouring the printed word from cover to cover, whether newspapers, books on spirituality, history, science fiction or a good novel. She loved to knit and welcomed the dual opportunity to engage in an activity she enjoyed while creating practical gifts to offer to those in need.
Sister Jane’s final, and perhaps her favorite ministry, was as support staff in the Office of the Registrar at Maria College, Albany. It was a perfect fit, for Sister Jane, for the registrars, and for the students, and she became a loyal friend. Her willingness to manage the office when needed freed the registrars to attend meetings they might otherwise have missed. When she was no longer able to live independently, Sister Jane graciously accepted that it was time for her to move to the nursing home. Although she herself was a resident, she took it upon herself to watch out for the needs of other residents less able than she, making certain they had received meals and essential services, and inviting them to join with others to watch television or engage in other activities. She had special devotion to the Eucharist and welcomed the opportunity to receive Communion as often as possible.