Sister Mary Regis Leahy was a Sister of Mercy for 76 years. Sister Regis taught religion and music for 23 years to elementary students wherever her community needed them. This included Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Durango and Greeley (to her alma mater!), Colorado; Joplin and Independence, Missouri; and Buhl, Idaho, where she served as principal at Immaculate Conception. She earned two master’s degrees, one in education and the other in religious education.
In 1972, Sister Regis began devoting her time to religious education. She worked as director of religious education at three parishes in Loveland, Greeley, and Boulder. She also worked for Mercy Housing in Denver for several years. In 1989, she was invited to serve the Archdiocese of Denver. For 15 years, she was the media center coordinator for Northern Catholic Education Services.
No matter where her ministries took Sister Regis, Frederick, Colorado always remained home. Eventually, she returned to live there in her family’s tiny house. In addition to her ministry work, Sister Regis was active in her hometown community, including serving as the state’s first female emergency medical technician for the Tri-Area Ambulance that she helped organize. She also served on the town planning commission and other church and civic associations. A cancer survivor, Sister Regis helped organize the local Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. She was the local poster child celebrity participating in the annual walk for many years.
Sister Regis was an accomplished writer, artist, and poet and also loved gardening. She often left a wheelbarrow full of produce for the taking at her garden gate with a sign reading, “Please, Help Yourself.”
After experiencing several health issues, Sister Regis moved to Omaha in the spring of 2021 to be with her community.