Kathleen Xavier Clarke

Clarke, Kathleen

Time Period


Notable Facts

First woman to join the Burlington, Vermont Sisters of Mercy in 1879. Took the name Sister Mary Xavier. Established herself as a business professor at St. Michael's School in Montpelier.

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Date of Death


Primary Residence






Historical Significance

Kathleen Clarke was the first young woman from Burlington, Vermont to join the Sisters of Mercy. She attended St. Mary's Hall and frequently assisted the Sisters of Mercy in their visitation and social work among the poor of Burlington.

In 1879, she took the name of Sister Mary Xavier. As a novice, she took charge of the garden and lawns, struggling with a scythe until her father presented her with a lawn mower.

Sister Xavier helped to establish Sisters of Mercy foundations in Montpelier, Barre and White River. She later taught business at St. Michael's School in Montpelier, offering girls an opportunity to gain real office skills. Many of her students were able to find openings in the Montpelier National Life Insurance Company after graduating from her classes.

Organizations or Movements

  • Sisters of Mercy


  • Sister of Mercy
  • business teacher

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • "The Face of Mercy; Vermont 1872-1991"

  • Sisters of Mercy: Vermont Link