Daleen Larkin, SNJM

Daleen and her younger sister, Kathleen, are the daughters of Eileen and Dale Larkin. Daleen’s name is a combination of her parents’ names. When Daleen was born, the family home in San Jose, CA was in a new housing development and financed with a government loan for veterans. Daleen met the Sisters of the Holy Names when she and her sister were enrolled at St. Mary’s School, Los Gatos. Her parents both worked in Los Gatos so this was an easy choice. During her elementary years, Daleen knew she wanted to be a teacher and the seed of her vocation was planted. She remembers having a “pen pal” Sister at the Los Gatos convent, and she often visited there. Her mom died of cancer when Daleen was in eighth grade and her dad, not a Catholic, continued to support her religious education and choice of a Catholic high school. The St. Mary’s School Sisters were a special presence during high school and her participation in the sodality program. After attending San Jose College/University, she entered the community in 1967.

Postulate and novitiate were times of “experimentation” and transition in religious life. Hers was the first postulant group to wear skirts, blouses and blazers. Living “in the missions” at Holy Names High School and attending Holy Names College/University during her postulancy were both new things. Novitiate included “Novice Workshops” with other congregations as well as theology classes. After first commitment and her graduation from college, Daleen was missioned to St. Mary School, Los Angeles, to teach third grade. She has lived and served in the Los Angeles area ever since.

Formal education has been the life work of Daleen, who has served as an elementary teacher, director of religion and principal at parish schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. She was active in developing Guidelines and Standards for the Archdiocesan Religion curriculum, faculty development, integrating the arts into the elementary program, and preparing students and families for the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. She was the last SNJM principal at St. Andrew School in Pasadena, where she served for 23 years. She founded the St. Andrew School Board and served on other boards, including for South Central Los Angeles Ministry Project (LAMP), Ramona Convent Secondary School in Alhambra and Immaculate Conception School, Los Angeles. Her work with schools going through the accreditation process led to her three years as the Western Catholic Educational Association Commissioner for the Department of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Daleen has returned being a classroom teacher, her first love. She is the Theology Department Chairperson, Theology Teacher and Campus Minister at Ramona. Together with the seniors she teaches, she explores spiritual life and growth, and studying and finding God/The Holy One in the world religions course. She is active in the life and activities of the Southern California Mission Centre and in retreats, justice and service projects with the students.

Daleen is grateful for all the Sisters, Associates and people she has met and worked with during her journey as a Sister of the Holy Names. Being sent to various schools and workplaces has brought her the gift of people and relationships as special blessings.