Terry Lila Rupert Kane was born on February 11, 1932, in Chicago, IL. Her father, Thomas Kane, a doctor, delivered her. All her life she was proud of the fact that her father was the first to hold her and welcome her into this world. She had three older brothers, Evan, Thomas and Bentley. Dr. Kane died from meningitis shortly after Terry was born, but her older brother, Evan, was like a father to her. She was very close to him, especially in her young adulthood.
When her mother remarried a military man, the couple had one daughter, Michele. They lived on military bases and moved a lot. For a while Terry was settled in a boarding school, where she excelled in her studies. But she was with her new family when they returned to the US. She loved her little sister and drew even closer to her and her husband, Ray, in later years.
Terry’s reading of the Bible and Baptist leaflets led her to believe in God, in Jesus as Lord. She was converted and baptized and was a member of the Baptist church.
Terry attended Montreat College in North Carolina, then was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Columbia University. She was an exceptional student and devoured information about anything, about everything. At Montreat she became acquainted with the Billy Graham family and for a while was one of his helpers on his Crusades.
One summer Terry volunteered to be a counselor for a group of youngsters going on a camping trip. One of her duties as a leader was to take some of the campers to church on Sunday. She took her group to a Catholic Church and was deeply moved by the beautiful decor of the church and the ritual of the Mass. She researched and studied a lot about Catholicism and eventually decided to become a Catholic. Her love for the Lord Jesus grew more and more.
As a stewardess for Pan Am Airlines, Terry’s desire to see the world was in great part fulfilled. She learned many languages and saw many countries and sought to know as much as she could about each. While she was based in Atlanta, GA, she met the parents of a Nun in the Carmel of Lafayette, LA. They told her a lot about the life of prayer in a Carmelite monastery and were very influential in helping her discern where the Lord was leading her.
After a lengthy correspondence with the Prioress of the Lafayette Carmel, Terry entered the Carmel in 1965, and a year later at her clothing ceremony, received the name Sr. Aletheia of the Lord Jesus. In 1992, she and three other nuns left the Lafayette Carmel on a mission of mercy - to help revive and renew the Carmelite Monastery of New Orleans. Eventually the nuns re-located the New Orleans Carmel to Covington, LA, on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
As a linguist, Sr. Aletheia translated the first volume of The Complete Works of Sr. Elizabeth of the Trinity and other Carmelite writings as well.
Sister Aletheia broke her hip in early October, 2018. She lived in the infirmary to recover from that fall. She began to lose her balance and fall often. The community was very attentive to her calls for help and made provisions so that she didn’t have to get up at night...but she got up anyhow. In June of 2020, the year of the Silver Jubilee of the Carmelite Presence in Covington, Sr. Aletheia had 3 falls, 2 with serious consequences. The impact of the first serious fall was on the back of her head and drew blood. 911 was called and she was taken to Emergency where a scan revealed blood on her brain. The follow up scan showed no blood on the brain. The impact of the second serious fall was on her right forehead, eye, and cheek- bone. After an appointment with her doctor, Sister was approved for Hospice Care.
Sister Aletheia’s condition worsened rapidly. Before she lost consciousness, she was singing, over and over, the hymn, LOVE LIFTED ME. Her community caretakers were around her bed when Jesus came for her at 1:35 p.m. on June 23.
The Funeral Mass will be said in the Carmelites' Guardian Angel Chapel on June 27, followed by the burial at St. Joseph Abbey Cemetery.