Sister Berta Sailer, Co-Founder of Operation Breakthrough Passes Away at 87

Sister Berta Sailer, 87. Photo via: Courtesy Operation Breakthrough

Posted January 26, 2024

Sister Berta Sailer, a co-founder of Operation Breakthrough, passed away at the age of 87 Thursday.

She was born Judith Felice on Dec. 10, 1936, in Chicago and was an only child. She was released by her grandmother, Berta Sailer. She entered Mount Carmel Convent and took the name name “Sister Berta,” to honor her grandmother, reads her obituary.

Sister Berta came to Kansas City with her friend Sister Corita in 1968 to teach at St. Vincent’s School at 31st and Flora. When fears of St. Vincent shutting down arose, Sister Berta and Sister Corita decided to create the non-profit Operation Breakthrough in 1971.

Operation Breakthrough provides “a safe, loving and educational environment for children in poverty and empowers their families through advocacy, emergency aid and education,” according to its website.

Operation Breakthrough grew to serve more than 700 children each weekday, offering onsite medical and dental care, occupational, speech and play therapy, and a host of family
services, in addition to educational enrichment.

The non-profit asks that instead of flowers please consider memorial contributions to The Sister Corita and Sister Berta Irrevocable Trust (for the care of their family) in care of Country Club Bank, One Ward Parkway, Kansas City MO 64112, or a gift to the children at Operation Breakthrough, 3039 Troost Avenue, Kansas City MO 64109.”