Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletApril 10, 2021

In Remembrance

Sister Catherine Schuyler, CSJ

Sister Catherine Schuyler, CSJ (Sister John Emmanuel), 107, died Sunday, February 17, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, NY. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 85 years. At the time of her death, Sister Catherine was the oldest Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet in the United States.

Sister Catherine was born in Hagaman, NY, daughter of the late John and Nelly Doherty Schuyler. After graduating from Schenectady High School, she attended The College of Saint Rose and received a bachelor’s degree in English in 1933. On March 19, 1934, Sister Catherine entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, NY, and professed final vows on August 15, 1939. She subsequently received a master’s degree in English from The Catholic University of America and a doctoral degree in Spanish from Case Western Reserve University.

For the first 27 years of her life as a Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Catherine was a teacher of mathematics, science, English and Spanish in high schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. For nearly ten years, she taught English and world literature and supervised student teachers at the University of Santa Maria in Arequipa, Peru, and also worked as a social worker in Arequipa. Upon returning to the United States, Sister Catherine ministered for 23 years in Florida in the fields of education, social services, prison ministry and pastoral ministry to Hispanic migrants. When Sister Catherine returned to the Northeast, she lived for 12 years in Warrensburg, NY, and volunteered in St. Cecilia’s Parish. In 2012, at the age of 101, Sister Catherine retired to St. Joseph’s Provincial House where she lived and delighted sisters and staff until the time of her death.

Sister Catherine was decidedly a woman ahead of her times with her brilliant mind, keen perceptions, far-reaching insights and challenging questions. Her passion for justice, interest in the world around her and voracious appetite for reading made Sister Catherine always ready for a good discussion, especially regarding politics and religion! She was a superb teacher, recited poetry from memory, had a heart for the disenfranchised, hiked until she was 99 and absorbed all the works of Thomas Merton. Her fondness for opera was surpassed only by her affection for dogs which, in turn, was surpassed only by her focus on knowing, loving and serving God. Sister Catherine was a person tiny in stature and tall in wisdom, humor, compassion and grace; she will be dearly missed.

Sister Catherine is survived by her nephew, Dr. Richard Schuyler; her grandniece, Catherine Schuyler; her cousin, Jeanne Schuyler; many friends with special mention of Judith Rozell and Sisters Linda Hogan, Sara Cannon, Lamese Farhart, Paul Kathryn Barno and Robert Rita Graham; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Catherine was predeceased by her brothers, John and Richard Schuyler; and by her sister, Florence Sweeney.

Sister Catherine was a participant in the Albany Medical College Anatomical Gift Program and donated her body for medical education and research. Her Memorial Mass was celebrated on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. A sharing of memories honoring Sister Catherine’s life was held in the chapel on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. prior to the Mass.

Contributions in Sister Catherine’s name may be made to the Retirement Fund of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Rd., Latham, NY 12110.

Sister Catherine climbing Benwood Mountain at age 96