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Sister Katherine M. Biernacki, ex-Hilbert president March 6, 1914 -- Feb. 23, 2006

Sister Katherine Marie Biernacki, a teacher, parochial school principal and former president of Hilbert College, died Thursday in Colette Hilbert Health Center, Hamburg. She was 91.

Born Catherine Biernacki in Baltimore, she entered the aspirancy of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph in Baltimore in 1927, became a postulant in 1931 and professed her final vows in 1936.

She received bachelor's degrees from the University of Detroit and Marygrove College and a master's degree from St. Bonaventure University. She also attended Dominican College in Racine, Wis., and the University of Wisconsin.

An educator for 41 years, Sister Biernacki taught at Immaculata Academy in Hamburg as well as in schools in Bridgeport, Conn., Detroit, Baltimore and Auburn. She was principal of St. Barnabas School in Depew and schools in Kenosha, Wis., and Detroit. She then became academic dean at Hilbert College and served as president in 1973-74.

In 1977, she pursued studies in pastoral ministry and ministered at St. Joseph Hospital, Cheektowaga; St. Anthony Home, Hamburg; and the Courtyards health care facility, Hamburg. She retired to Immaculate Conception Convent, Hamburg, in 1991.

Sister Biernacki was known for her love of learning and her flexibility, caring, concern and patience.

Surviving is a brother, Edward of Baltimore.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Immaculate Conception Convent Chapel, 5286 South Park Ave., Hamburg. Burial will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.


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