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Sister Mary Catherine Smith, longtime educator

Sept. 21, 1929 – May 7, 2015

Sister Mary Catherine Smith, a longtime educator, died Thursday in Colette Hilbert Care Community in her 62nd year of religious life. She was 85.

Born in Baltimore, Lillian Smith entered the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph as a postulant on Sept. 8, 1950, and professed her final vows on July 19, 1955.

Sister Catherine earned a bachelor of science degree from Daemen College and additional credits from Villanova University.

For 57 years, Sister Catherine ministered in education at schools including St. Vincent in North Evans; St. Hyacinth, Monessen, Pa.; Most Precious Blood, Angola; Mater Dolorosa, Holyoke, Mass.; St. Hyacinth, Auburn; St. Michael, Bridgeport, Conn.; and Father Kolbe School, Baltimore.

Sister Catherine also served as principal of St. Vincent School; a teacher’s aide at Sacred Heart in Danbury, Conn., and Most Precious Blood, Angola; and as a part-time library aide at St. Mary of the Lake, Hamburg. In 2011, Sister Catherine joined the sisters in the Colette Hilbert Health Center.

Sister Catherine, known for her humility and kindness, was a gifted teacher and told her students that they were “a gift of God to their parents.” She also enjoyed reading and puzzles.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Immaculate Conception Convent, 5229 South Park Ave., Hamburg.

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