Sister Catherine Rowe, Maryknoll Sister for 53 Years Dies
Maryknoll, NY: Sister Catherine Rowe, M.M. missioner and nurse died on March 12, 2017 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 75 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 53 years.
She was born in Stamford, CT on March 7, 1942 to Verna (Kielty) and Harold J. Rowe. She had three brothers: Peter, Fred and William. Her parents and her brother Peter have predeceased her.
Catherine’s family moved to Florida when she was a teenager and she graduated from the Academy of the Holy Names, Tampa, FL in 1960. From 1960-1963, she attended St. Vincent’s Hospital Nursing School in Jacksonville, Fl where she earned a nursing degree and graduated as an RN. In October 1963, she entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, MO from Christ the King Parish in St. Petersburg, Fl. At her Reception of the Habit, she received the religious name Sister Michael Elizabeth and made her First Profession of Vows on June 24, 1966 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. During her stay at the Sisters center, she attended Mary Rogers College from 1965 –1967 and earned an A.A. degree.
In 1968, Sister Catherine was assigned to Hong Kong where she studied Cantonese for one year and did bedside nursing as a staff nurse at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital in Kowloon. On June 2, 1974 she made her Final Vows in Hong Kong. In 1978, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she worked in the Sisters Nursing Facility until 1981; she then returned to Hong Kong where she took a refresher course in Cantonese for seven months before joining the Pastoral Ministry Team at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital. She remained in this ministry until 2000, when she returned to the United States to care for her elderly father until his death in 2008. From 2013-2015, Sister Catherine served at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in the Residential Care Unit, ministering to the congregation’s elderly and infirmed Sisters. She also visited the inmates at Sing Sing Prison on a weekly basis.
After fighting a debilitating illness for several years, she herself became a patient of the Maryknoll Sisters Center Home Care Unit where she died on the night of March 12, 2017. Sister Catherine generously donated her body to science.