“The mystery of life and death, pain and healing unfold before us each day in our ministry. We are gifted to witness and share in the human spirit.”
Originally from Stamford, CT, Sister Catherine (Kathie) Rowe moved to Tampa, Florida as a teenager. After graduating from St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida she entered the Maryknoll Sisters in October 1963. As a child she had visited Maryknoll, NY, and remembered vividly that her geography book was written by Maryknoll Sisters.
“I remember thinking about those Maryknoll Sisters who seemed to go anywhere and do anything that would share God’s love – it seemed the very best way to implement my nursing abilities.”
Assigned to Hong Kong in 1968, Sister Kathie (2nd from left in photo) studied Cantonese and then began doing bedside nursing at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital. The challenge of the language was softened by the appreciation of the people for the efforts to reach out to them in their own language.
The privilege of serving patients and their families took on another aspect when she joined the newly formed Pastoral Ministry Team in 1981. The team was established by Dr. Conrad Lam to provide comfort and support to both patients and families during the patient’s hospital stay. “Walking with patients through the struggles of illness and diminishment and sharing in the deeper level of spirit was truly humbling and a tremendous gift. The simplicity and yet the depth of each person resonated the power of God’s love.”
The Chinese name for the Pastoral Ministry Team is translated as the Cherish the People team! In the photo, Sister Kathie is with some members of the team.
In 2000, Sister Kathie returned to the United States to care for her elderly father, who died in 2008. Presently, Sister Kathie is helping out in Maryknoll Residential Care at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.