Sister of the Month
Sister Catherine Kugler
The thread that has run through Sister Cathy Kugler’s life is music. From her earliest years when she sang with her family, music and singing have been her companions.
Cathy began her teaching career at Fontbonne Hall as a teacher of music. After teaching music and English at Fontbonne and the Academy of St. Joseph, her life took a transformative turn. In 1983, she went to teach at Colegio San Jose in San German, Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico captivated her. She assimilated the culture and the language and loved and was loved by the people. Even now she is in close contact with many through social media. Although she continued to teach English in high school, music was a major part of her ministry. She was involved with music in the local parish, but her joy was being the director of the school chorus. S. Cathy loved to sing and to enable others to sing!
In 1990, S. Cathy returned from Puerto Rico and began a ministry as Coordinator of Hispanic Apostolate. After three years at St. Ann’s in Brentwood, she took on the role of Coordinator of Hispanic Apostolate for the south fork of Long Island. S. Cathy was responsible for six parishes which went from Bayshore to Montauk Point and she loved it. However, in 2000, she returned to Puerto Rico and remained at San Jose until the convent was formally closed.
Returning to Brentwood in 2007, she worked at St. Luke’s parish until she became responsible for the care of her mother. After her mother’s death, for a time S. Cathy legally separated from the congregation but not in her inner spirit. She became a Respiratory therapist and worked in Vermont, always considering herself a full member at a distance.
During this time, she faced the challenge of being a Respiratory Therapist during the pandemic. She describes it as “being at the front lines!” But there was always the music! She became known as the “therapist who sings”. Singing with her patients brought them a bit of lightness and comfort.
Cathy returned to Brentwood in 2022 and brought all these experiences to a ministry at Maria Regina. When the role of Coordinator of Local Community became vacant, she assumed it and brought music to her service to the sisters. Singing with and to the residents is part of her ministry. As she says, ”I can’t imagine life without singing.