Sister Grace Catherine Smith, CSJ


Marie Theresa Smith entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 9, 1035. At Reception, she was given the name Sister Grace Catherine. Grace was a talented artist who held a BA in English from St. John’s University and an MA in Art from Catholic University

What Shall I Render to The Lord is a hymn composed by Sister Grace Catherine Smith, a Sister of Saint Joseph for 79 years. As Sisters of Saint Joseph we live our lives simply, courageously and compassionately offering all of abilities and talents to bring about God’s reign wherever we are, in the time that we live.

Grace Catherine was a talented and gifted woman who shared her gifts in multiple ways. She responded to the needs wherever she was and brought her many gifts in English, Art and Music to create an atmosphere of reverence, beauty and praise of our God who loves unconditionally.Grace Catherine had many gifts to share as a teacher, musician and artist. She brought her love of English to students in our congregational schools as well as her love of Art that resulted in multiple art shows for the students to shine and realize their God-given talent.

In the first reading of today’s liturgy we will hear Isaiah’s Song of Thanksgiving where he acclaims God’s name, exults God’s deeds and tells all to “sing praise for God’s glorious achievements.” Grace Catherine did this all of her life through her art and music expressing with beauty and grace images of praise in painting and song. I am sure that as she expressed her great devotion to our Blessed Mother, in paintings that grace our Motherhouse Convent, she now joins her voice in praising God with Mary and all of the angels and saints. Grace will be remembered by all of us through the treasures she created to praise God by her works. A poem Grace wrote herself expresses this:

 When our life’s ship daily sails

Unto Eternity,

We must admit the years fly by with great alacrity.

The meetings, feasts and special days

We await anxiously

Came and went like a gust wind

Their remains? – a memory.

Sister Grace Catherine Smith, CSJ died on March 12, 2014 in the 79th year of her religious life.