Catherine LeClair entered the congregation on September 8, 1947. At reception, she was given the name Sister Mary Catherine.
Mary Catherine’s ministry was in the area of education both in elementary and secondary schools. She held a degree in Business from St. John’s University and an MS in Business from Hunter College.
Our congregation was founded and deeply influenced by the Jesuit spirituality. Father Nepper, SJ described some of the characteristics that a “Daughter of Joseph” should possess:
Eyes open, ears attentive to the sufferings of the world;
a spirit alert, searching to understand what God and the dear neighbor needed from her;
a faithful and deep relationship with a loving God that moved her to respond;
sleeves rolled up ministry, doing whatever needed to be done.
At last evening’s prayer we heard numerous stories of Mary Catherine’s attentiveness to her family in time of need and her love for her niece, Kathy, her nephew, John and their families. Sisters, students and colleagues were recipients of her selfless and tireless help and support. But to complete the portrait of a Daughter of Joseph it is critical to note that all that was done was done with a continual joy of spirit. How obvious if one experienced Mary Catherine’s wit and humor.
Recently Pope Francis called religious in Catholic orders around the globe to “wake up the world” by being “real witnesses” to a countercultural way of life that relies on generosity and self-forgetfulness, I think that is the spirit of a Daughter of Joseph. We can all live in that spirit by remembering how Mary Catherine lived her life and trying to do the same.
Father Nepper completed the portrait by saying: “This is the quiet inner glow of the Sister whose life in the service of Jesus Christ has been successful.”
We all know that Mary Catherine was very “successful” in living a life of selfless love, compassion, generous service and deep inner joy; she was a true Daughter of Joseph.
Sister Mary Catherine Leclair, CSJ died on January 11, 2014 in the 67th year of her