Sister Catherine Mary Sheehy, Age 96


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Sister Catherine was known by her sisters in community as a gentle, warmhearted person, full of life and laughter. In every way, she manifested the traits of Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.

In 1941, Sister Catherine began her long teaching career at St. Patrick School in Hartford, Connecticut. Until 1975, she taught grades 1 and 2 in several schools throughout Connecticut. In 1970, she became principal at St. John School in Stamford. In 1975, she became the principal at Greenwich Primary in Greenwich and in 1976, principal at St. Philip School in Norwalk.

1990 was a spectacular year for her. Sister Catherine was appointed principal of the newly formed Norwalk Catholic Regional Elementary School, named All Saints Catholic School. She was selected for this position by the pastors of the seven Norwalk parishes. Together, she and Sister Sally Norcross, CND, who served as vice-principal, created a gold standard for elementary education.

As a principal Sister Catherine had a mantra based on Jesus’s admonition, “Whatever you do to anyone else, you do to me.” She believed when you are working with others, you don’t know what burdens or joys they may be carrying. You don’t know what your smile might do.

Sister Catherine was diminutive in size but large in spirit. After 16 years of building this educational program she served as a pastoral minister at Assumption Parish, Westport. It was there she became good friends with Father Tom Thorne. When she retired, she resided at St. Philip Convent in Norwalk, where she volunteered at Lourdes Health Care in Wilton until her failing health brought her to St. Mary Home in West Hartford.

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