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Sister Catherine (Sister M. des Anges) Bennett

by RSHM Eastern American AreaCategory: Obituaries7 Comments

woman in blue blazer, blue and with plaid blouse, wearing glasses and gray hair. seated looking at camera

Sister Catherine Bennett, RSHM, previously known as Sister M. des Anges, died at Marymount Convent, Tarrytown, NY, Wednesday, November 23, 2022. She was 93 years of age and had been a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary for 74 years.

Born in Southampton, NY, on May 13, 1929, to John and Sara Finlay Bennett, she was the sixth of seven children, four girls and three boys.

She received a BA in History from Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY, an MA in Biology/Education from Hofstra University, New York, NY, and an MA in Theology from St. Michael’s College, Burlington, VT.

Sister Catherine came to know the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary when she was a student at the Academy of the Sacred Heart of Mary in Sag Harbor, NY. She entered the RSHM Novitiate in Tarrytown, NY, on September 8, 1946, and made her first vows on April 24, 1948. Five years later, also in Tarrytown, she made her final vows on April 24, 1948.

Her first assignments were to RSHM schools in Manhattan, NY, teaching at the Academy of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Park Terrace (1948-1950) and at Marymount School New York, where for several years she also served as principal of the elementary school (1950-1959).

In 1959, Sister Catherine was sent to Marymount School in Mutare, Zimbabwe, then known as Umtali, Southern Rhodesia, where she taught biology and religion in the high school, which was also a boarding school. She remained in Africa for 17 years (1959-1976), except for one year while working on a Master’s degree at Hunter College (1974-1975).

When she returned to the United States, Sister Catherine taught at St. Andrew’s School, Sag Harbor, NY (1976-1979). While teaching at St. Andrew’s, she took part in courses and workshops to prepare herself to be a Spiritual Director and Retreat Leader.

Sister Catherine began her new phase of ministry as a pastoral minister at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Southampton, NY (1980-1992). She was the Co-director of Joshua’s Place, an ecumenical center for spirituality for women in Water Mill, NY (1993-2000).

At Marymount International School, London, England, she taught, helped with school liturgies, and worked with people who wanted to become Roman Catholics (2001-2009). Then she spent one year at Marymount University, Arlington, VA where she started a meditation group and gave spiritual direction (2009-2010)

When Sister Catherine moved to Marymount Convent, Tarrytown, NY in 2010, she continued her pastoral outreach through her meditation groups and other volunteer activities at Transfiguration Parish (2010-2015). After retiring in 2016, Sister Catherine remained at Marymount Convent and was a member of the Convent community at the time of her death.

Sister Catherine is survived by nieces and cousins and by the members of her RSHM family.

Services will be held at Marymount Convent, 32 Warren Avenue, Tarrytown, NY. Visiting Monday, November 28, 4:00 – 7:00 pm with Vigil Service 7:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial, Tuesday, November, 29, 10:30 am. Burial Mount Calvary Cemetery, White Plains.

We ask all non-RSHM attending to please wear a mask.

We invite you to join us for the live-streamed Vigil Service and Mass on our website or Facebook page, where it will be archived.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in her name may be made to Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, 50 Wilson Park Drive, Tarrytown, NY, 10591.

7 thoughts on “Sister Catherine (Sister M. des Anges) Bennett”

  1. Avatar

    I am so sorry to hear of Sister Catherine’s passing. She was one of the kindest and most welcoming persons you would ever meet. Her stories of her many years in what is now Zimbabwe were true mission treasures. May she rest peacefully in the presence of her loving God🙏🕯🎈

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    R.I.P. Sister Catherine. As the brother of 2 Marymount (Zimbabwe) students, I know how kind and loving you were to the girls at the School. Your influence was not confined to the College, but permeated into the wider community. May the Angels welcome you into eternity.❤️

  3. Avatar

    I have a deep love of Nature the environment and all living things
    This love was bourne and nurtured on the wooden benches of Sr Des Anges’ Biology Lab at Marymount College
    The best teacher and mentor ever !
    A piece of her lives in my heart forerver!
    Thankyou ,special Teacher and person 💓

  4. Avatar

    Sr Catherine was a special soul; humble, she always found the right words to comfort and enlighten. She was my teacher in the mid-60s, and we reconnected over meditation as late as 2010. RIP dearest Sr Catherine. I will always remember you with fondness.

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    Sr. Catherine was a gentle woman with a soft welcoming smile, in tuned with the person in front of her and a holy Sister. She facilitated our monthly Marian Prayer gatherings in each others homes in Sag Harbor. There were about 8 to 10 of us. I learned the value of simplicity, listening, sharing and honoring our journeys.
    God Bless Sister Catherine.

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