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.
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.