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Our eldest Sister died yesterday. Sister Catherine Schuyler was 107 years old. We were preparing to celebrate next month her 85 years as a Sister of St. Joseph. In my mind’s eye and ears I can hear the uproar of cheers that would have erupted to accompany her up the aisle of our grand chapel to celebrate her life and thank her for the example she offered of steadfastness and joy.

My favorite story about Catherine is the way she chose to celebrate what I believe was her 97th birthday. She loved the Adirondacks and chose to live among those mountains in her “older age.” Urban legend tells that she climbed a mountain on that birthday “because she could!” (Her words, as the story goes.) What an example of living until you die! And she lived after that for another decade. I can easily bring her wonderful smile to mind. How happy she must be now to know the beatific vision that smiles back at her in heaven.

“Fly with the angels, Catherine! You will live on in our hearts,” said the announcement to us of her passing yesterday. And so she surely does already, and so she will remain.

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