Sister Mary Catherine Rich, CSJ
Sister Mary Catherine Rich, CSJ

Sister Mary Catherine Rich, CSJ (Sister Edmund Paul), 97, died Oct. 18 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 75 years.

Sister Mary Catherine was born in Little Falls, daughter of Edmund Paul and Catherine Volk Rich. After graduating from Herkimer High School and The College of Saint Rose, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, on March 19, 1945 and professed final vows on Aug. 15, 1950.

Sister Mary Catherine received a bachelor’s degree in social studies and a second bachelor’s degree in music, both from The College of Saint Rose, and a master’s degree in music from the Catholic University of America. Sister Mary Catherine taught music and piano for 27 years in schools in the Albany and Syracuse dioceses. For another 30 years, she taught piano at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, prior to the founding of Carondelet Music Center (CMC) and later as part of CMC. In 2003, Sister Mary Catherine retired from music education and volunteered at the Provincial House.

Having grown up in the Mohawk Valley, Sister Mary Catherine had a special affinity for the Algonquin-Mohawk Native Americans as well as a deep devotion to St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who was born near Auriesville. Sister Mary Catherine composed and published two hymns for the canonization of St. Kateri by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

Sister Mary Catherine is survived by her step-nephew, Eric (Ruth) Jahn, and his family; by many cousins and friends; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her step-brothers, Eugene and William Hall; and by her step-sister, Lois Oechsle.

Due to the continued health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no public visitation or funeral services for Sister Mary Catherine at this time. A Memorial Mass will be scheduled at a later date.