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Sister Catherine Rowe, 75, Maryknoll Sister for 53 Years Dies

Stamford-born Sister Catherine Rowe, a Maryknoll Sister for 53 years died on March 14, 2017.
Stamford-born Sister Catherine Rowe, a Maryknoll Sister for 53 years died on March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Stamford-born Sister Catherine Rowe, a Maryknoll Sister for 53 Years, died on March 12. She was 75.

She was born on March 7, 1942, to Verna (Kielty) and Harold J. Rowe. Rowe had three brothers, Peter, Fred, and William. She predeceased her parents and brother Peter.

Rowe's family moved to Florida when she was a teenager and she graduated from the Academy of the Holy Names, Tampa, Fla, in 1960.

From 1960-1963, she attended St. Vincent’s Hospital Nursing School in Jacksonville, Fla., where she earned a nursing degree and graduated as a registered nurse. In October 1963, Rowe entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, Mo., from Christ the King parish in St. Petersburg, Fla.

At her Reception of the Habit, she received the religious name Sister Michael Elizabeth and made her First Profession of Vows on June 24, 1966, at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. During her stay at the Sisters Center, she attended Mary Rogers College from 1965 to 1967 and earned an A.A. degree.

In 1968, Rowe was assigned to Hong Kong where she studied Cantonese for one year and did bedside nursing as a staff nurse at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital in Kowloon. On June 2, 1974, she made her Final Vows in Hong Kong.

In 1978, Rowe returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she worked in the Sisters Nursing Facility until 1981.

Rowe then returned to Hong Kong where she took a refresher course in Cantonese for seven months before joining the Pastoral Ministry Team at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital.

She remained in this ministry until 2000, when she returned to the United States to care for her elderly father until his death in 2008. 

From 2013-2015, Rowe served at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in the Residential Care Unit, ministering to the congregation’s elderly and infirmed Sisters. She also visited the inmates at Sing Sing Prison on a weekly basis. 

After fighting a debilitating illness for several years, she herself became a patient of the Maryknoll Sisters Center Home Care Unit where she died.

Rowe generously donated her body to science.

A Vespers service will be held for Rowe on March 24, at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. 

A Memorial Mass will follow on March 25, at 11 a.m., also in the Main Chapel at the Sisters Center.

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