Sister Catherine Meinert, SC
April 9, 1940 – July 24, 2023
SISTER CATHERINE MEINERT, SC, age 83, was called home by God to eternal life at the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill on Monday, July 24, 2023 in the 62nd year of religious life. Born in Pittsburgh on April 9, 1940, Sister Catherine entered the congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill on September 8, 1961, from Saint Joseph Parish in Bloomfield.
Sister Catherine was preceded in death by her parents, Michael and Carmella (De Nardo) Meinert; a brother, Robert; and cousins, Grace Huerbin, who was like a sister to Sister Catherine, Antoinette Thornquest; and a good friend, Barbara Darnley. She is survived by her nephew-in-law, Donald Wilson; his daughters, Donna and Hope; and her religious community. One of Sister Catherine’s many blessings was having the love of cousins and friends throughout her life.
Sister Catherine earned a bachelor’s degree in history and education from Seton Hill University, and two master’s degrees, one in education from Duquesne University and the other in applied theology from Wheeling Jesuit College in Wheeling, West Virginia.
In the spirit of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, and of Mother Aloysia Lowe, who established the Sisters of Charity in Western Pennsylvania, Sister Catherine possessed a passion for Catholic education that filled her heart with joy. She said, “I believe in Catholic education with all my heart and soul. I think that it changes lives.” She taught students in the intermediate and middle school levels in the dioceses of Pittsburgh and Greensburg and in the Archdiocese of Washington. Sister Catherine was principal of Saint Therese School, Munhall, from 1973 until 1982. In 1996, she was assigned the principalship of Conn-Area Catholic School, Connellsville, and served in that capacity until 2007. Dedicated and diligent, Sister Catherine exemplified the qualities of a Setonian Teacher and Administrator, welcoming all students and ministering to them with patience, respect, challenge, and encouragement.
From 1982 to 1996, Sister Catherine ministered as an educational consultant for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. She chaired the assessment and social studies committees and was responsible for the supervision of thirty-two schools. She was elected to the Executive Committee of the National Catholic Education Association and was honored with the association’s “Recognition of Dedicated Service.” Sister Catherine was a member of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania Education Committee and in 1997 she was honored as the Teacher of the Year in recognition of her leadership. She received two awards from Seton Hill University, the Presidential Medal of Distinction and the Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award for her outstanding achievements, contributions to her profession, service to the community, and commitment to the University.
Sister Catherine’s heartfelt compassion for the poor and disadvantaged was equal to her love for education. Demonstrating the Vincentian-Setonian Legacy, she actively engaged in working for and with those who could not fulfill their simple needs without support from others. Helping the poor and needy was a rewarding activity, and she engaged in it wholeheartedly. Among other outreach organizations, she worked with Rendu Services, a collaborative ministry that provided services to underprivileged Fayette County residents, and the Alternatives. Yes Pregnancy Support Center, where she served on the board for 15 years.
Sister Catherine was elected a councilor to the United States Province of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in 2007 and served as Provincial Treasurer and director for material resources for five years. She was elected Provincial Superior in 2012 and served in that capacity until 2021. Following her terms in provincial leadership, Sister Catherine retired to Caritas Christi. The Sisters are grateful to the nursing staff and employees at Caritas Christi for their devoted care of Sister Catherine.
When reflecting on her decades of service, Sister Catherine said, “I believe that I was called by Our Lord to be a Sister of Charity. The call was not accompanied by a trumpet blast or an extraordinary experience; rather, it was a growing conviction that this was what God wanted of me. I have been honored to work with so many good people through the years, especially children. Every ministry has been a wonderful blessing to me. How blessed I have been to have answered God’s call.”
Rest in peace, Sister Catherine, as your loving and faithful God welcomes you home to unite eternally with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Mother Aloysia Lowe, and the Company of Charity.
The funeral liturgy will be live-streamed; access through the link: https://venue.streamspot.com/2af9e1eb