Sister Catherine Coleman, 75

Catherine Coleman
Catherine Coleman
Posted: October 19, 2013

Sister Catherine Coleman, 75, of Bridgeport, who taught in Catholic schools for 20 years, died Monday, Oct. 14, of melanoma at McAuley Convent in Merion.

After graduating from Little Flower High School in June 1956, she went to work as a secretary for Aero Service Corp. Six months later, she entered the Sisters of Mercy convent, and she professed her vows in 1959. She was known then as Sister Marian Pius.

"I have been a teacher, social worker, pastoral minister, administrative assistant, secretary, and spiritual director. I have really enjoyed each of these ministries," Sister Catherine said at the time of her 50th anniversary as a Sister of Mercy.

She continued working until recently, serving as an administrator at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School. "She didn't even retire," said Sister Pat Carroll. "She planned on starting the school year."

Sister Coleman earned her bachelor's degree in humanities from Villanova University and a master's in business education from what is now Rider University.

She spent several years as an elementary-school teacher at St. Denis in Havertown; St. Joseph's in Summit Hill, Pa.; St. Christopher's in Philadelphia; Annunciation in Havelock, N.C.; and Holy Cross in Springfield, Montgomery County.

In 1965, she began teaching Latin and religion at what was then St. Maria Goretti High School. Later she chaired the business-education department at Archbishop Wood High School and also taught in the department. After returning to teach elementary school at Holy Cross in 1970, she resumed her positions at Wood in 1973.

She left teaching in 1979, and from then until 1988 served as an administrative assistant in various departments at Mercy Catholic Medical Center, Misericordia Division, in Philadelphia.

Sister Catherine went on to work at Mercy Court in Yeadon, a residence for seniors, when it opened in 1988.

In 1990 she began her seven-year stint as a pastoral minister and social worker at Holy Cross. She then served in the admissions and main offices of Gwynedd Mercy Academy.

In recent years, her convent colleagues said, she found joy in meeting with individuals for spiritual direction and with groups for sharing faith. During summers, she continued classes at Sacred Heart University, earning a certificate in spiritual direction in 2002.

She is survived by two brothers and a sister.

A memorial service will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, followed by a Funeral Mass at 7, in the chapel at the Convent of Mercy, 515 Montgomery Ave., Merion Station, Pa. 19066. Burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the community cemetery.

Donations may be sent to the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community at the convent address.

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