Sister Catherine Donohue

One of eight children born to Joseph and Mary Donohue, Kitty grew up in Immaculate Conception Parish in Jenkintown and attended the parish grade school and John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School.

Her pastor encouraged young Kitty to consider religious life. Even at an early age, Kitty gave witness to her growing deep faith.


Sister Kitty ministered in the archdioceses of Philadelphia and Washington, and the dioceses of Allentown, Arlington, Camden and Trenton. For 14 years, she taught at the elementary level, then as high school teacher at Hallahan, Cardinal Dougherty and Archbishop Ryan.

Teaching days were interrupted when she generously responded to a family need, helping to care for her seven nieces and nephews when her sister-in-law died suddenly. In her own words, Sister Kitty said this one-year period of her life was a great grace and “a profound learning experience.”

Upon her return to ministry, Sister Kitty moved into ministries of religious education, pastoral ministry and the Center for Spirituality staff. Later, she served as spiritual director in parishes, assisting in adult spiritual formation. Still later, she accompanied Sister Karen Doyle to Taiwan to train new spiritual directors, one of her greatest joys in ministry.

Sister Kitty’s spiritual joy overflowed to others: sisters in community, students, family, friends, people in parish ministries, co-workers and her spiritual directees. Like the Blessed Mother, to whom she was most devoted, Kitty fostered life in so many. Ahead of her time, she had a gift of empowering others and believing in them.

Sister Kitty continued to feel beautiful because of God’s loving gaze, and she offered that assurance to all whom she met.