July 13, 1924 – September 11, 2021
Sister Bernadette Catellier, CSJ (Sister Rose Bernadette), 97, died on September 11, 2021, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, New York. Sister Bernadette was born on July 13, 1924, the daughter of Arthur Catellier and Roseanna Forget Catellier. She was one of six siblings, two of whom died as infants.
After graduation from Catholic Central High School in Troy, New York, Sister Bernadette entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet in Troy. She professed her first vows in March 1945 and made her final profession in August 1948. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph for 78 years.
Sister Bernadette received her bachelor’s degree in commerce and a master’s degree from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. Sister Bernadette’s earliest years of ministry were spent teaching in the elementary grades in both the Albany and Syracuse Diocese. She then taught business in several high schools of the Albany Diocese.
In 1975, Sister Bernadette embarked on what was to be a most significant aspect of her ministry, pastoral ministry. She served in parish team ministry in Cohoes, ministered at University Heights Health Care in Albany and served as pastoral associate in the parishes of Mechanicville and Stillwater. In these roles, she saw parishioners who were homebound as well as those in the hospital and nursing homes.
Working with parishioners, Sister Bernadette facilitated Bible study, directed sacramental preparation programs, encouraged parishioners in accepting their roles in liturgical ministries and participated in the activities of parish and community. Her artistic and creative gifts came into play not only in her education activities, but also in the projects of civic organizations. Her handmade greeting cards added to many celebrations and brightened the days of shut-ins. Her culinary skill and ready smile made her a loved hostess.
Sister was truly a lifelong learner. She participated in spiritual retreats and courses and also took advantage of Elderhostel programs. One of the areas that intrigued her was geology, and many summers found her visiting various sites, marveling at the history “written in the rocks.” In her retirement years, Sister Bernadette’s many interests and love of crafting were shared with her sister community.
Sister’s family and friends were very important to her. She was predeceased by her parents, Arthur and Roseanna Catellier; her brothers, Arthur, Ernest, and Raymond, who died as toddler; her sisters, Alice and Lillian (an infant). Sister Bernadette is survived by her sister, Theresa Tyrrell; her nieces, Linda Charbonneau, Patricia Giorgio and several others; a nephew; and cousins. Friends, particularly from the Mechanicville community, were treasured supports for sister. Her memory will be cherished by her Sisters of St. Joseph Community, especially her dear friends, Sister Rosaire Anne DeMare and Sister Suzanne David Petronis and the caregivers at St. Joseph’s Provincial House.
With continued health concerns and restrictions, attendance at the funeral services for Sister Bernadette on Tuesday, September 21, at 11:00 a.m. will be limited to the members of her religious community and her immediate family. Contributions in Sister’s memory may be made to: The Office of Mission Advancement, St. Joseph’s Provincial House, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY.