Remembering Sister Catherine Timothy Shanahan (1934 – 2023)

Sister Catherine Timothy Shanahan, SNDdeN and her twin brother, Paul, were born in their family home in Glenolden, Pennsylvania, where they lived until the age of three when the family moved to Norwood, Pennsylvania. Sister Catherine lived there until she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at Ilchester, Maryland, on August 12, 1951.

She and Paul were number ten and eleven in a family of fifteen and Sister Catherine described her family life as a "wonderful childhood". Her parents were strong Catholics and she was raised as such, attending St. Gabriel’s in Norwood and Notre Dame High School in Moylan, Pennsylvania.

Her earliest memory of being interested in religious life occurred when she played school with her brothers and sisters, always wanting to be the teacher. During her years at Notre Dame High School, she was struck by the friendliness of the Sisters who taught her and she wanted to be like them. This led her to enter with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

From 1954 to 2014, she served in five different schools and cities as teacher, principal, and in parish ministry. During that time she completed her bachelor's degree in education at Trinity College and a master's degree in religious education. She served at Our Lady of Miraculous Medal in Ridgewood, New York, followed by St. Camillus in Silver Spring, Maryland. From there she went to Trinity Lower School in Ilchester, Maryland, where she was a teacher and principal, and then served as principal at St. Joseph in Beltsville, Maryland. In 1972 she went to Holy Rosary School in Staten Island and she served as assistant principal for four years, as director of religious education and lay ministry coordinator for 32 years, and as pastoral associate for six years.

From 2014 until 2020, she lived in Philadelphia where she was companion to her elderly sisters. After a time spent in retirement at Villa Julie in Stevenson, Maryland, she moved to the Province Center in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

She enjoyed crocheting, bike riding, and volleyball.

Sister Catherine Timothy Shanahan went home to her good God on December 21, 2023, at the age of 89, and after 72 years as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur.

Sister Catherine's Ministries

1954-58 Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal School, Ridgewood, N.Y. (Teacher)
1958-67 St. Camillus School, Silver Spring, Md. (Teacher)
1967-69 Trinity Lower School, Ilchester, Md. (Principal & Teacher)
1969-71 St. Joseph School, Beltsville, Md. (Teacher)
1971-72 St. Joseph School Beltsville, Md. (Principal)
1972-2008 Holy Rosary School, Staten Island, N.Y. (Assistant Principal, then Religious Education Coordinator, then Director of Religious Education)
2008-14 Holy Rosary Parish, Staten Island, N.Y. (Pastoral Associate)