Sister Catherine (Andrew Marie) Waldron

From an early age, teachers encouraged Catherine Waldron, SNDdeN, to join religious life. 

Sister Catherine's parents were devout Catholics with an active spiritual practice. When her father’s work brought the family to San Jose, CA, they found the Sisters of Notre Dame at St. Mary Elementary School and Notre Dame High School.

As a family, they helped with school fundraisers and social events. Sister Catherine became immersed in the wider Notre Dame de Namur community, and knew that she wanted to become part of the vowed community. However, when her older sister entered the novitiate, Sister Catherine tried to hold off, determined to make her own decision!

In a few months, though, she became very restless and knew that God was calling her to Notre Dame.

Sister Catherine (Andrew Marie) describes her ministry as “a privilege.”  Looking back, she realizes she never equated entering the SNDdeNs with becoming a teacher.

“I was focused on being a member of a worldwide community communicating God’s love to the world,” she says.

She did, however, manage to teach all 12 grades of elementary and high school in eight years. Then, was grateful to be able to move into parish ministry.

Sister Catherine loved many aspects of parish life: preparing liturgy, visiting parishioners, sacramental preparation, tutoring and summer schools for young people and adult Bible study.

She especially felt a part of the wonderful African American parish community in Hunter’s Point, San Francisco, Our Lady of Lourdes. For her, that time was a marvelous blend of working with the materially poor and being enlivened by the Gospel Choir.

Following this ministry, Sister Catherine was chosen for the Leadership Team of the former California Province and, on completing that service, was able to choose a ministry that combined the best of all her previous ministries – counseling psychology.

Sister Catherine Waldron, SNDdeN ministering in the Hunter's Point parish of San Francisco in the 1970s.

The tumultuous ‘60s and ‘70s came with the Vatican Council calling the whole church and all religious congregations to renewal. In the midst of great changes and challenges, many of her friends—as well as her two sisters—left the SNDdeNs.

“The challenges continually begged the question of what I was doing with my life,” she says. “Yet I have never felt peaceful with anything but continuing to renew my commitment daily. Many of us who remained have become passionate in visioning a new religious life.”

For many years, ministered as a Marriage & Family Therapist to about 20 people each week  Her patients’ Her patients’ ages  four to nearly 70 years, as they  focused on how to best understand, accept and redirect their life journey. She also supervised interns counselors in local school districts.

She says, “I love being able to be an instrument of God’s love by listening to their rich life experiences and by acknowledging their pain as they struggle for transformation and a new life purpose. Many come specifically for faith-based understanding and interpretation.”

Sister Eileen McCarthy has seen Sister Cathy’s work in all these ministries and says, “She has shared her gifts with many, many people. She reaches out, gives unconditional acceptance and shows people their worth.”

Sister Catherine has great hope for the SNDdeN community and has, for years, been among those playing a significant part in its consolidating five USA provinces. She  served on the leadership team for the new U.S. East-West Province. A life threatening infection rudely interrupted and radically altered her abilities to continue on the leadership. Sister Cathy’s life is focused on prayer and reflection for the turbulent world we populate.