Jan 14, 2014

OBITUARY: Sister Catherine Van Houten, SSJ



HOLYOKE – Sister of St. Joseph Catherine Van Houten, (formerly Sister Richard Anne), 66, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield in her 49th year in the community, died on Jan. 12.

Born in Chicago, IL she was the daughter of Richard and Anna (Murphy) Van Houten. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Holy Name Parish, Springfield. She was graduated from Cathedral High School, Springfield. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from the College of Our Lady of the Elms, Chicopee, and a master of arts degree from Fairfield University, Fairfield, Conn.

She taught at St. Mark School, Pittsfield, and Sacred Heart and Blessed Sacrament schools, Holyoke. She also taught at Holyoke Catholic High School before becoming principal of the former St. Matthew School, Indian Orchard. She was an administrator at St. Bridget School, Manchester, Conn. She subsequently served in the Catholic schools of the Bridgeport Diocese, Conn., as religious educator and librarian.

She was a spiritual director, offering private direction, programs and retreats, often in conjunction with Mercy Center at Madison, Madison, Conn. An accomplished potter, she was a member of Wesleyan Potters in Connecticut; she was to become president of the organization in the near future.

In addition to her sisters in community, she is survived by her siblings, Adrienne Bagnall of Wilmington, N.C., Rita Van Houten of Orlando, Fla.,, Jon Van Houten of Easthampton and Steven Van Houten of Jaffrey, N.H.

The wake will take place at Mont Marie on Friday, Jan. 17 from 9-11 a.m., with a prayer service at 10. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held in Mont Marie Chapel at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Mont Marie Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph, Mont Marie, 34 Lower Westfield Rd., Holyoke, MA 01040-2739.