Dominican Sister of Peace Catherine Siena Bosch, OP, died at Mohun Health Care Center (Columbus, OH) on October 31, 2015. She was born on October 27, 1924, in Steubenville, OH, and entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1942. She made her first profession of vows in 1944. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree from Ohio Dominican University and a Master of Science in Elementary Education degree from Fordham University.
Sr. Catherine ministered in elementary schools in the dioceses of Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Steubenville and the Archdiocese of New York. She was also the Assistant Supervisor of Diocesan Schools in the Steubenville Diocese from 1971 to 1977. In Columbus, she served as Assistant Supervisor of Education for the congregation and worked in the office and was Manager of Nazareth Towers, a ministry for the elderly.
She volunteered at the Dominican Learning Center as well and served in several capacities at the Columbus Motherhouse.
In her preaching Prioress Sr. Patricia Twohill, OP, said:
Catherine certainly chose perfect readings for her funeral Mass today.Words stand out to us:
- God did not make us imperishable.
- God made us in the image of God’s own nature.
- Those who trust God will understand truth.
- The faithful will live in God’s love.
- Grace and mercy await those God has chosen.
Catherine believed with her whole heart, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I shall not turn away.”
Our opening song captures her faith in God’s promise – “Do not be afraid, I am with you. I have called you each name. Come and follow me; I will lead you home. I love you and you are mine.”
Catherine knew whose she was – and because she was so firmly grounded in this realization – she was FREE…FREE to be herself; FREE to be happy; FREE to be a “friend of God” and our friend.
When we think of Catherine, many attributes come to mind. She was a “community woman” – always willing to be called and sent to do whatever was required for the sake of the community.
She was humble. She had many gifts, but she didn’t waste time telling others about them. She just used them for the good of all.
She loved her family, and all of us who knew her in the convent could recite “chapter and verse” anecdotes about her nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews and on. Their comings, goings and accomplishments brought her great joy.
Like St. Dominic, she was even-tempered. What is said about him we could say about her: His/her mind always retained its usual calm, unless stirred by compassion and mercy; and because a joyful heart begets a cheerful face, he/she manifested peaceful harmony…by a cordial manner and a pleasant countenance.
There are so many things we could say about Catherine, but one key way she reflected God’s image was in her SPACIOUSNESS OF HEART! Catherine had an “enlarged heart” – though not in the medical sense. She made room for each of us there. That’s not easy to do.
When I first met Catherine she was my age now, and I was 25. We were missioned together at St. Andrew Avellino where she was the Principal and I was the 7th grade teacher. Being early risers, we encountered each other in the kitchen each morning at about 5am, and about ¾ of an hour later, we would be joined by Marian Keane. Catherine would later refer to this group as “The Breakfast Club!” It was at this little kitchen table that we found precious time to share with each other from our hearts – what was concerning us; what advice we could offer each other (picture her asking me for advice and me with temerity offering it!). Sometimes we would be laughing so hard we were afraid we would wake the others. Can’t you still hear the lilt of her laughter?
Catherine made room for me in her life even though I was young. She welcomed me in. Why is this so noteworthy? Because in our lives, God blesses us with only a few close friends – that’s just the way it is – and so with relationships already well established, it can be hard when new members join our ranks to “break in,” so to speak, to establish friendships that allow deep sharing from the heart; sharing of faith; and practical things like having someone to go on retreat with, vacation with, etc. But Catherine made room for “the new kid on the block” even as she maintained long standing friendships that went back to her childhood in Steubenville.
Catherine’s life was characterized by what I would call SPACIOUSNESS! This is what allowed her to make new friends when we became Dominican Sisters of Peace. Just look around today. Many of her “new friends” from a variety of founding congregations are here. They, like I, experienced her deep, spacious welcome.
Life for us won’t be the same without her. We will treasure our memories: the card games; the Scrabble matches; the family gatherings with outstanding appetizers; the fabulous celebration of her 90th birthday that her family, with Sr. Mattie’s assistance, pulled off as such a sweet surprise.
Saints on Earth surrounded Catherine with love in the days before the end – her Mohun and Motherhouse community; her friends, her family. Saints in heaven assembled to welcome her – her parents Leo and Lucy; Leo, Betty, Mary Lou and Miller, Sisters Virginia and Malachy, and so many others too numerous to name, were right there when she heard God’s voice calling her home. As she had said so often over 90+ years, she said again, “Yes,” and fell into God’s loving arms on the morning of the Eve of All Saints.
Like her namesake, St. Catherine of Siena, she was touched by the beauty of love through which the Triune God binds us all together. St. Catherine, reflecting on the moment of death, said, “The door of heaven opens to us through the Blood of Christ. Like bridesmaids adorned for a wedding, our virtues come with us as far as this door – but then stop at its threshold. Charity emerges, charity the bride; leaving her attendants at the entrance to her chamber, she alone proceeds into the bridal room. No other virtue enters heaven, because no other is needed… – “not faith, nor hope, nor patience.” Like attendant bridesmaids, the other virtues have prepared us for heaven, but charity receives the reward, for the love which alone united us to God on Earth now enters into heaven and becomes its very life.”
Charity exemplified Sr. Catherine Siena’s life and led her into the loving arms of God. She has left us a map, a blueprint, of how to reach this same goal ourselves. And, we will follow.
Sr. Catherine Siena was preceded in death by her parents Leo and Lucy Miller Bosch, sisters Mary Lou Bosch Hagan, Betty Bosch and brothers Leo Bosch, Jr. and Brother John Miller Bosch, FSC.
A Vigil of Remembrance was held on November 4 and the funeral was held on November 5, both at the Columbus Motherhouse. Burial was at St. Joseph Cemetery, Columbus, OH.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Catherine Siena’s memory may be submitted securely online at oppeace.org or mailed to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219.
2 responses to “Sr. Catherine Siena Bosch, OP”
I worked and Mohun Healthcare Center for 7 years and Sr. Catherin Siena was always warm and loving in everything she did. She was always there with guidance when I needed it. She always appreciated any little thing I did for her and I loved doing things for her. She was a someone I will cherish knowing in my life. I know you are in a wonderful place but you will be missed! God Bless you Sister.
Whenever I visited Columbus Sr. Catharine Siena was there to greet and feel at home. I pray and miss her.