Sister Catherine Benedict Hagens, OP, who has served as St. Dominic’s sister for more than 70 years, died on February 15 after a six-month illness. She was 89 years old.
Born in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on July 24, 1932, Teresa Hagens was baptized at St. Cecilia’s Church. At first, her family moved to Woodhaven, Queens, where she, her three brothers, and her two sisters were raised by the Sisters of St. Dominic in St. Louis. Elizabeth School. Teresa had an early religious vocation, and in 1946 she chose to spend her high school years at Villa Maria, the Dominican junior high school in Water Mill, New York.
On September 8, 1950, Teresa entered the Amityville novitiate as a postulant. She was dressed in the Dominican custom on August 4, 1951, and received her religious name, Sister Catherine Benedict. Her first swearing-in profession took place on August 6, 1952. Sister Catherine received a bachelor’s degree in science from St. Paul’s University. John’s from Jamaica, Queens, and a master’s degree in science from Villanova University in Pennsylvania. She holds a permanent New York State certification in biology, chemistry and physics.
Her original mission was to St. Patrick from Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, where he taught elementary school for eight years. In 1960, she was transferred to Rockville Center and taught science at St. Louis High School. Agnes Cathedral for the next eight years. He then taught science at St. John’s High School. John the Baptist of West Islip, NY and was chair of the Department of Science. This mission was followed for two years as a senior assistant at Queen of the Rosary Academy in Amityville.
In 1976, sister Catherine joined the Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) community in Lindenhurst. There she visited the parish, bringing Holy Communion to the parishioners at home, working with the Golden Age and preschoolers. In 1985, she became the principal of OLPH and served in that capacity until her retirement in 2004. During some of those years, she lived in a community at Our Lady of Lourdes, Massapequa, NY.
In 2011, sister Catherine moved in with Queen of Rosary.
All services for Sister Catherine were held in the Chapel of St. Albert in the Queen Mother House of the Rosary. A prayer service was held on February 19, followed by the Christian Funeral Mass. After Mass, Sister Catherine was buried in the Sisters’ Cemetery.
Sister Mary Ferrer McLean, OP, who served God’s people for 80 years as the sister of St. Dominic, died on February 21 at the age of 98. Her name, Mary Ann, was given at her baptism in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Astoria, Queens. Mary Ann joined the Amityville Dominicans at Watermill, Long Island Junior on February 2, 1942, and received her custom and religious name, Sister Mary Ferrer, on August 4, 1942.
She attended Brooklyn College and received degrees in primary education and data processing. Her first teaching assignment was in primary education at St. Joseph of Astoria, where her gift for educating younger minds was discovered. She continued to spread these gifts, teaching in Cure of Ars, Merrick, NY and St. John, Riverhead, NY Sister Mary Ferrer also served as interim director at St. John’s. Michael, Brooklyn and Corpus Christi, Woodside. Other teaching experiences were at Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Soace, Brooklyn; St. Francis of Assisi, Long Island City; and St. Boniface in Elmont. Her students and their families had long and loving memories when they had her as a teacher.
In the 1980’s, Sister Mary was called to be the Program Director at Amityville, serving at the Mother House in the field of Social Services / Support.
When Sister Mary retired from active service, her service did not diminish. She has made donations to nursing homes, hospitals and missions in El Salvador. Sister Mary became a regular volunteer at Catholic Charities across from the Mother House, especially in the Meals on Wheels Program and at the Senior Nutrition Center. Returning to her first love in the ministry, she volunteered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst, working with our sisters.
All services were held in the Chapel of St. Albert at the Queen of the Rosary Mother House. A prayer service was held on February 24, followed by a Christian Funeral Mass. Immediately after Mass, Sister Mary was buried in the sisters’ cemetery.