Sr. Catherine Grace, baptized Charlene Florence Bowen, 91, died November 13th in the 56th year of her Profession as an All Saints Sister of the Poor. The third daughter of Charles and Florence Bowen, she was born on July 31, 1929 in Camden, New Jersey. Prior to entering Religious Life, Sr. Catherine Grace was a registered nurse who thrived in the environment of the Operating Room and later in the Recovery Room, which she established in Cooper Hospital in Camden.
As a Religious, Sister Catherine Grace served in many capacities; Infirmarian, Guest Mistress, nurse at St. Gabriel’s Home for Retarded Children, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Day School, and a nurse mentor at the former Church Home and Hospital. She served as the Sister in Charge of St. Gabriel’s Retreat House, which she established, as Assistant Superior, and later was elected Superior of the Community for seventeen years.
Sr. Catherine Grace will be remembered for her vision of hospice care, shared by the late Dr. Robert Irwin, which unfolded in the co-founding of the Joseph Richey Hospice with Mt. Calvary Church. In 1992, Sr. Catherine Grace was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Nashotah House Seminary, Nashotah, Wisconsin.
Sr. Catherine Grace was known to never speak above a “whisper”, yet she led many Quiet Days and retreats. She was known for her spiritual wisdom and guided many priests, the wives of priests, seminarians, and other lay persons.
She is survived by her niece Susan Robinson Fagen and her husband John, niece Christin Robinson, and great niece and nephew, Kate and Patrick Fagen, and cousin Evelyn Barnhart, all of New Jersey, as well as, by the members of her Community of All Saints.
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