Age 86

Sister Catherine Cummings always felt that she has been held close to the heart of Jesus whose love and forgiveness is limitless.

Born Shirley Ann Cummings in Plattsburgh, New York, her family moved to Ogdensburg, New York, when she was one-year-old. Even though she was taught by different orders of sisters in elementary and secondary school, when she met the Sisters of Mercy at Mercy Hospital in Watertown, New York, she felt called to join.

At the age of 18, Catherine entered the Sisters of Mercy in Tarrytown, New York. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mercy College in Detroit, Michigan, a master’s degree in nursing from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a doctorate degree in education from Columbia University in New York, New York.

After ministering as a nurse for 12 years at Mercy Hospitals in Watertown, New York, and Port Jervis, New York, she taught nursing on the collegiate level at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, and St. Joseph College in New York, New York.

Next, she served in leadership for five years for the New York regional community. In 2006, Catherine was called back to the Diocese of Ogdensburg with the start of a new ministry –Mercy Care for the Adirondacks. Serving first as director of the Friendship Volunteer Program and the Faith Community Nurse Program, she ministered as the mission director until 2023. She had the privilege of training and supporting volunteers and parish nurses who serve the elder members of the community.