This compassionate counselor, tender chaplain, and beloved friend was born in St. Paul, MN to Thomas and Anne (Connelly) Jenkins, on June 7, 1923. Catherine died peacefully on March 18, 2021. When she was just 16, she felt “called to contemplative life,” and upon graduating from high school, joined the Poor Clare’s (1941). In 1953, she was one of six Sisters who founded the Poor Clare Monastery in Bloomington, MN. Catherine’s educational journey included a BA in Theology and Philosophy from St. Thomas University St. Paul, MN (1976), courses in Franciscan History and Spiritual Direction at St. Bonaventure University, Olean, NY (1978), and certificates in Spiritual Direction and Chemical Dependency Counseling from St. John’s, University, Collegeville, MN (1985).
In 1981, Catherine joined the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in St. Paul, where she spent the next 32 years offering ministry work in Pastoral Care at Bethany Convent in St. Paul; Chemical Dependency Counseling and Chaplaincy work at Mounds Park Hospital in St. Paul; Spiritual Direction and 12 Step Retreats at many Twin City Churches, Carondelet Center, and St. Joseph and United Hospital in St. Paul; Prison Ministry at Sandstone Federal Prison; and as care-partner for several persons with AIDS for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
At 94, Catherine decided to publish A Journey from Shame to New Life: One Woman’s Story of Alcoholism (Good Ground Press), stating: “I think my story will help women and men, regardless of their life commitments, know that they can face their addiction and move into a sober, fulfilling life.”
Catherine is preceded in death by her parents and brothers Loren and Robert Jenkins. She is survived by many nieces and nephews; grand nieces and nephews; cousins; dear friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, April 9, 2021 at 11:00 AM, in Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, 1884 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, with burial following at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights. Social distancing, limited seating, and wearing masks required. Memorials preferred to the Sisters of St. Joseph Ministries Foundation. Sister Catherine, rest in love and peace.