In Memoriam

Sister Catherine Ahern smiling with short gray hair wearing a light blue shirt(1930-2023)

If it were not for missing his ship, Patrick Ahern might well have perished in the North Atlantic on his way to America.

In April 1912, Patrick, a native of County Kerry, Ireland, was supposed to be on the RMS Titanic, but he missed the sailing and instead got on the RMS Mauretania, which arrived in Queenstown, Ireland, a few days behind the Titanic.

Once in the United States, he traveled to Chicago to live with a cousin and got a job at the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad. A few years later, he met Jane Condon, a Chicago native who worked as a newspaper proofreader, and the two married in 1921. Over time, eight Ahern children – four boys and four girls – entered the world; besides Catherine, there were Marie, John, Patrick, Jane, Eugene, Gerald, and Leona.

Catherine Lorraine, the fifth of the children, was born on March 27, 1930, right after the biggest snowstorm in Chicago history. More than nineteen inches fell in the two days before her birth, with drifts leaving snow as “high as the back fence,” she wrote in her autobiography.

“Once I was born and the crying began, my four-year-old brother said to my dad, ‘Put her on the floor and let her crawl.’ That set the stage for great competition for a lifetime,” her autobiography continued.

Read more about Sister Catherine (PDF).


make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 




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