Sister Cathryn Meyer, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 98, died Sunday, July 10, 2016, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in her seventy-eighth year of religious profession.
The oldest of thirteen children, Sister Cathryn was born to Peter and Catherine (Hein) Meyer on August 19, 1917, in Stratford, Wisconsin. At her baptism she was given the name Florence Theresa. She and her parents lived with her grandmother Meyer for several years. Florence became so attached to her grandmother that she refused to leave when her parents moved. She lived with her grandmother until 1929. Eventually, the family’s new home was built next to the town hall in Eau Pleine, Wisconsin and Florence came to live there. Florence had “a deep and holy longing…to enter a convent, to join the ranks of my former teachers whom I loved and reverenced…” She confided her secret to her teacher and then to her parents. The only opposition she felt was from her grandmother.
Florence entered St. Rose Convent on August 8, 1932, with two of her classmates, Sister Elvira and Sister Angelice. Upon entering the novitiate on August 5, 1936, she was given the name Sister Cathryn. She made first profession of vows on August 9, 1938 and final vows on August 10, 1944.
From 1937 to 1990, Sister Cathryn served as teacher and/or principal in elementary schools in Iowa, Washington and Wisconsin, including twenty-two years at Blessed Sacrament School, La Crosse, and six years at Holy Trinity School, La Crosse. Following a sabbatical year after retiring from the field of education, Sister Cathryn ministered in pastoral care at St. Anthony Nursing Home, Carroll, Iowa, until she moved to St. Rose Convent in 2003. In 2012, Sister Cathryn went to Villa St. Joseph.
Sister Cathryn is survived by her Franciscan Community; her brothers: Peter Meyer, Jr., Sayner, Wisconsin and Melvin (Dolores) Meyer, Nekoosa, Wisconsin; her sisters: Gertrude Krueger, and Patricia (Jerome) Folz, both from Wausau, Wisconsin, Mary (James) Szydel, Neshkoro, Wisconsin, Rita (Maynard) Erdmann, Wautoma, Wisconsin and Ruth Schroepfer, Marshfield, Wisconsin and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Raymond, James, Walter and Albert and her sister Agnes.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Cathryn was held July 14, in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse. Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782.