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Approaching 100, Sr. Catherine Schuyler reflects on life

During an interview this week, Sister Catherine Schuyler, who’s turning 100 years old on Aug. 23, urges her pet dog Korby to jump into her lap.

During an interview this week, Sister Catherine Schuyler, who’s turning 100 years old on Aug. 23, urges her pet dog Korby to jump into her lap. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Sister Catherine Schuyler has invested her life into teaching others while enhancing their spiritual awareness and bridging cultural divides.

She’s been at it a long time — since 1933.

Schuyler, a retired nun that lives in the rectory at St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church in Warrensburg, is turning 100 this week, and she took time with Sister Linda Hogan Monday Aug. 16 to reflect on her career. Saturday Aug. 20, parishioners and friends are gathering in both St. Cecilia’s and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lake George to pay tribute to a woman who has devoted nearly 80 years to serving others.

Schuyler grew up in Hagaman, N.Y. northeast of Amsterdam. As her mother died at a young age, Schuyler was raised primarily by her grandmother, and later by her stepmother. She attended the College of St. Rose in Albany, and graduated in St. Rose’s second class ever.

Not long after graduation, Schuyler became a nun, joining the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet based in Troy.

Her grandmother, Schuyler recalled, was disappointed in her chosen vocation.

“When I made my decision, she told me, ‘It’s a lazy life,’” Schuyler remembered with a chuckle.

But her life wasn’t lazy in the least, Hogan noted.

Since 1936, Schuyler taught Literature, English, Mathematics and Science at various area Catholic high schools, followed by college-level teaching assignments in Peru from 1963 to 1974. At the University of Santa Maria in Arequipa, she taught English, World literature, and served as a librarian.

Her tenure in Peru prompted a good number of life-long friendships, Hogan noted. Just several weeks ago, one of Schuyler’s students in Peru visited her.

“Sister Catherine is not only inspiring, she’s unforgettable,” Hogan said, noting her sharp wit and sparkling personality. “She’s a wonderful, wonderful teacher, and people in Peru still talk about her.”

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