“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Our community at Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs was saddened this week by the sudden passing of one of our own. Catherine McClinch was a young woman who attended both Saint Catherine Academy and most recently was part of our newly formed Adult Day program. But she was much more than that. Catherine had a love of life – holidays were a favorite. Well into January, she would greet you with “Happy New Year” or “Happy Easter” following for weeks after the Easter Bunny was long gone. “Good morning Maureen Smile” was her way of addressing Sr. Maureen. And she was most content when her beloved Miss Sonia was within arm’s reach.
Catherine brought to Saint Catherine’s a reminder to all of us that the measure of one’s life is simply in the relationships you have and the people you impacted. Upon learning of Catherine’s passing, we heard from volunteers, bus drivers, the woman at the counter at the Y – all telling stories of how Catherine had brought a smile to their day. All of us have been humbled by her perseverance in the face of life’s challenges and the simple joy that she chose to adopt. We will continue to smile when we are reminded of Catherine in music class or swimming at the Y; playing basketball in the gym or eating her ice pop. We each have that special moment that will remain with us. We are blessed to have known her and we are challenged to move forward and be the best person we can be every day.
While this is a difficult time for all of us, as a faith community, we lean on our belief that Catherine is at peace with God. Our faith will guide us as we continue to serve the young people entrusted to us. Mother Teresa challenges us that “we can do no great things; only small things with great love.” This is how Catherine lived and we honor her memory by accepting this challenge.