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Sister Joan Catherine Perridge passes

Sister Joan Catherine Perridge passes - (16-08-2012)

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Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration Joan Catherine Perridge, OSB passed away on Aug. 14, 2012, at Our Lady of Rickenbach healthcare facility in Clyde, Mo.

She was born on July 25, 1927, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the third oldest in a family of seven children born to William James and Anna (Carlton) Perridge.

Sister Joan Catherine’s early years were filled with playing basketball, singing and knitting. She stayed home after high school to help care for her family, which included her ill mother and an older sister who later passed away.

She eventually attended business school and worked for an advertising firm on Madison Avenue in New York City. However, the pull of religious life increased, knowing that from the tender age of nine she had been attracted to the Blessed Sacrament.

She entered a Carmelite community at the age of 23 but left a year later due to illness. She worked for the Sisters of Mercy and two years later decided to explore her religious vocation once more. 

Discovering the right balance of work and prayer that spoke to her heart, she entered the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in 1955. She made her first profession on March 13, 1958, and received the name Sister Mary Kathleen. She returned to her baptismal name of Joan Catherine in 1978.

Throughout her years in the Congregation, Sister Joan Catherine lived at the monasteries in Clyde, Kansas City, Mo., San Diego and St. Louis. Her work areas included the correspondence department, the laundry, gardening, bookkeeper in two houses, altar bread production, kitchen and bakery, and portress in all four monasteries where she had lived.

One of the most enjoyable moments of her life was a trip she took at age 50 with her father in 1977. They traveled to Greece, Cairo, Jordan, the Holy Land and Rome.

She once wrote, “The Holy Land breathes a presence of the Lord even today amidst the commercialism, ruins, poverty, disputes, rivalries and contradictions. His presence seems to transcend the confusion and difficulties which exist and are probably not unlike those of the time of Christ.”

Sister Joan Catherine moved to Our Lady of Rickenbach healthcare facility in 2001. In her later years, she radiated a quiet joy and showed her affection by whispering “I love you” to those who would pass by.

Sister Joan Catherine once said, “It is difficult me for to express what a life such as mine, hidden in God, is all about. I am grateful for my faith and the vocation, which I am sure will lead me to that life for which we are destined, through death to true life in God.”

She was 85 years old and in the 54th year of her monastic profession. She is survived by three sisters and one brother.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Friday, Aug. 17, in Clyde. Memorials can be sent in care of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 31970 State Highway P, Clyde, Mo. 64432-8100.