CATHERINE REILLY, OP
CATHERINE REILLY, OP
Sr. Catherine Reilly (Sr. M. Loyola), OP, 82, died on Feb. 18, 2019, in St. Catherine of Siena Healthcare Center, Caldwell, N.J. She was “Sherry” to most of us!
Sherry was a woman of joy, kindness, and compassion, who served God and the Congregation faithfully for 65 years. “Friend” was her way of greeting everyone! No, it was not because she could not remember names. As God calls everyone “Beloved”, Sherry used the term “Friend” and meant it!!
Born in Jersey City, N.J., Sherry first learned of God’s unconditional love for her from her parents, Frank and Alice Reilly. She entered the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell on Aug. 15, 1954; received the Dominican habit on June 30, 1955; made first profession on July 2, 1956, and final profession on July 2, 1962.
Her formal studies took her from the BA program in history and education at Caldwell College (Caldwell University), to the MA in history from Villanova University, and the MS in pastoral counseling from Iona College. Sherry received certification in supervision from Seton Hall University and certification in Marriage and Family Therapy from the American Institute of Marriage and Family.
Sherry was a devoted elementary school teacher in Lyndhurst, Mountainside, New Providence, Caldwell, and Union, N.J. A skilled administrator, she served as vice principal at in Rutherford, and principal at in Wharton and West Orange, N.J. She also served as an assistant librarian at Caldwell College (Caldwell University) in Caldwell; therapist at Mt. Carmel in Newark, N.J., and bereavement therapist at St. Rose in Short Hills, N.J.; guidance director at Lacordaire School; pastoral associate at St. Thomas Moore in Fairfield, N.J.; and ESL teacher in Bloomfield, N.J. She served on the Board of Trustees for Marion Manor and Caldwell University in Caldwell and the Family Life Bureau in Morristown, N.J. Sherry coordinated “Project Rachel”; developed the Innovative Guidance Program for the Archdiocese of Newark, and initiated the “Ministry for Separated and Divorced” for the Diocese of Paterson.
Whether counseling bereaved spouses or knitting prayer shawls, Sherry added her compassionate wisdom to the sometimes difficult terrain of our lives.
Throughout all these adventures in study and ministry, Sherry befriended so many in her gracious way, bringing the message of God’s never-failing love to all who came to know her.