Just a month after celebrating her 100th birthday, Sister Catherine, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for 82 years, died peacefully on January 16. Born on December 17, 1909 in Tipton, Kansas, Catherine was one of Max and Katherine Arnoldy’s eleven children. When the family relocated to Marysville, CA, Sr. Catherine attended and graduated from Notre Dame High School. Catherine entered the Sisters of Notre Dame at Belmont, and made her first vows in 1931. She attended Holy Names College, San Jose State College, Lone Mountain College, and University of San Francisco where she received her M.A. in Education Administration.
Sr. Catherine was known for her generous spirit, friendly and positive attitude, and exemplary classroom skills. She served as teacher and administrator in Notre Dame elementary and secondary schools in California and Oregon, including Alameda, Redwood City, Portland, Salinas, Sacramento, and 15 years in Chico. Thousands of students and families were influenced by Sr. Catherine, and many still comment on the profound difference she made in their lives. Former co-workers appreciated her calm, gentle ways.
Retiring from full time ministry in 1976, she volunteered her services at Notre Dame High School, Belmont, and became the cornerstone of the Attendance Office and Resource Center for nearly 20 years. She treated students with respect, fairness, and with personal care and interest; she also enjoyed mastering the computer system. A side benefit to working at Notre Dame was going occasionally with principal, Rita Gleason, to ‘49er games, and meeting her favorite player, Jerry Rice. After truly retiring in 1999, Sr. Catherine happily spent her last decade at Holy Names Convent in Los Gatos, making new friends, staying in touch with former students, friends, and family, and praying every day for all of them.
Sr. Catherine is lovingly remembered by many nieces and nephews, former students and her Sisters of the Holy Names and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.