In Memoriam: Breen-Phillips rector Sister Mary Catherine McNamara

by Dennis Brown

Sister Mary Catherine McNamara

Sister Mary Catherine McNamara

Sister Mary Catherine McNamara, S.I.W., rector of Breen-Phillips Hall at the University of Notre Dame, died Wednesday (Feb. 8) of complications from a stroke. She was 67.

“Sister Mary’s ministry in Breen-Phillips Hall was marked by a warm sense of welcome, a quick sense of humor and an abiding commitment to the care and formation of her residents,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding. “She will be dearly missed by me, her residential life colleagues, and past and present residents of Breen-Phillips Hall.”

A native of Cleveland, Sister Mary was appointed rector of Breen-Phillips in 2012. She was a Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament and held a bachelor’s degree in education from St. John College of Cleveland and a master’s degree in education from the University of Akron.

Sister Mary served on numerous committees in her congregation, as counselor on the Congregation Leadership Team and as assistant congregational leader. She was elected to the Conference of Religious Leaders in the Diocese of Cleveland.

A Mass in memory of Sister Mary will take place Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will preside and Director of Campus Ministry Rev. Pete McCormick, C.S.C., will preach. All are welcome to attend. Campus Ministry and the University Counseling Center are offering support to anyone affected by Sister Mary’s passing.