Sister Catherine Michael Napier, OSF, is celebrating 50 years as a Sister of St. Francis.
She grew up in Syracuse in a family of six, graduating from Most Holy Rosary in 1966 and entering the order in the same year. She earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Maria Regina College and her nursing degree from D’Youville College.
Sister Catherine has worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital, at the infirmary at Jolenta Hall, and at St. Francis Medical Center in Hawaii. She returned to the mainland and began working at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Utica, where she has continued to serve for 37 years. She has worked in many positions and units over the years, and currently serves in a quality professional position. When not working, Sister Catherine enjoys spending time with her family in the Adirondacks, kayaking, swimming, and hiking.
Sister Catherine said she knew she wanted to pursue religious life after high school, citing the examples and encouragement of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who taught her at Rosary. She also always wanted to be a nurse, which is what led her to the Franciscan community, she explained.
The time has gone by quickly, Sister Catherine said, and she’s had many wonderful opportunities and met many lovely people through her ministry. To a young woman discerning a call to religious life, she advises finding a spiritual advisor as well as a vocation minister in order to get involved in the life of the community. “If you have that inspiration, always try it out,” she said.
Sister Linda Ann Palmisano, OSF, is marking 50 years of religious life. A native of Syracuse, she attended Blessed Sacrament School and the Convent School, graduating in 1966 and entering the Sisters of St. Francis that year.
She attended Maria Regina College and D’Youville College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She later earned her master’s in health care administration from Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I.
Sister has served at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Utica; the infirmary at the motherhouse; for 20 years at the Mercy Health and Rehabilitation Center in Auburn, working in a variety of positions including staff nurse, assistant administrator, and administrator; and at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. For more than 10 years, she has worked in Loretto’s PACE CNY program, providing spiritual care to members.
Sister Linda Ann said she was struck by the charism of the Franciscan sisters who taught her in high school, recalling them as cheerful and joyful. She considers her greatest blessings her vocation, her family, and her ability to work in healthcare, she said.
Her advice for anyone discerning a vocation is “to go with your heart…. talk with somebody you trust, and pray that God gives you the grace to do whatever his will is for you.”