The Following Tribute was delivered by Sister Teresita Weind, the present General Moderator of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur during the Requiem Mass for Sister Catherine Hughes RIP 
Our Lady of the Annunciation Redemptorist Church, Bishop Eton 
Thursday 30th March 2017 
 
Pat O’Brien, Liliane Sweko, Masheti Wangoyi, Maureen White, members of the Congregational Leadership Team (CLT), asked me to assure you of their presence of prayer and support with all who are gathered in remembrance of Sister Catherine. 
 
Thank you, Bishop Vincent Malone, for beginning your homily with an article from the Constitutions of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Your words are a link to the sentence in the CLT letter to our Sisters preparing for the Midway Evaluation between General Chapters: 
 
The time has come for us to begin our Midway Evaluation of the Implementation of the Constitutions and the living out of the 2014 Chapter Calls. In 1989, the Sisters authored our Constitutions from a “center of shared communion, stillness and interior peace” at a time of radical change in the Church. 
 
Sister Catherine Hughes provided inspiration and leadership in her role as Congregational Leader, serving and working with the authors of the Vatican approved, 1989 Congregational Constitutions and Directory. She had the vision of a way forward to “strengthen and preserve the unity of the Congregation”. (Constitutions # 133) 
 
We thank God for Sister Catherine, a woman of courage and stamina, who stood firm in the face of criticism and opposition from leaders in the Church and unrest in the Congregation. 
 
Is it possible that her gift of courage began on the day of her birth when she, apparently still born, was wrapped in newspaper and put aside? Was this Catherine’s first pause of contemplative-prophetic spirituality as she slowly responded to the breath and spirit of God moving through what was thought to be her lifeless body? [Silent PAUSE] God had a “call on Catherine’s life”, a call that overcame the apparent death at birth to development and growth! God remained faithful in calling Catherine, animating her to and through many phases of her ministry. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Specifically during those six years of her Leadership of the Congregation, Catherine responded to God’s call and affirmed the mission of Notre Dame de Namur among and with the people where our Sisters serve in the world. 
 
At the recent 2014 General Chapter much attention was focused on contemplative listening, prophetic witness, and critical social analysis. New interest was given to what was in the 1989 Constitutions. 
 
In preparation for today’s reflection, I read our Constitutions, watching for one or two articles that would be the appropriate link for sharing about Catherine’s gift to our Congregation. I paused at article # 82, which is about formation of novices: 
 
In the novitiate period we foster a deeper understanding and experience of our contemplative-prophetic spirituality, our mission and vowed life. 
 
We provide opportunities for a coordinated study of and analysis of our contemporary social reality. 
 
Long before the Constitutions and Directory were written and approved, Catherine’s life bore witness to contemplative-prophetic spirituality and critical social analysis. 
 
Thank you, Catherine, for being a model of how new members are formed; for being a model of courageous and authentic leadership. Thank you for serving with VISION, accompanying all of us who desire to be faithful to the Gospel call and imperative of justice, peace and care of our human family around the world. 
 
And, dear friends, in memory of Sister Catherine’s birth and beginnings, if you have a dream, idea or vision that seems slow in “coming to life”, wrap that dream, idea or vision in newspaper and put it aside. Wait and watch for the breath of God, the Living Spirit to shape and form your dream, idea or vision for the Peace and Unity so desperately needed for our fragmented and wounded world! 
 
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us!  
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us! 
Melt us, mold us, fill us, use us!  
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us!  
(Daniel Iverson, 1926)