Catherine Talia, OSU grew up in Brooklyn, New York in a predominately Italian community until she was 6 years old, at which time her family relocated to Ozone Park, Queens. It was in Ozone Park that Sister Catherine first met the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk at Nativity BVM School. After graduating from Dominican Commercial High School in Jamaica, Queens, she entered the Ursulines at Blue Point, Long Island and attended St. John’s University.
Sister Catherine’s ministry experiences have varied throughout the years. She has taught first grade, high school Theology and Spanish, and eighth grade English and Religion. After eight years of teaching, Sister Catherine was appointed Director of Initial Formation for her religious community and served as such for five years. It was during this time that she received her training for spiritual direction and spent eight years as coordinator of services at Pronto of Long Island, a community service agency in Bay Shore. Her work at Pronto during the time of the civil war in El Salvador urged her to open a shelter for Hispanic woman in Bay Shore. Although her dream did not materialize exactly as she had hoped due to financial constraints on the part of the community, a shelter was opened for women and children and Sister Catherine served as part of the live-in community, which staffed the program at night.
After Pronto and the shelter, Sister Catherine took a year sabbatical during which she studied Spanish further in Bolivia and worked with migrant workers in a program run by the Christian Brothers in Florida. Upon her return, Sister Catherine served in St. Peter of Alcantara parish for four years as the Coordinator of Hispanic ministry.
She was elected to leadership in the Province in 1994 and in 1996 was elected Provincial, a position that she held for ten years. At the end of her term, Sister Catherine took another sabbatical enjoying Italy for three months, giving a retreat in India, and taking a renewal for herself at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson, Arizona. Before joining the MCIF Center Board, Sister Catherine taught English and served as the Director of Education at the Center for three years.
Sister Catherine says that her life has been blessed with family, friends and community. She and her two sisters remain close. She is presently serving again as Provincial for her religious community.