COLUMBIA, S.C. — Paul Williams, OFM, pastor of St. Martin de Porres Church here, Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Greenville, S.C., and Henry Fulmer, OFM, of St. Martin de Porres, recently gave the Province’s Francis Medal to Sr. Catherine Noecker, OSF.
Sr. Catherine has served St. Anthony of Padua Church and School for the past 21 years, living out the Franciscan spirit as school principal, said Paul, who initially recruited Sister Catherine. She is “a little sister to all that she meets,” Paul wrote to the Province in requesting the medal.
She persevered, he added, helping to keep the school open even in tough times. Today, the school is ready to embark on a fundraising campaign to construct a new building.
“I am proud of this religious woman of faith who is kind and generous and is currently celebrating her 50th year as a Franciscan sister,” wrote Paul. “She has reached out in love to so many people, especially the poor and the affluent. She has challenged the wealthy to share with those in need, especially poor working parents who desire a good Catholic education for their children.”
In addition to receiving the medal on March 13, Sr. Catherine, a former “Williamsville Franciscan” — now a part of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, was also honored by the Black Catholic Community of South Carolina.