Sister of St. Joseph, Katherine Popowich, SSJ (formerly Sister Michael Marya), died on April 9, 2012, in Brazil. She was 84 years old.
Sister Popowich entered the congregation from her home parish of Corpus Christi, Rochester, in 1946. She completed a bachelor’s degree in education in 1958 and attended the Center of Intercultural Formation in 1964. She attended the Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, for permanent certification in 1975.
She began teaching in 1948, and taught at Immaculate Conception and St. Agnes High School, Rochester; School of the Holy Childhood, Henrietta; and DeSales High School, Geneva.
In 1964 Sister Popowich was one of the founders of the Mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brazil. For 48 years, she lived with the people of Paranaiguara, Sao Simao, Cachoeira Alta and Goiânia in the state of Goiâs, and in Uberlândia in the state of Minas Gerais. She started the national and international gathering of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brazil and South America and served as president of the Conference of Religious in Brazil in 1990. She began her ministry as a teacher and principal in the Brazil schools. Then as pastoral agent, she dedicated herself to the people of God.
She is survived by her sister, Olga Boychuck; her brother, Frank Popowich; many nieces and nephews; and her sisters in the congregation.
Her funeral liturgy and burial took place in Goiania Goiâs on April 11, 2012. A memorial Mass was celebrated at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse chapel in Pittsford on April 28, 2012.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph Brazil Mission Fund, 150 French Road, Rochester, NY 14618.