The Sisters Servants of Mary celebrated the beatification of Sister Mary Catherine Irigoyen, a member of their order, with a Mass of Thanksgiving Nov. 26 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Archbishop José Gomez presided at the celebration, attended by sisters serving in Southern California as well as friends and associates. The Sisters have a residence in Los Angeles, a formation house in Oxnard, and operate Mary Health of the Sick Convalescent and Nursing Hospital in Newbury Park.

Sister Irigoyen --- beatified Oct. 29 in Madrid --- is the second Sister Servant to be beatified. Sister Maria Soledad, who founded of the community in 1851, was canonized in 1970. 

Sister Mary Catherine was born in Pamplona, Spain, in 1848. After meeting Sister Maria Soledad, she entered the order on Dec. 31, 1881, and served the sick and dying throughout her life despite her own paralyzing illness caused by tuberculosis of the bone. She died Oct. 10, 1918. Her cause of canonization was introduced by Pope John XXIII on Feb. 14, 1962, and Pope Benedict XVI officially approved her beatification last April 2. 

“From the very beginning of her religious life, Sister Mary Catherine’s only aspiration was to love God with all her heart and to serve him in the sick,” said Mother Carmela Sanz, mother provincial of the Sisters Servants in the United States and Mexico.

The Sisters Servants of Mary have 128 convents in 20 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and North, Central and South America.

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