Through the Eyes of Faith
By Associate Peggy Brockman
For many years Associate Cathy Palmer has shown our parish at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Spring Hill, Florida what a dedicated parishioner can do. Cathy is a wife to her husband, Butch. She and Butch have been married for 55 years. She is a mother to four daughters and grandmother to four grandchildren. Even though Cathy and her husband have retired, together they enjoy many activities, including serving at St. Frances Cabrini Church.
In 2008 Cathy met Sister of Charity Mary Loyola Mathia, who was teaching R.C.I.A at the church. When Sister saw that Cathy had a kind and caring heart, she invited Cathy to be a part of the R.C.I.A. team. Cathy accepted Sister’s invitation to serve while also teaching first and fifth graders in the Faith Formation.
In 2009 S. Loyola invited Cathy to join the Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. The two sat together for many weeks while S. Loyola taught Cathy about the lives of St. Elizabeth Seton, Mother Margaret George, and S. Blandina Segale. Cathy said she was amazed to learn how completely devoted the Sisters of Charity and Associates were by sharing their faith, courage, and determination.
After all the valuable sessions with S. Loyola, Cathy said she was “hooked,” and became an Associate in 2010. Prior to COVID, Cathy was the chairperson for the Respect Life Committee, serving three years. Currently Cathy is an active member of the Stewardship Committee and is now in her ninth year as a Eucharistic Minister.
Nowadays, Cathy and Butch show much delight and enjoyment in their four daughters and
four grandchildren. Two of their daughters are nurses, another is a teacher and the fourth is unable to work due to ongoing heath issues. You can see the pride in Cathy’s eyes when one of her daughters decided to become a teacher for the CCD program at St. Frances Cabrini and a sacristan. Cathy said, “We are proud of our children and what they have made of their lives. They are all dedicated to helping people in their vocations and are devoted to serving the Lord.”
Recently Cathy has become an Associate group leader, sharing the mentoring with another Associate Liz Hickey. They currently have six new candidates who have been attending classes together as they are preparing to make their commitment to become Associates of the Sisters of Charity in January 2024.
Cathy is a caring and devoted member of our Associate group in Spring Hill, Florida. She has hosted many of our group meetings and has such a talent for sewing, crafting and quilt making; we are always so interested in seeing her talented projects. Cathy’s sewing/craft room is very organized and well equipped, and she generously makes lovely gifts for her family and friends. She shows St. Elizabeth Seton’s charism and commitment to all who know her.
I asked Cathy how she felt she was carrying out the spirit of St. Elizabeth Seton in her daily life. Her answer, “I feel that St. Elizabeth Seton is a part of my life whenever I feel compassion and love for my children in their struggles in life. Also, when I show compassion for the heartbreak in people I ask God to help them. When I see the elderly cry, I pray for their comfort. Mother Seton is a great role model for me to follow because she loved everyone and saw people through the eyes of Jesus.”