Catholic Charities of Steuben would like to invite the community to join us in a Celebration of Life for Sister Susan Cain Wednesday, May 29, 2019. The celebration will begin with a mass at Noon at St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, 27 Erie Avenue, Hornell, NY, followed by a reception from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Canisteo Fire Hall, 35 Main Street, Canisteo, NY. Light refreshments will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.
Sister Susan Cain, a native of Elmira, NY, crossed into Heaven May 6, 2019 during her 62nd year as a Sister of Mercy. Her mission work in the Canisteo Valley was well known as she headed the Steuben County Rural Ministry in Canisteo, NY under Catholic Charities of Steuben’s Turning Point service area.
Sister Susan came to the Steuben County Rural Ministry about 20 years ago out of concern for low income children and families in the Canisteo Valley area. Over the years she single-handedly engaged individuals, businesses, the faith community, and civic/community organizations to help her with donations so that she could help families in need. In October of 2012, the Sisters of Mercy requested that the ministry come under the umbrella of Catholic Charities, which was a perfect fit under Catholic Charities’ Turning Point poverty services.
Catholic Charities of Steuben’s Executive Director, Laura Opelt, was able to visit with Sister Susan at Saint James Mercy Hospital before her passing. “We laughed as she talked about how much fun she has had being a part of the Catholic Charities family,” said Ms. Opelt. “She spoke about all of the love she has for the staff and volunteers she worked with and her Catholic Charities family, and how grateful she was that her ministry would continue into the future under Catholic Charities.”
Over the years, Sister Susan’s Canisteo site and Turning Point Hornell have worked hand-in-hand to provide even more services to families in need and, at Sister Susan’s request, at present Catholic Charities is searching for space to co-locate both entities.
In 2016, Sister Susan received the Catholic Charities of Steuben Andy Mazzella Compassion Award. Ms. Opelt presented the award saying, “Pope Francis has described Catholic Charities as ‘the engine of the church that organizes love for the poor, the lonely, the elderly, the young family, the homeless, the hungry child, and so many others.’ And, clearly, this was also Sr. Susan’s work. She fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, sheltered the homeless, and comforted others, which were all Works of Mercy done by a Sister of Mercy.”
While her passing is sad for so many of us, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the blessing of having had Sister Susan in our lives. She was and will continue to be an inspiration. Donations in her memory may be made to Steuben County Rural Ministry, PO Box 61, Canisteo, NY 14823 or to the Sisters of Mercy.