Sister Mary Christina's Story

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Sister Mary Christina Dineen, teacher, administrator and missionary, died on March 20, 2017 at the age of 93. She was a resident of the Mercy Center Health Care unit. Born to Charles and Julia Dineen, Irish immigrants who settled in Niagara Falls, NY, Catherine Cecilia was one of four children. With her brother, Charles; and sisters, Mary and Joan, Catherine enjoyed attending Sacred Heart Elementary School and St. Mary High School. Following graduation in 1941, Catherine traveled to Erie, PA to attend Mercyhurst College with the desire to become a teacher.
After three years at Mercyhurst, Catherine also experienced the desire to become a Sister of Mercy. February 11, 1945, Catherine entered the Buffalo Community. Then following a period of religious formation and having taken the religious name of Sister Mary Christina, she continued at Canisius College, earning a BA in Education and an MA in English. Sister also received a grant for further studies at Syracuse University. While earning her college degrees, Sister also taught. For about twelve years, she instructed students in South Buffalo, Batavia, Niagara Falls, Wellsville and Olean. Then in the summer of 1957, Sr. Christina was asked to join three other Sisters to start a Mercy Mission in the Philippine Islands and work with the Columban Commuity. As pioneers they crossed the Pacific Ocean on a steamer ship and settled in Tubod, on the Island of Mindanao. Soon they began planning to build an elementary school. Many ministries in education , health care and social work continue to this day due to the courageous spirit of these founding Sisters.
Following Sr. M. Christina's return to the United States she guided students and teachers as principal of St. Martin School and then on to Mt. Mercy Academy, Madonna High School, Niagara Falls and back to Mt. Mercy as faculty member and Assistant Principal. As teacher, principal and mentor Sister ministered for over fifty years and will long be remembered for her kind, cheerful, gentle spirit that was filled with great courage and deep trust in God.
Survivors include nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Mercy Center, 625 Abbott Rd. on Thursday, March 23rd at 4 PM.
Published on March 20, 2017
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