When he was in his early twenties, James McKillop of Coalridge, Scotland, left his homeland for Australia to find work. Five years later, restless, he sailed to New Zealand for a new adventure and took up residence at a boarding house there. As it so happened, at about the same time a young lass from Wishaw, Scotland, Catherine Buchanan, came to New Zealand to find work to help support her mother, and rented a room at the same boarding house.
Three years later, James and Catherine got married, and a year after that the young couple moved to the U.S. and settled in Detroit, where James worked as a maintenance man. When Catherine became pregnant with their first child, she returned to her hometown so that her mother could help with the birth, and so it came to be that their oldest daughter, whom they also named Catherine, was born in Wishaw on September 10, 1931.
Mother and daughter returned to Detroit when little Catherine was about eight months old. Over time, five more children were born: Marguerite, Patricia, James, John, and Joseph. The family lived in St. Rose of Lima Parish until 1942 and then moved to nearby Grosse Pointe, where Catherine finished grade school and high school at St. Paul’s.
Read more about Sister Catherine (pdf)
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