Cathy Darnell’s Co-Membership Celebration at SMA
By Mary Catherine Rabbitt
Cathy Bell Darnell celebrated her co-membership in Loretto Jan. 11 at St. Mary’s Academy, surrounded by family and friends. It was most fitting that Cathy’s celebration took place at St. Mary’s since that is where she first met the Sisters of Loretto as a freshman in the high school in 1963.
Cathy graduated from St. Mary’s in 1967, but never really left: Her sister graduated in 1975, and Cathy’s daughter, Molly, also graduated from St. Mary’s in 1999. Cathy served on the SMA Board of Directors, including a stint as board chair, continues to serve on the SMA Alumnae Board and has been active in the planning and observing of SMA’s 150th anniversary.
Cathy’s daughter flew in from Seattle for the ceremony, and along with Cathy’s two brothers, Larry and John, her sister, Nancy, and nephew Ian, took part in the liturgy, which was concelebrated by Fathers Marty Lally and Michael De Sciose, both Loretto co-members. Using the theme “Remember … believe … serve,” Cathy carefully planned each and every aspect of the liturgy and the reception which followed — down to the colors of the runners on the altar and the flowers scattered throughout the Forum (prepared by IT Marquez) — except for one surprise: Her niece, Christine Bell Dove, who is a professional singer in Seattle, (and who was unable to attend in person) sent a tape of her singing “You Are Mine,” as a meditation after Communion.
Community Group 3, of which Cathy is a member, assisted with the liturgy and reception, and other Loretto Community members also lent a hand. Special guests included four members of Cathy’s SMA Class of 1967. The ceremony was attended by more than 100 friends and family, for many of whom this was an introduction to the mission and history of Loretto. A wonderful time was had by all!