Missionary catechist, Florence Kaster, dies at 91

KINGSTREE—Florence Kaster died April 3, 2013, at McLeod Hospice House in Florence. She was 91.

The funeral Mass was held April 6 at St. Ann Church with burial in St. Stanislaus Cemetery.

Kaster was born March 29, 1922, in Titusville, Penn., a daughter of the late Adam and Florence Waschek Kaster. She attended school in Pennsylvania, and then became involved with the Grail Catechetical Movement as a missionary catechist.

In recognition of her devoted service to the church, Kaster received The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (for the Church and Pontiff) medal in 1999.

Prior to that, in 1979, she was honored as the first recipient of the Lumen Christi Award for her service to the poor in the rural areas of Williamsburg County.

Kaster began her missionary path as an administrative assistant to Father Patrick Quinlan in Connecticut and Iowa, working with the Catholic Rural Life Movement.

In 1950, she joined Father Quinlan in Kingstree to help with his evangelization mission in the rural parish, which covered over 900 miles but had only 40 members.

For over 50 years, Kaster remained a devoted member of St. Ann and served the sprawling parish, where she led many programs, gave out clothing, conducted classes, and led prayers. She made house calls to visit the sick, teach about Jesus, or lead the rosary.

She also served the parish as a council member and bookkeeper, developed and led a local teen club, and helped senior citizens.

In her 80s, Kaster continued to serve the community, delivering Meals on Wheels, driving other seniors to their destinations, and leading small prayer groups.

She is survived by several nieces and nephews.