Catherine’s association with Coolock House began in 1803 when she went there to live with William and Catherine Callaghan, a wealthy Quaker couple who were distant cousins of her mother. She acted as companion to Mrs Callaghan who was chronically ill, and assumed some responsibility for running the household. Mrs Callaghan died in 1819 and William Callaghan in 1822 naming Catherine as his sole heiress.
In order to help realise her plans to better the lot of the many poor children and young women in the Dublin of her day, Catherine sold Coolock. It passed through several hands including the then Governor of the Bank of Ireland. In 1955 the Sisters of Mercy bought it back and used the rooms as classrooms until a new school built in 1960. Between 1960 and 1963 the house was extensively renovated. On the 23rd March 1963 a new community took up residence in Catherine’s old home, bringing her journey full circle.