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Winter 2014

A Letter


Our Sister



Dear Sisters, Associates and Friends,

Contents Features Sister Moms...........................................6 Sisters tell of their journey from motherhood to mother and Sister of Charity. The Work of Elizabeth Seton’s Mustard Seed.......................................12 Leaving our legacy in the city of Cleveland, Ohio. In Elizabeth’s Spirit...............................17 S. Regina Kusnir ministers at Light of Hearts Villa in Bedford, Ohio. Love Bubbling Over.............................18 A spotlight on Cleveland Associate Alice Graham.

Departments OPJCC..................................................9 Empowering Women, Bringing Clean Water to Families Vocation/Formation.............................10 New Wine, Fresh Wineskins Motherhouse/Mother Margaret Hall . ...................................................19 The Joy of Music From the Archives................................26 S. Eugene Marie Carpe On the Cover: (From left) Sisters Dorothy William Englert, Zoe St. James, Sheila Gallagher and Patrice Vales attended the Centennial Celebration Opening Mass at Holy Name Church in Cleveland, Ohio, on Jan. 5. The Mass commemorated the 100th anniversary of Holy Name High School, which was opened by the Sisters of Charity in 1914. The four SCs either graduated from or taught at the school. To read more about our Sisters’ legacy in the Diocese of Cleveland, visit The Work of Elizabeth Seton’s Mustard Seed on Page 12. Photo courtesy of Fisher Photography. Disclaimer: The information contained in Intercom is intended for general information and educational purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are the views of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.


In his recent Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis challenges us to be people who “share their joy, who point to the horizon of beauty, and who invite others to a delicious banquet.” This winter issue of Intercom features stories of Sisters and Associates who share both joy and banquet table. The Sisters of Charity family has a rich legacy in the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. In the 1880s, our Sisters were ministering with immigrants whose families worked in the steel mills. We began teaching at Holy Name High School in 1914 and will join others this year in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the coeducational school. An important part of our Cleveland history is the faith-filled journey of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity (Bedford, Ohio), who merged with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati in 2004. The Vincentian Sisters had served the people of Cleveland since 1928 and Sister Christine Rody describes how the VSCs came to understand the merger as the “God-directed option for the community to continue the mission entrusted to us.” Several articles highlight our deep commitment to social justice: Sister Pat Sabourin focuses on the tragedy of human trafficking; Sister Jean Miller recounts her experiences on an International Team of Election Observers in Honduras; and Associate Debbie Weber describes our partnership with Water With Blessings, a ministry that addresses the global issue of contaminated water. In “Sister Moms” we begin a two-part series on women who, like Elizabeth Seton, married, raised a family and then became a Sister of Charity. In this issue, Sisters Diana Durling and Mary Kay Bush reflect on their journeys from mother to Sister. Finally, we share our delight in welcoming Annie Klapheke as an Affiliate with the Sisters of Charity. Annie, who has a master’s in Dietetics, will live in community while continuing to discern her readiness for further commitment. May these and the other stories and images in the winter Intercom be a source of joy and challenge for you!

S. Louise Lears Intercom

Mem-bits This column by S. Benedicta Mahoney offers brief glimpses of the past, tiny bits of memories. Do you remember? Were you there? Did you know? Feb. 19, 1939 – The Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Bedford, Ohio, became an autonomous diocesan congregation, ministering in the Diocese of Cleveland. On that day, 44 Sisters pronounced vows. May 12, 1947 – Groundbreaking for the new Mother Margaret Hall occurred today. It would be two years and 18 days later when the Sister-patients would be moved from the Infirmary (St. Mary’s Hall) to the new facility. Chaplain Msgr. Richter and Mother Mary Zoe Farrell preside at the groundbreaking for the new Mother Margaret Hall before a select audience.

Dec. 26, 1957 – Ownership of the St. Aloysius property in Fayetteville, Ohio, was transferred from the Sisters of Charity to the Sisters of Glenmary. The Academy had closed four years earlier. Sept. 6, 1962 – Bishop Flaget High School, Chillicothe, Ohio, opened under the principalship of a diocesan priest and a staff composed of Sisters of Charity and Franciscan Sisters of Oldenburg, Ind.

In Memoriam Please visit “In Memoriam” at for biographical information and reflections on the Sisters of Charity and Associates who have died. May our Sisters and Associates enjoy the fruits of their labor as well as peace with their God. S. Helen Groeber February 5, 2014 Associate Madeleine Davis January 11, 2014 Sister Lawrence White January 7, 2014 Associate Joan Axt December 27, 2013

Bishop Flaget High School opened in 1962.

May 19, 1972 – Bishop Paul F. Leibold named S. Elizabeth Cashman the director of women religious for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In subsequent years Sister would assume the titles of associate vicar for religious in the Archdiocese and director of personnel services.

Associate Ruth Horney November 24, 2013 Sister Frances Flynn November 20, 2013 Sister Helen Miriam Gunn November 15, 2013 Sister Ann Rose Frank October 30, 2013

S. Elizabeth Cashman

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Entrust, Enable,

Ennoble, Enjoy

By S. Christine Rody


hese four words emerged almost as a mantra from the 2011 Chapter. We as a Leadership Team took them as key to making practical the “we are in this together” feel of the Chapter. In our relation with the Community and our work for the four years of our term, we use them to evaluate the flow of things to be done for the Community. Can we entrust a specific task to someone other than ourselves to further the development of the leadership of the whole that the Chapter emphasized? Who are the most qualified and available to respond? Or, is what we are considering specific to a leadership position or perspective? The talent pool of the Congregation, Associates and staff as well as degree of readiness often offer many choices for responding to what is seen. Enable means providing the materials and sounding board for ideas or vision with which a person can go forward a bit or even complete a task. We often ask ourselves if we are doing these things to make our communal response to the mission entrusted to the Congregation real and effective. Not only who can do this and what do they need, but also what can we do to help, are our questions. Given our blessings and limitations, what is appropriate at this time for the need we are trying to address? Affirm or appreciate are not quite enough for the third verb of the quartet. Ennoble, a seldom-used and almost archaic verb, refreshingly calls to mind high quality, greatness of character, renown and also fits the “en” framework of the Chapter reflection. As Community leaders, we use ennoble as the touchstone for our response to the enormous amount of effort, insight, forward-thinking and commitment we see expressed all around us. We ask ourselves, how have we encouraged our Sisters, our Associates, our staffs? Have we helped link interested people to one another so that ideas can be expanded? Do our collaborators have a sense they have enriched and expanded our connections for the reign of God? One of the tangible signs of support and unity that has been developed recently is the new Community membership pin. In the symbol’s cross, we are reminded to be united with Christ as our focus. In its heart, the symbol reminds us to love in ways Christ would, living to express Gospel values. 4

In January the SC Leadership Team presented Sisters with a new SC official symbol. In the form of either a pendant or a pin, this symbol gives graphic expression to the SC motto: “The charity of Christ urges us.” The cross represents Christ; the design of the heart that surrounds it suggests a living heart; together the two depict Christ’s love. The circle that encloses the design represents the infinity of Christ’s love.

Our Associates too have a distinct visible sign of their union and commitment to these values. Enjoy, the final admonition of the Chapter, applies not only to the sacred trust of work we have been given, but also to the Community and its connections wherever we are. Do we see our Sisters, Associates, colleagues, persons to be served with the joy that comes from being a part of a sacred enterprise? Do we inspire joy in the members of Community? Do we trust enough to be free to laugh, smile, hold lightly the “dailies” of life? Do we celebrate in our small groups the delight of being together? We as your Leadership Team are entrusted with the care of the Community. We are enabled by your sharing and cooperation. We are ennobled by your support and constructive comments. We are enjoying serving you and the needs that God lets us see in our time in this role. Intercom

Charity Family The Singing Circle By S. Mary Bodde veterans honored

Sisters – A Documentary

In honor of Veterans Day, the Delhi Township Veterans Association hosted its annual ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 10. As part of the commemoration, 45 names of township military veterans were added to the park’s Wall of Honor monument. Thirteen of those names were Sisters of Charity who served as Army nurses during the Civil War. The ceremony also featured presentation of the colors and the singing of patriotic songs by a group of Sisters of Charity and Associates in attendance.

A one-hour documentary hosted on the LCWR website examines the lives of five American women, revealing both their humanity and their deep spiritual grounding as Catholic Sisters. Visit the LCWR site at https://lcwr. org/publications/sisters-documentary to view the video. S. Monica Gundler is one of the five Sisters featured.

Associates Celebrate Lifetime Commitments Associates Blasa Rivera, Evelyn Baca-Kight, Viola Elizondo, Rita Brandewiede, Pat Schloemer, Elaine Krotine and the late Joan Axt made their Lifetime Commitments as Associates during the 2013 Fall Congregational Days. Congratulations and thank you for (From left) Associates Blasa Rivera and Viola Elizondo your willingness to make this public made their Associate Lifetime Commitments at the commitment to the Charity Family. West Fall Congregational Day.

Holy Name High School Recognizes S. Katie Hoelscher S. Katie Hoelscher (fifth from left) was named the 2013 recipient of the Mother Elizabeth Seton Award from Holy Name High School in Cleveland for her dedication to and love of the school. S. Katie taught at the school from 1961 until 1967. While at Holy Name, in addition to being one of the most loved teachers, she taught both geometry and algebra, and was moderator of a freshman girls’ homeroom and the Pep Club. W inter 2 0 1 4

Welcome New Associates The Community welcomed three new Associates in Mission on Sunday, Jan. 5. Karla Nelemans and Rebecca Van Vachon made their commitments as Associates in Mission at St. Francis Cabrini Church in Spring Hill, Fla. Chanin Wilson, daughter of Associate Pat Grubelnik, made her commitment in Colorado Springs, Colo. Welcome!

(From left) Associate Geri Anderson, Associate Karla Nelemans, Associate Rebecca Van Vachon and S. Mary Loyola Mathia

Associate Chanin Wilson (right) and her mother, Associate Pat Grubelnik


Sister Moms By S. Frances Maureen Trampiets


lizabeth Seton established the first active religious community of women in the US in 1809, with the encouragement and guidance of Archbishop John Carroll. She had been widowed six years earlier; the youngest of her five children was 7 years old. Thus the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph was founded and Mrs. William Seton became Mother Seton, continuing to care for her five young children even as she fostered the development of her young religious community. In “Sister Moms” we begin a two-part article on women who, like Elizabeth, married, raised a family and then became a Sister of Charity. We begin with Sisters Diana Durling and Mary Kay Bush. Prompted by a few questions, each tells her story, in her own words, of the journey from motherhood to mother and Sister of Charity.

S. Diana Durling “My very first comment about becoming a Sister was met with a firm ‘No.’ I was in the seventh grade and I had attended a CCD class with some friends. I went home and announced to my mother, ‘I want to be a Sister.’ My mother responded, ‘You can forget that, you’re not even a Catholic.’ “My great interest in Catholicism stemmed from my grandmother who had spoken with me about the Catholic religion as a young child. She spent a month with us every summer and I sometimes attended Mass with her. In junior high when I attended CCD classes, I was fascinated with the peacefulness and kindness of the Sisters. “Upon my conversion to Catholicism, my interest in religion intensified. I took classes, participated in workshops, read and became involved in church activities by serving on parish committees and training Eucharistic ministers. Liturgy and prayer are still an extremely important part of my life; spiritual direction and journaling bring light to my life.

S. Diana Durling with her daughters Kathy (left) and Debbie (right).

being a Sister. “She wrote back and told me she had taken my letter to the canonization of Elizabeth Seton in Rome and had placed it under a relic of St. Elizabeth. She continued to pray that I would enter the SCs.”

“My life as mother, grandmother and great-grandmother has been a fruitful, faith-filled experience with all the joys and sorrows of having three children, and losing a son 21 days after birth. I have shared my love and watched my daughters grow, striving to impact their lives with good values. My two daughters, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren hold a special place in my life.”

S. Katharine Pinto also became a good friend and confidant. “When I was working through the annulment process she was of great assistance to me. She suggested that I meet with S. Rose Marie Hewitt, the Michigan provincial. After meeting with her I pursued looking into the Sisters of Charity. I was the first candidate who was a mother, a divorcee and a single parent.

S. Diana first began planning to enter religious life in 1979. Her daughters were in their 20s, married and had lives of their own. Both Kathy and Debbie were very supportive.

“Waiting for the completion of my annulment was a trial of forging ahead in unknown waters. S. Mark Neumann and I worked together during this long process. She was very caring and understanding. We wanted to be sure that everything met all the requirements of Canon Law.

She came to know the Sisters of Charity while teaching at Shrine grade school, Royal Oak, Mich., from 1969 to 1981. She wrote to S. Rose Margaret Schilling, who had taught with her before being missioned to Colorado, saying that she was looking into religious communities with the possibility of


“I knew all my prayers had been answered when I learned that I had been accepted as an Affiliate of the Sisters of Charity. I entered the Community in August 1981.


“My happiness grew to great joy the day of my final vows. I walked into the Motherhouse chapel with the promise that I would continue to serve God for the remainder of my life. My dream from the seventh grade had come true!

“During Affiliation,” she continued, “I lived at Shrine Convent in Royal Oak, Mich. David, Betsy and Stephen felt very welcomed there. One day, Betsy came to the convent when she got sick at work. When I came home from school, the Sisters were giving her tender, loving care.

“As I approach my 34th year as a Sister of Charity, my life has been enriched by all those (From left) S. Diana Durling, her granddaughter Keely, daughter Kathy and who have journeyed with me. and great-grandson Jason. My years of service have included “She worked at elementary teaching, hospital chaplaincy and pastoral Bennigan’s Restaurant and won the Employee of the Year ministry in four parishes. I truly loved every ministry I have award. Part of her prize was to invite her family to the been called to.” restaurant for a meal. Betsy invited her Sisters of Charity family. When the Shrine Sisters arrived at the restaurant they Diana says she has long felt a special connection with were seated at a big round table with balloons on each chair. Elizabeth Seton. “Her life as a wife, mother, convert and religious is a true model for this Sister Mom who was married, Betsy was so proud to have us there as her guests and family. had children, suffered the loss of a child and lived as a single parent. I share with her the loss of friends after converting to Catholicism. I also share with Elizabeth a deep love of the Eucharist, prayer and Scripture; like her, I try to be open to the Spirit. “Now I have the best of both worlds - religious life and being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother - for which I am most grateful!”

S. Mary Kay Bush “In many ways being a mother and a Sister of Charity are so much alike. Each role enhances the other. Both roles are life-giving and nurturing. In each there is being attentive to everyday necessities, being prayerful, being intentional in the choices and decisions that are made, being supportive of each other in the family/community and simply being a woman of love.

“Just before the beginning of Novitiate, I said, ‘You know, I’ll be moving to Cincinnati for the Novitiate year and I won’t be free to visit very often.’ Their response was, ‘That’s OK! We all went off to college to get ready for the next part of our life, now it’s your turn. It will be like you’re going off to college.’” “Betsy was married during the Novitiate. One very touching moment was when (our president) S. Maryanna Coyle called me to her office and said, ‘Our daughter is getting married. What do we need to do? What is our responsibility?’ I said, ‘Betsy asks that you pray for her and her husband, David, and that you come to the wedding.’ Fifteen Sisters were at the wedding. Again, Betsy was so happy to have her Sisters of Charity family present.

“I have two sons and a daughter. David, the oldest, lives in Los Angeles, Calif., and works in the film industry. Elizabeth (Betsy) is married and lives in Detroit, Mich., with her husband, David. She is an event planner/coordinator and is self-employed. Stephen lives in Cincinnati and is working on a master’s degree in economics at the University of Cincinnati.” When considering religious life, S. Mary Kay involved her children in her decision-making process. When she spoke about becoming a Sister of Charity, the children were very supportive, she said. Stephen, the youngest had some concerns, “Where will our home be?” he asked. S. Mary Kay reassured him, saying, “Wherever I will be living, that will be your home.” winter 2 0 1 4

S. Mary Kay Bush with her children David (left), Betsy and Stephen.


really enjoyed getting to know and being with the Sisters, especially the Sisters in Michigan. At that point in her life, a college student, she saw how the Sisters were working together and in the community. They were good role models and she wanted to be involved with them.” Speaking about some of her fondest memories as a mother and as a Sister of Charity, she said, “Some of my happiest moments as a Sister of Charity are living in community, sharing everyday life and larger life events; when we work together in ministry, pray together, have deep conversations, and play together. It is good to be a part of something so much larger than myself.

Many Sisters of Charity were present when S. Mary Kay Bush's daughter, Betsy, was married in Michigan. “Some of my happiest memories of motherhood are times spent with David, Betsy and Stephen. “After Novitiate I said to them, ‘Now for ministry there are options. I could go back to Michigan and be closer to you, When they were young, we played games, read books, made toys, had good conversations and went on little trips to the stay in the Cincinnati area, or go to the West or some other zoo, the children’s symphony, the library. These are still some part of the country.’ David’s wise response was, ‘If you come of my happiest moments as a mother.” back to Michigan because we’re here, then we won’t feel free to leave if an opportunity comes up that calls us to another She adds, “The most difficult times were when (the place. We don’t have to be in the same corner of the country children) were sick or hurting. That remains true even now to be in each other’s corner.’ that they are grown. I don’t think caring deeply that one’s children are well and happy ever stops.” “Betsy became an Associate in the late 1980s,” S. Mary Kay recalled, “to be supportive of her mother and because she

Ministry in Motion


he ministry of the Sisters of Charity has grown over the years to meet the needs of our growing Church and rapidly changing world. The one unchanging dimension has been fidelity to the spirit of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. In that spirit the Sisters of Charity are dedicated to serving where needs are greatest. In 2014 the Sisters of Charity website will feature video of and interviews with Sisters in ministry throughout the country. Hear more about the people they serve and how the Spirit is working through them. Visit the Ministry in Motion section on the SC website at January featured Sisters Peggy Deneweth, Janet Gildea and Carol Wirtz in Anapra, Mexico; February highlighted the ministry of S. Alice Ann O’Neill (right).



Empowering Women, bringing C lean W ater to F amilies By Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


he Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati joined with Water With Blessings, a nonprofit cofounded by S. Larraine Lauter, OSU, as a collaborative effort to address the global issue of contaminated water. S. Larraine knows that technology alone is not the answer. The first step is to empower women as “Water Women” in ministry to their communities and then equip them with the highest quality filtration system. Water Women are the secret to the remarkable success of bringing clean water to families who do not have easy or affordable access to it. Friends and family of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati have been quite generous in praying for and sponsoring Water Women. Each Water Woman receives a reliable and easy-touse home-based filter system and the training she needs to use it well. In addition, she receives clean water education. Trained women then filter water for at least three other households and educate the women of those families about clean water habits. This ministry model that draws forth women builds community. And clean water improves the health, economy and social well being of that community.

NGO representative to the United Nations, will be traveling to Uganda to deliver water filters and training manuals so that Ugandan women experiencing special circumstances can become Water Women. Four times a year, the Diocese of Masaka runs a fistula camp in their local hospital. A medical mission Sister performs the surgery which repairs the physical damage, but often these women have been ostracized from their local communities. Training women who have had the surgery to be Water Women will equip them with a valuable service to offer on their return to their local communities. Ecuador is also on our 2014 agenda for an introduction of Water With Blessings. An SC Federation collaboration effort is in development for the training of Water Women where the Korean Province of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill serve. S. Janet Gildea will be training teachers of a school for physically and mentally challenged children. The children and staff will benefit from the filtered water, as will the teachers and their neighbors when they use the filters in their homes.

Results of prayers and financial support for clean water, empowerment of women and community building through Water With Blessings began for us in Mexico. October 2013 marked our first Water With Blessings training of Water Women. Proyecto Santo Niño, where our Sisters Peggy Deneweth, Janet Gildea and Carol Wirtz serve, is an oasis in the desert neighborhood of Anapra – one of the poorest areas in Juarez, Mexico. Twenty-one Water Women committed to share their gift of a water filter with three other households. One of the Water Women committed to use a filter in her library, which serves approximately 120 children with afterschool homework assistance and tutoring. Proyecto Santo Niño also received a filter so that the approximate 20 specialneeds children and their 40 siblings, along with staff and volunteers, will benefit from the filter.

Thank you to all who have and are praying for Water Women all over the world and to those of you who have graciously donated to sponsor them with the gift of a filter so that they may share clean water with others. Your generosity is truly a blessing. Visit OPJCC for more information at

Uganda is the next country where we will introduce Water With Blessings. S. Caroljean Willie, who is the SC Federation’s

May we continue to work for justice and care for creation so that the peace of Jesus permeates our world.

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Office Announces Name Change In keeping with the Chapter 2011 decision to add “care for all creation” to the SC Mission Statement, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Leadership Team has approved a name change for the Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation. The office’s new name is the Office of Peace, Justice and Care for Creation.


New Wine, Fresh Wineskins By S. Janet Gildea

“People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” Mt. 9:17


was a novice in 1986 when Sandra Schneiders, IHM, wrote New Wineskins: Re-imagining Religious Life Today. It was her first attempt to describe the changes in consecrated life in the 20 years since Vatican II and to begin developing a theology of contemporary religious life. The image of the new wineskins has come back to me as I reflect on our ongoing efforts to develop an initial formation program that responds to the needs of women in discernment today and for the future.

n “We face the challenge of preparing women for a future that we only see in glimpses. Hasn’t this always been the case? Our experience of religious life over the past 50 years should make us acutely aware that things don’t always turn out the way we expected and our God loves surprises.”

Our formation program since Vatican II has always been something of a “work in progress.” Ask Sisters who entered in each decade since the Council and you will find at least five different versions of formation and exceptions to almost every rule! The Pueblo Postulancy and Novitiate is one example but there were many other efforts to tailor the program to the needs of the time, the women in discernment and the Congregation. Flexibility has been a core value of our formation processes. At the Gathering last summer we presented an overview of our efforts in vocation promotion and initial formation. Coming as it did, the morning after the Vespers that opened the Canonical Novitiate, there was great interest, hope and energy. We are at a moment of possibility with women in Novitiate, Affiliation and Pre-entrance. New wine, indeed! So what new wineskins must we be sewing?

Restoring ritual Much has been written today about the loss of “rites of passage” in our culture. Our Church has retrieved and renewed some of the rituals and practices that had been lost, fell out of favor or into disuse. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is one example. In the Congregation, as fewer women entered, the celebration of transitions of discernment became smaller and personalized. Today, for a new generation of Catholics, it is important to resurrect rituals that honor our traditions and express our charism and ecclesial identity. A woman beginning Pre-entrance has a small, private prayer service to initiate a period of deepening discernment with the Congregation. The Affiliate Rite of Welcome and the Vespers that opens Canonical 10

Novitiate are both held in the Motherhouse chapel and include rituals that mark a movement into formal relationship with the Community. The power of ritual draws from the long story of the women of Charity to strengthen the generations that follow.

Keeping company

Some fancy stitching is required to provide the stretch needed for new wine. Welcoming new members will stretch us even as we ask them to stretch and grow as women of faith through the formation process. As Fr. John Hickey told Mother Margaret George in 1853 at the dawn of the Cincinnati foundation, “You will have to get young again in your old age – young in spirit at least, and that will give vigor and activity and newness to the old body.” Women drawn to religious life today consistently indicate a preference for communal dimensions of life including life under one roof and shared ministry. We cannot ignore these elements as we consider the fresh skins needed for the future. But what is needed is not the shared life and ministry of either the recent or distant past. How will we imagine new ways and develop new skills? This will require courageous conversations about lifestyle, ministry and the common good. Our formation program must give a foundation that will prepare new members to live the kind of communal life they desire, to develop and use their ministerial gifts, and to find the way forward together. Together with whom? With some of us or with Federation members or with young Sisters of other congregations or at times alone for the sake of the mission. How will we s-t-r-e-t-c-h?

Inviting the vision We face the challenge of preparing women for a future that we only see in glimpses. Hasn’t this always been the case? Our experience of religious life over the past 50 years should make us acutely aware that things don’t always turn out the way we expected and our God loves surprises. The Spirit continues to renew us as Peter proclaimed at Pentecost, quoting the prophet Joel, “Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young will see visions and your old will dream dreams” (Acts 2:17). We need to listen to the young. Those called by God and gifted by the Spirit with the charism of Charity will have the vision needed for the future. Our formation program must encourage them to see with their fresh eyes the vision God grants them … and us. Intercom

Community Welcomes A nnie K lapheke as A ffiliate

On Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, Annie Klapheke was formally welcomed as an Affiliate of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.


embers of the Sisters of Charity Community welcomed Annie Klapheke as an Affiliate during a ceremony Jan. 12, 2014, in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse. Affiliation is the first step of formation for vowed membership in which a woman lives in a Sister of Charity community while continuing to work and discern her readiness for further commitment. “May this be a year of growth in understanding our charism, mission and vowed life as our way of living the Gospel,” said S. Lois Jean Goettke, Vocation/Formation liaison and Congregational leader for the ceremony. Annie is a native of Middletown, Ohio, graduating from Bishop Fenwick High School. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Dayton and has a master’s degree in dietetics from The Ohio State University. She has ministered in Alaska with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and moved to Anthony, N.M., to begin her year of Affiliation in mid-January. winter 2 0 1 4


Our Legacy: T he W ork of E li z abeth S eton ’ s M ustard S eed


apid growth in population following the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal made Cleveland, Ohio, a vibrant transportation hub in 1832. Laborers who unloaded ships and worked in the steel mills were needed thus causing the area to become a melting pot of immigrant groups eager to make it in the 1880s and 1890s. The first significant number of Catholics were German and Irish who helped to construct and maintain the Canal; missionaries were the first to meet their needs. Historically the Diocese of Cleveland has always served people of many different backgrounds and cultures, and immigrants from many countries. Since a time of humble beginnings in the 1800s the diocesan community’s effort to provide social services to meet the needs of all of God’s people led to the development of Catholic Charities as the largest system of social services in the world. Trained as social workers Mother Mary Omer Downing and S. Marie Agnese Bonnano helped to develop the social service programs available to parishioners; this happened initially in Holy Name of Jesus parish in 1939.

Holy Name Elementary students ready for a parade during Field Day.

Nineteen-fourteen brought an invitation from the pastor of Holy Name of Jesus, Rev. P.J. O’Connell, requesting the Sisters The commitment of the Catholic community to education of Charity take over the school. Mother Florence Kent sent 19 is reflected in an extensive system of schools. Both the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and the Vincentian Sisters of Charity were Sisters initially for the high school. Holy Name, with an initial enrollment of 890, became the first coeducational high school in welcomed contributors. The diocese also received early colleges Cleveland. S. Marcelline McLaughlin was the first SC principal. for women – Ursuline (1871) and Notre Dame (1922). S. Mary To establish rapport with the parents and people of the parish, Loyola Mathia served the Cleveland diocese as the coordinator of education and secondary consultant from 1970-’78 after eight the Sisters staged an annual all-school dramatic production. The years on the staff of Holy Name High School. S. Catherine Kirby first year’s production was “The Sign of the Cross” with a cast of 500 students. This became an essential part of the SC-Holy ministered as the diocese’s elementary education coordinator Name tradition. from 1971-’73. Our first Cleveland mission, St. Bridget School, was on Perry Street, and the pastor, Rev. William McMahon, had the enthusiastic support of his Bishop when he sought the SCs to staff his school in 1889. Bishop Gilmore had previously worked with the Sisters in both Cincinnati and Dayton. Mother Mary Paul Hayes sent nine Sisters, including S. Marcelline McLaughlin as principal. The Sisters taught grades one through eight and commercial courses. In the 44 years SCs ministered there seven women entered the Congregation. The SCs withdrew in 1933 and five years later the parish merged with St. Anthony; the parish buildings were demolished in 1961 to make way for the Inner Belt Freeway. 12

This year the high school celebrates 100 years in the Cleveland area; SCs served there for 99 of those years. Eleven SCs have served as principal of Holy Name including Sisters Rosario Cramer, Francis Anna Bunline, and Marie William McDonald; since 1960 priests and lay persons have headed up the high school. S. Sheila Gallagher, a 1961 graduate of Holy Name, was the last SC to minister in the school. Many memories have been happily shared by both graduates and SCs who ministered there. When S. Ruth Hunt was in the eighth grade at Holy Name, S. Marie Agnese Bonnano approached several of the girls and Intercom

asked if they would like to work in the sacristy with her. They all agreed – Ruth Beris, Marguerite Cunningham, Ann Gallagher and Ruth Hunt, each becoming official sacristy helpers until they graduated. The four eventually became so proficient that when S. Marie Agnese went to retreat or took a trip she left the girls on their own, in charge of daily Mass and all Sunday Masses. S. Ruth recalls, “Eventually all four of us entered the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati (1945 and 1946). After our Novitiate year we learned that every year since the eighth grade, when Holy Thursday came and Sister replaced the silk pieces in the tabernacle, she placed our name in there asking that we would be given the grace of a vocation. She must have made God an offer He couldn’t refuse, because we all heard the call.” Memories of S. Joanne Termini’s 12 years at Holy Name are numerous. It was there that she received First Eucharist and Confirmation and first met the Sisters of Charity. Throughout high school the 30-plus Sisters were always available, goodnatured and supportive of the extra-curricular activities. Being the only coed Catholic high school in the city they had great athletic programs. Before each game, each homeroom would present a pep rally skit to engage enthusiasm. S. Mary Patrice Mahoney, besides being a super Latin teacher, gave the most creative pep rallies which were always enjoyed; Sister endeared herself to all the students. After football games the Sisters would join the students in church; a member of the team would place the game ball on the altar of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and all would sing the school song. Because of the friendliness of the SCs who ministered at Holy Name there have been many religious vocations.

“The Sisters nourished my spirit and vocation though I did not realize it until a year and a half after I graduated; the seed was planted during a retreat I made and I came to Cincinnati to enter in 1950,” S. Joanne said. She joins 85 other Holy Name graduates who have entered the SC Congregation. S. Catherine Mary Cohara’s family moved to Holy Name parish when she was 8 years old. When she was a freshman at the school, S. Catherine Mary’s father died. Her mother decided that she would not have the money to pay the tuition for S. Catherine Mary and her sister. When the SCs heard this they offered the girls the opportunity to work in the kitchen and the laundry; both were grateful for the opportunity to stay at Holy Name and graduate. S. Zoe St. James had a similar tuition-work experience. S. Marie Patrice Joyce was the last Sister of Charity to minister in Holy Name parish when she retired in 2001. As a 1948 graduate, she recalls good teachers, good friends, happy memories of football games and the Sisters at their bedroom windows waiting for the score as the teams returned home. Apart from that she had the unique experience of going back to the Carroll Building, the high school building, as principal of Holy Name Elementary. She commented, “As I walked the halls the first few weeks, so many memories from the different rooms jumped out … We can indeed be proud of our SC-Holy Name contributions and the lasting influence of those who went before us.” S. Lucien Marie Davis joined Sisters Grace Schwietering and Elizabeth Jane Mann at Holy Name Elementary in 1968. She and S. Juliette Sabo remember going down to the boiler room to reactivate the furnace when the heat went out; this kept both the convent and the school warm for the next day. “We lived and taught with many wonderful Sisters there which made working together a joy,” S. Lucien Marie said. In 1949 the Sisters of Charity were invited to staff the elementary school in the new St. Mel parish; the pastor, Rev. John Murphy, was the brother of S. Nora Thomas Murphy and a Holy Name graduate. Mother Mary Zoe Farrell sent four Sisters to open St. Mel School with S. Bernadette Haley as principal; teachers were Sisters Mary Aquin Williamson, Benedicta Mahoney and Stella Eisenhauer. The Sisters spent the first five weeks living in the rectory while their convent was furnished by a parish shower. The first graduation was held in May 1952 with 21 graduates. S. Catherine Kirby, who was principal at the school from 1967-’70 and 1971-’75, remembers St. Mel was composed of middle-class families who truly believed in and lived Jesus’ teachings. “They loved and supported them as individuals and as teachers. … We initiated the continuous progress program Both Holy Name Elementary and Holy Name High School were located in the Carroll Building throughout the years.



– one of the first in the state. When we had state inspection, the state representative informed me at the beginning of the day that he did not believe the CP program had a future. He spent the entire day in the CP classroom and concluded that it not only had a future but it was creating the future.” Many SCs have happy memories of their years at St. Mel School, with 1980 being the last. S. Patricia Newhouse was the last SC principal. Additional schools staffed by the Sisters of Charity included St. Bernadette School in Westlake and St. John Bosco School on Pearl Street in Parma Heights. Ten years after the SCs arrived at St. Bernadette (1952) enrollment had tripled to 955. S. Rose Patrice Beck was the last SC principal to serve the school, leaving in 1980; Sisters Mary Robers and Rosina Panning gave more than 10 years of service there. In the Sisters second year at St. John Bosco (1965), there were 1,125 elementary students in CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes for public school students and 250 secondary students. After 10 years, the Community withdrew with S. Timothy Rieger as the last SC principal. Also happening in parallel sequences in Cleveland we find the Vincentian Sisters of Charity on mission serving God’s people. They first offered their services to St. Mary School, Bedford in 1928 at the request of Bishop Schrembs. They had responded to a call from the Bishop one year earlier to minister to the Slovak immigrants. Mother Emerentiana of the Vincentian Sisters of Perrysville, Pa., and her Sisters had come from Romania in 1902 to minister to new immigrants in rural Pennsylvania. She agreed to send four Vincentian Sisters from Perrysville to St. Mary School “to serve the Slovak people of the Diocese of Cleveland.” Bernard Schatzinger donated his property for their use, the young Slovak girls came, and the Community was born. Ten years later Bishop Schrembs formally sought the establishment of the Vincentian Sisters as a Diocesan Community of Religious, which was granted and Mother Mary Berchmans was elected Mother Superior.

brought a copy of the statue of Our Lady of Levocha to Bedford in 1930 and the Sisters gave it a home. It had been touched to the original miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary in Levocha, made from an apple tree, dating back to 1200. It speaks of strength, grace and moving endurance; the women of St. Wendelin’s collected door-to-door to obtain the statue and by 1940 more than 40,000 people gathered at the Bedford Shrine on the Motherhouse grounds for the annual pilgrimage; it became a homecoming as well as a spiritual and social opportunity. A new shrine was constructed in 1951 becoming a fitting location for Sisters’ entrances, professions and the annual pilgrimages by people of Slovak ancestry. After beginning the first ministry at St. Mary in 1928 the Sisters continued to serve the people in the emerging Slovak parishes throughout the Cleveland area, teaching in the Cleveland schools of Our Lady of Mercy (1935-’73); St. Andrew (1937-’71); St. Ladislas (1942-’67); St. Leo (1950-’55); St. Pius X (1954-2002); as well as Holy Trinity, Lorain (1935’72); SS Cyril and Methodius, Warren (1935-’71); SS Cyril and Methodius, Barberton (1938-’71); St. Elizabeth, Youngstown (1939-’85); Holy Trinity, Struthers (1942-’83); St. Rita, Solon (1949-’91); Sacred Heart, Wadsworth (1949-’99); and Holy Family, Parma (1950-2000). They also provided domestic and administrative services at St. John College, St. Alexis and Marymount hospitals, Archbishop Hoban’s residence, and Borromeo Seminary. S. Mary Kathleen Pagac met the Sisters as a double-grade student at St. John the Baptist in Akron in the early 1940s; this is where her vocation to serve was first fostered. Twenty years later, as Sister/teacher, S. Mary Kathleen was learning new techniques alongside her former teachers, also teaching doublegrades. “The people of the parishes were grateful for our ministry in the schools and cooperated in every way possible.”

Proud of their ancestoral roots, the women of St. Wendelin parish

(Front row, from left) Sisters Rose Adelaide Anderson, Mary Adele Mack, Mary Vincent Brown, (back row, from left) Rose Marie Hewitt, Lawrence White, Laetitia Slusser, Mary Colette Hart and Kathryn Ann Connelly taught at St. Mel in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1959.



Central America. Enthusiastically supported, the priests, Sisters and lay members of CLAM (Cleveland Latin America Mission) responded and kept Mission Circles, parishes, school children, senior citizen groups and religious congregations informed on the development of “our” mission. During the 1974-’75 school year, when S. Christine Rody could not develop a sense of the universality of the Church’s mission in her Lumen Cordium High School students, she wondered if they would begin to understand if they knew someone in the missions. At least that would give them a direct connection to the Church’s work and concern beyond the school The Shrine of Our Lady of Levocha on the Motherhouse grounds of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity and their parish. Given the green light by attracted more than 40,000 for the annual pilgrimage. S. Helen Therese Scasny, the General Superior at that time, S. Christine arrived in El Salvador to In the 1950s through the 1980s the VSCs built Lumen begin five years of service in early February 1976. Cordium High School, a new venture, and spoke to the It was in December 1979 that members of the Diocesan growing need for attention to social justice issues; this included Mission Team in El Salvador, S. Dorothy Kazel, OSU, and Jean ministry to migrants, new immigrants, the inner city and Indian Donovan, were murdered by government soldiers along with reservations. two Maryknoll Sisters, Ita Ford and Maura Clark. In spite of the When S. Dorothy Ann Blatnica started her graduate degree violence and danger, the Mission Team continued its pastoral in secondary school administration at John Carroll University work among the El Salvadorian people. in 1975, the first professor she encountered was Fr. Joseph “I left after the murder of the American women, but Owens, SJ. It was common knowledge that his “unofficial” S. Elizabeth Kochik stayed on the team and was joined by task was to “weed out” those who didn’t have the potential to S. Irene Mraz in April 1981 because of the dangers and the become successful graduates of the program. His larger-than-life desire not to leave S. Elizabeth as the only woman in the central reputation was only surpassed by his stately looks and demeanor. parish of the mission,” S. Christine recalled. “The need was Apparently there was truth to the graduate school lore. perceived so urgent that S. Irene did not study Spanish until S. Dorothy Ann recalls, “I managed to make the cut and after serving some months in Zaragoza. During the 10 years that successfully completed the course only to learn that I had to face Vincentian Sisters were a part of the Cleveland commitment him again for School Law. Imagine my utter surprise the first eight other Sisters visited from two to six weeks helping wherever day of summer class when he approached me in the hall and they could, even without knowing the language.” In July 1986, told me he considered me his ‘granddaughter!’ He informed me both Sisters Elizabeth and Irene returned to their ministries in that he was instrumental in helping our Sisters establish Lumen the United States. Cordium High School 15 years earlier. Clearly he was proud As new needs were surfacing the VSCs saw that the former of their successful endeavor to establish one of the newest high Lumen Cordium space could offer senior citizens of the area schools in the diocese as the ‘baby boomers’ hit high school. He safe, right-size housing with opportunities for their spiritual praised their hard work and the challenge they faced as a small needs as well; Light of Hearts Villa, specializing in elderly care religious congregation new to secondary education. At that point has provided reassurance to a host of seniors ever since those in time I was in my fourth year of teaching at Lumen Cordium beginning days in 1989. The facility continues to be and preparing for a position in administration there. Given co-sponsored with the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. his reputation and the genuineness of his pride in our Sisters’ accomplishments, I was more determined than ever to continue In the summer 1996, the entire Vincentian community the legacy they established. I spent 12 years at Lumen Cordium, ventured to the Christian Life Center on the shores of Lake Erie and to this day I continue to meet our alums who cherish the for a retreat to discern God’s call. They came to see that they education they received from those determined women could no longer continue as they were but had too much life to Fr. Owens called his ‘daughters.’” begin the dying process. In December 1998, after more intense directed prayer, the Sisters agreed to “pursue” a merger. As a result of the early 1960s call of Pope John XXIII for missionaries, the Diocese of Cleveland took on the care of the At a break in the 2001 LCWR general assembly, the people in one and eventually three parishes in El Salvador, Bedford Vincentian leadership approached S. Mary Ellen W inter 2 0 1 4


Murphy, then president of the Villa San Bernardo Sisters of Charity, about the became a Congregational possibility of formally pursuing home, a place where Sisters a merger. Regular meetings were could choose to live in established between the two retirement or go out from leadership groups. “Leanings” there to their ministries. The and a straw vote taken of the Cincinnati Motherhouse at SC community regarding the Mount St. Joseph continued idea demonstrated an openness to be the center for the newly on the part of most of the SC merged Community. community. Getting-to-knowS. Marie Tessmer was you sessions were held; questions asked to serve as coordinator were asked and answered; key of the Bedford location. The Vincentian Sisters of Charity ceremonially transferred vows to the Sisters lay staff members of both groups of Charity of Cincinnati at the Shrine of Our Lady of Levocha in Bedford on S. Marie saw Villa San met each other. At the Chapters June 27, 2004. Bernardo as reflecting a spirit of 2003, for the VSCs and for the of joy for her. “The Sisters, SCs, Sisters were ready to formally express their yes/no choice. staff and I focused our energies on creating a place of welcome In a significant ritual in each community, a unanimous yes was and hospitality. In doing so, we lived into the reality of the expressed. No doubt could remain about the acceptance of the merger and found possibilities for joy. 50 by the 500. “I remember when we entertained a Bishop from Slovakia. One memory during the journey of the merger process In the dining room for refreshments, the Sisters were delighted stands out as a particularly moving and sacred moment. The to talk with the Bishop and his priest companions. At one point occasion was during the 2003 SC Chapter when 181 delegates the Sisters sang in Slovak “Ked Bi,” a song dear to them. In reached the moment of decision regarding the merger with the response, the Bishop sang to them. As I watched the group, the Vincentian Sisters of Charity. Though the overall tenor was in smiles and tears of the Sisters touched me with unexpected joy. support of the potential merger, some were still struggling with The Sisters were amazed they remembered the words! one aspect or other of this change. In the voting process each “Healing joy came as we found ourselves having to let go delegate, one by one, brought up her red, green or yellow card of one thing or another. Besides the small letting-go moments and placed it in a glass bowl. As the bowl swelled with cards, it of daily life, aging demands patience and courage. I was was becoming obvious that green was the color of the moment blessed to be among women who loudly or quietly, valiantly or and the decision was taking shape. When all the votes were cast, begrudgingly faced life’s diminishments. The Sisters taught me to the glass bowl was filled, containing only green cards. The vote accept what is. Embrace success with gratitude and see failure as was unanimous in favor of merging. Clearly those still struggling an opportunity for growth. And we did grow! How can you lose were able to set aside their own personal preferences and vote in when you rely on God’s energy?” Villa San Bernardo closed in support of the merger for the good of the whole community. 2010 with those remaining either moving to Mount St. Joseph “Then, with a shaky voice and tearful joy I had the privilege or Regina Health Center. of announcing the will of the delegate body on behalf of the Today the SC mission and ministry continue to impact entire community. In thanksgiving of this historic moment we lives in the Cleveland area. L’Arche, the co-sponsored Light of greeted each other in what was perhaps the longest ‘greeting of Hearts Villa, the Jesuit Retreat House, Safely Home and River’s peace’ I have witnessed. It was our Community at its best, open Edge all witness to active SC presence. Expanding bee hives and to the Spirit palpable among us!” S. Mary Ellen Murphy, then the pastoral volunteer ministry at Our Lady of Hope, a newly SC president, joyfully remembers. merged parish community, are modern-day responses to needs The actual merger of the two congregations became a as they present themselves; the risks continue. SC Associates reality on June 27, 2004, when the Vincentian Sisters made strengthen the presence and influence in a variety of locations. vows as Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. The Bedford Sisters After 125 years in the Cleveland area, Elizabeth and Vincent ceremonially transferred vows to the Sisters of Charity at Mass would recognize their imprint and the connection to living the celebrated by the Rev. Anthony M. Pilla of the Cleveland diocese Gospel in a Pope Francis era. The seeds have fallen on ‘good at the Shrine of Our Lady of Levocha in Bedford. In attendance ground.’ were about 100 “original” Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and “Could anyone know what has happened in consequence many friends and relatives of the “new” Sisters of Charity, the of the little dirty grain of mustard seed planted by God’s hand in former Vincentian Sisters. This June 2014, the blessings of the merger will be 10 years old, but blessings never get old, they just America?” (Elizabeth Seton to Antonio, October 1820) multiply. 16


In Elizabeth's Spirit By S. Mary Ann Flannery


er spacious office is as eclectic as her job at Light of Hearts Villa, the senior residence complex cosponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and the Sisters of Charity Health Care System of Cleveland, Ohio.

One of those challenges took shape in 2005 and now provides an outreach of care to the surrounding community of Light of Hearts. Social workers for the Villa had noticed an increase in poor nutrition among seniors in the area. Together with S. Regina, they mounted In one corner is stashed a an effort with the Nutrition paper cutter and a pile of artwork Services Department of the and pictures to be used for prayer University Hospital Bedford programs. In another corner is the Medical Center to open the box for recycled paper, in another Seton Safety Net based on the a cabinet to be mounted for requirements of a healthy diet displaying artifacts. for senior citizens. The pantry is “I do a little of everything,” operated voluntarily and takes says S. Regina Kusnir, director of only non-perishable foods but it Pastoral and Special Ministries also accepts gift cards to grocery at the Villa. “I love what I do, stores for only certain items. working with the elderly and their S. Regina named the pantry for families. The elderly provide a lot Named after St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Seton Safety Net food our founder, St. Elizabeth Ann of wisdom because they have dealt pantry provides senior citizens with foods based on the requirements Seton, because “During her of a healthy diet. with life’s challenges.” life, she often had to depend on others to help provide for her family and her fledgling S. Regina’s bright blue eyes sparkle with enthusiasm when community.” she talks about her ministry. It is obvious that her workplace is a community for her from the maintenance workers to Is there any part of her job that S. Regina likes best? the office personnel to the caregivers. “It is my worshipping “I absolutely love Scripture study with the residents. They community as well because I truly live with these people absorb everything with such enthusiasm.” Last year the group during my workday; we are all in this together. So, I like to took an eight-week series on Luke’s Gospel and then asked begin the Saturday evening Mass with a brief reflection on to study Acts of the Apostles which Luke is reputed to have something relevant to all of us. We started this as an activity written. “Scriptures dance for me,” said S. Regina. “They are for the Year of Faith and when we surveyed the people about the major part of my Sunday morning quiet time and they whether or not to continue doing it, they resoundingly guide me throughout the week.” said yes!” One readily observes the warmth and affection among S. Regina arrived at Light of Hearts eight years ago Light of Hearts employees and residents. But to stand back following several terms in congregational leadership. Before and breathe in the spirit of generosity and compassion, is to then, she served in pastoral ministry at four parishes and as encounter the charism of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton palpable a director of religious education (DRE) in one. She started and evident in the work of her follower, S. Regina Kusnir. her ministry career as an elementary school teacher. “This is a perfect way to mesh all that I learned along the way in my other ministries,” she said, adding that “every day is a new day but I love the variety of challenges.” W inter 2 0 1 4


Love Bubbling Over

Associate Alice Graham (front, right) with her prayer group from St. Rita's. For more than 40 years the group has gathered and supported each other through births, deaths and serious illnesses.

By S. Regina Kusnir


od’s grace is like a gentle stream that trickles through the experiences of our lives, then bubbles up and overflows its banks. The journey that led Alice Graham to become an Associate on June 18, 2005, is a reflection on that gentle stream. A welcoming smile and bright eyes are the gifts that draw you to Alice and are the gifts that drew Alice toward becoming an Associate throughout her life. She met the Sisters of Charity for the first time when a family move transferred Alice and her sister to Holy Name. Alice was in the eighth grade and her sister, Florence, was a freshman. This was their third school and they quickly found the SCs to be women who enjoyed life more than the Sisters in the other schools. The Sisters were down-to-earth, truly human, and very gifted educators. Alice loved the Sisters, but that was not her vocation. Florence, however, became S. Joanna Mary, an educator, who died in 2006. This connection made the SCs familiar to Alice who married Dick and raised a close family that now includes four sons, two daughters, and 14 grandchildren.

“Let all things be done with charity.” ~ St. Vincent de Paul

This was a gentle stream that found Alice and Dick active in their parish communities, which both had schools staffed by the Vincentian Sisters. They first lived in St. Pius parish, where Bible classes and PTU kept them connected. Later they moved to St. Rita’s where they took part in the new Christ Renews His Parish program. Alice and Dick were the first leaders of the renewal weekends. They helped to establish the Social Concerns Commission and were influential in the Care and Share Christmas Program for the poor. Throughout their years together, the church and its efforts for others kept them connected. Since Dick’s death in 2001, Alice has continued her connection with the church. 18

A familiarity with Mother Seton came from Alice’s SC connection beginning with the Mother Seton League at Holy Name. But she was most intrigued by Saints Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac whose love for the poor touched her heart. For years Alice knew that she wanted something more in her life. At one point she even kept a copy of the Universe Bulletin’s list of congregations that had Associates, but nothing hit home. The gentle, rolling stream bubbled up when Alice heard about the merger of the Vincentian Sisters and the Sisters of Charity. Her classmate, S. Zoe St. James, invited Alice to consider becoming an Associate. The bubbles kept coming as the Wednesday Masses, dinners and sharing at Villa San Bernardo fed her soul. The Sisters were witnesses of a genuine caring and charity for each other. The Sisters, some who had taught her children, were welcoming. There Alice found peace, tranquility, love and a place where her stream could run over. Alice lives Charity love in many ways: “I am very involved in volunteering with The Christ Child Society. I sew for the layette program and crochet mittens and hats for the winter coat program. I take Eucharist to the homebound and visit several elderly ladies each week. For 45 years I have been involved with the same Prayer Group from St. Rita’s. We have supported each other through births, deaths and serious illnesses. I am also involved in a Bible Study Group. Last, but not least, I answer prayer requests on ‘Our Prayer’ on the Internet. Five of my six children and 12 grandchildren live in the area so I am still a busy mother and grandmother.” The times when Sisters and Associates come together in small groups, in gatherings of local Associates and SCs are lifegiving. Alice’s deepest wish is that the overflowing stream of Charity Love will continue to bring spiritual growth, learning and greater engagement with each other. Look for Alice’s smile and bright eyes, they are a bubbling stream in themselves. Intercom

The Joy of Music By S. Kathryn Ann Connelly


ave violin, happy to play” seems to be the hallmark of S. Mary Germaine Maximovich these days at Mount St. Joseph. Though never really her primary ministry, music has always been a partner to Sister since her early days in the Community. These days, Sister plays at Mother Margaret Hall; she plays at the funerals of Sisters, and performs with a likeminded small group of musicians whenever an occasion presents itself to entertain others. Happiness is playing the violin, she says. Regina Maximovich was the eighth child of 12 born to immigrant parents from Serbia and Croatia. Her early years were spent in Akron, Ohio, where she helped to care for her four younger brothers. The family lived in S. Mary Germaine Maximovich (left) entertains many with her musical ability on the violin. her grandfather’s house, which today is still home to her sister and brother. After attend Kent State University where she enrolled in private finishing grade school, Regina followed her sister and entered violin lessons, giving her more confidence and more assurance the Vincentian Sisters of Charity in 1949. As a member of in her musical ability. It was in Bedford that she often walked the Community she attended Marymount High School. She across the street to Lumen Christi High School to help her requested the name S. Mary Germaine, after reading the sister, who was the music director of the school, playing saint’s biography, and opted not to go back to her baptismal accompaniment or giving support assisting students in their name even though today this causes some confusion when her music endeavors. legal name is required. She remains devoted to St. Germaine. After leaving elementary school teaching, her violin Her first assignment to Barberton, Ohio, found her remained her steady companion as she ventured into other teaching elementary school. It was here that her love of music ministries. Running an efficient office, serving the elderly or was awakened. When she companioned S. Mary David to working in a nursing home has always provided S. Germaine organ lessons at the University of Akron, Mother Joseph with an opportunity to bring the joy of music to those around suggested that S. Germaine take piano lessons at the same her. time. The violin, however, was the instrument of choice, especially since her carpenter uncle had gifted her with one he Her deep sense of appreciation of the gift of music has encouraged her to join with others. Groups of Sisterhad made himself. Thus began her interaction with music as musicians gather and play for many different occasions, from she went about her various ministries. holidays to birthdays, to patriotic occasions, to special feasts. While teaching at St. Cyril in Barberton and then at At Mount St. Joseph, the joy of music abounds – guitar, flute, St. Mary’s in Bedford, to share her joy with music, piano, cello – but especially, for S. Mary Germaine, “have S. Germaine started after-school programs in violin for violin, happy to play.” children. During this time she had the opportunity to

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S ocial J ustice S potlight

H uman T rafficking :

Modern-Day Slavery By S. Patricia Sabourin


ur beloved and much quoted Pope Francis issued a challenge to religious women, soon after taking office, to leave our comfort zone to work in the real world. I like to think our Sisters of Charity have been doing that for many years; in fact, our very roots include women who left their comfort zones to go into the real world to answer the needs of their day. Certainly Elizabeth Seton and Mother Margaret George were examples for us.

In 2009, the International Union of Superiors General established Talitha Kum (“Little girl, arise�), the antitrafficking network of women religious who also depend on partnerships with government, professional, faith-based and other organizations as well as the many religious congregations to combat this global evil. Locally, the Cincinnati Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) established a subcommittee of InterCommunity Religious Women working to end human trafficking. Our Sisters of Charity became part of this committee in April 2011. Presently, Sisters Jean Miller, Ruth Kuhn, Marcel DeJonckheere and Pat Sabourin serve on the committee.

Today, we are faced with a huge challenge: human trafficking, otherwise known as modern-day slavery. It seems ironic that not long ago we were celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which S. Loretta Saupe is one of many Sisters in Mother led to the 13th Amendment to the Margaret Hall who helped prepare bars of soap for Constitution, and stated that neither The committee met several times distribution in public places, especially hotels, so that slavery nor involuntary servitude shall trying to discuss how best to use our victims being trafficked can find a hotline number to exist in the United States. Yet, as of call for help. talents and resources. The first thought December 2012, human trafficking cases was to offer direct service to the victims; have been reported in every state and US territory. wise women that we are, we realized our limitations. The Congregations of religious women have been involved in anti-trafficking programs locally and regionally for several years. Recently human trafficking has become so widespread that congregations of religious women are uniting in a nationwide effort to limit its reach. In April 2013, representatives from several Congregations active in anti-trafficking programs met with representatives of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in Washington, D.C. The Sisters also entered into dialogue with government, nongovernment organizations and Church officials to get a better sense of their thrust in regard to modern-day slavery and the latter got a better idea of what the Sisters were doing, as well. The call for greater collaboration led to the development of the Bakhita Initiative, an Internet-based listing of anti-trafficking programs and resources available from congregations nationwide. The initiative is named for St. Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese slave who became a nun after her release. St. Josephine is also considered the Patron Saint of Victims of Human Trafficking. The initiative is envisioned as being a storehouse of human trafficking resources for religious congregations as well as the general public. 20

victims of human trafficking often undergo horrific experiences that require a long and difficult process of healing and recovery requiring professional help and interdisciplinary case management. During this time we remembered hearing about Sisters in Indiana who prior to the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis, Ind., visited the hotels and motels especially close to the game venue. They talked with management and left materials to help orient and educate management and employees about the crime of human trafficking: what to look for, how to recognize a possible victim, what to do if you suspect human trafficking. The committee determined education and public awareness were something we could do. Armed with materials we visited motels and hotels in the Greater Cincinnati area. For the most part the Sisters were well received. Many managers were not aware of the possible problems; many were interested. Some agreed to use the materials to educate their personnel. One manager even agreed to become actively involved by taking the information to the state association for hospitality managers, and so spread the word even farther.


Our intercommunity committee is made up of several congregations. It is a wonderful group working together and sharing all new information. One of our other projects was Theresa Flores’s SOAP project (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution). Theresa is a survivor of human trafficking. She remembered that the only time she was alone when she was trafficked was when she went to the bathroom. As a result Theresa thought if a bar of soap with the human trafficking hotline telephone number was placed in the bathrooms of hotels and motels, especially at the time of sporting events, car shows, NASCAR races, etc., some victims might possibly be rescued.

penalties for traffickers, widening support for victims through much needed social services and employment, and providing broader education about sex and labor trafficking. We do this by participating in webinars, national teleconferences with other agencies, and participating in training programs, and attending local conferences.

Our Sisters of Charity also co-sponsor with many other Congregations a monthly newsletter As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Called “Stop Trafficking.” This is an Month, OPJCC created a human trafficking prayer tree offering excellent source of information on prayer suggestions for our sisters and brothers all over the the issues of human trafficking and world who are victims of slavery and trafficking. To view the the actions of those working prayer tree, visit to end modern-day slavery. This humtraf.htm Our SC Social Justice Fund online newsletter can be accessed donated money to buy cases of soap and to pay for shipping at To access past issues visit the soap to Theresa in the areas needed. Our Sisters in Mother Margaret Hall helped attach labels with the hotline numbers to Sisters are available to give presentations on human hundreds of bars of soap. trafficking to various groups on request. Debbie Weber, director Presently, we are working on a new project. There is evidence that sex trafficking can be stopped if America’s youth are reached with proper education about sex and the reality of human trafficking. We are working to get a quality appropriate curriculum in the Catholic schools in our Archdiocese. Some of us also serve on the education/public awareness committee of the rescue and restore coalition “End Slavery Cincinnati,” which is working on a curriculum for Cincinnati Public Schools. The curriculum needs to take into account the educators and parents as well as the students. The curriculum would address the issues of human trafficking from a prevention viewpoint. Human trafficking is the second largest crime in terms of dollar exchange. Worldwide about 21 million people are trafficked in an industry that nets traffickers $32 billion annually, according to the State Department’s report on human trafficking. An estimated 100,000 minors are victims of sex trafficking annually in the US, according to the FBI. Human trafficking is the cruelest form of abuse against human rights. At his address to the new ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis called on nations to work together to put an end to human trafficking and to free the victims and restore them to as normal a life as possible.

of the SC Office of Peace, Justice and Care for Creation, has resources available for those interested in learning more about human trafficking. When asked by Sisters who feel they are no longer active, what they can do to help, I always say pray! Pray for the traffickers; pray for the victims; pray for those who are working to end human trafficking. And, if you so desire, take civic action. When we post notice to phone or write state or federal legislators regarding certain bills regarding human trafficking, it helps to have as many people as possible to participate. (From left) S. Ruth Kuhn, S. Lisa Steigerwald, RSM, S. Marcel DeJonckheere and Associate Debbie Weber, OPJCC director, attended End Slavery Cincinnati’s annual conference on human trafficking on Jan. 31.

Members of our committee are constantly updating our resources and educating ourselves in the area of legislative advocacy for stricter laws and



democracy in the

Honduran Elections ? By S. Jean Miller


emocracy is our treasured value. The dictionary says that it is “government by the people.” In the Hondurans arrived on Nov. 24, 2013, with great expectations that democracy would prevail. United States we are convinced democracy would make the world a better place. For When we arrived at 5 a.m. leaders of parties were present that reason, we fight wars so others will implement it; we to set up the sites for the elections that began at 7 a.m. Most encourage others to practice it; and we observe elections in of them had arrived on bicycles, motorcycles or somebody countries that we think need our form of democracy. else’s truck. The military was present both outside the We rejoice when the news media captures on the screen entrance and within the confines of the school. people holding up their purple finger, indicating that they When the voting actually started, people arrived with have voted and their country is now democratic. great expectations that democracy would prevail. We, too, In November I had the privilege of joining an felt there was a conviction among the majority of the voters International Team of Election Observers for the elections that their voice was important. We saw some coercion, some in Honduras. I knew something about Honduras from my missing electoral materials and some buying of votes but in visits there in the 1980s, when I lived in Nicaragua. I knew most instances things were peaceful and normal. As the count the coast with its glorious beaches, the banana plantations, of ballots progressed it was obvious that the opposition party the palm trees laden with pineapples and coconuts as well would win this part of the country. as the mountains with coffee plantations and small villages. Foreign companies and military bases were very much present Later that evening we saw the opposition or Libre Party candidate declare victory. The trends were in her favor and everywhere; poverty and corruption, as well. one of the TV stations had already called the election for What I didn’t know was that a democratically elected her just as our media does. Immediately afterwards the president, Mel Zelaya, had been removed at gunpoint and Government Party declared that the government candidate taken from the country in a military coup in 2009. An had won. Our thought was “How could that be?” election was called to determine who would govern the The Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the newspapers, the country for the next four years but many people refused to media, the US Embassy, and some of the International participate because they felt their elected president should Observer groups announced that the Government Party had be returned to complete his term. He was not returned so won and “the elections were free and fair.” “government by the people” or democracy was denied. Now in 2013 people were ready to attempt to return to democracy by participating in elections on Nov. 24, 2013. Through a special agreement, the Cartejena Accord, the former president could return to the country, new political parties would be established and elections would be held with observers in attendance. This gave hope to “el Pueblo” who had been the victims of land take-overs, disappearances, assassinations, oppression, extreme poverty and injustice of all forms. Our group would observe in the Bajo Aguan rural area where so much violence had been evident in the electoral campaign. Five of us left at 4:30 a.m. to travel by a dusty, foggy road to a desolate location in a rural school where we were to observe seven different electoral tables. 22

Our group’s report noted the fraud that we had witnessed and later we were able to see the ways that the vote was changed at the level of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Many votes were not counted, others were not collected from the ballot location, some voters were not allowed to vote, reports from voting tables differed from the tally by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Again what looked like democracy was a stolen election or as the social movement called it, a continuation of the 2009 coup. My lingering question about democracy is: Can a country with investments favoring corporations, privatization of natural resources, an oligarchy controlling the wealth and militarization by foreign armies ever “be governed by the people”? Intercom

Elizabeth Ann Seton Award THREE HONORED WITH

Anne Gutzwiller (right) was nominated by S. Loretta Saupe.

(From left) Jerry Judd, Anne Gutzwiller and Norm Rich received the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati on Sunday, Jan. 5.


he Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati awarded the Congregation’s highest honor, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, to Anne Gutzwiller, Jerry Judd and Norm Rich on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse. The award recognizes individuals outside the Congregation for their contributions and service to the mission of the Sisters of Charity. Anne Gutzwiller recently retired from her position of 33 years as dietitian at Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility. During these decades, Anne took personal interest in the dietary needs of each Sister, securing the necessary nourishment for her well-being. Anne was a member of the management team at Mother Margaret Hall and was instrumental in the implementation of computerized assessments and training of staff. She served on the Ethics Committee, moderated care conferences, and participated in many renovation committees. Those who nominated Anne characterize her as a devoted mother, wife, companion, truly a “valiant woman.” Jerry Judd has nurtured and enhanced the mission and ministries of the Sisters of Charity for 25 years. He was a key member of the Sisters of Charity Health Care Systems and was WINTER 2014

Sisters Roslyn Hafertepe (left) and Sally Duffy congratulate Jerry Judd on his receipt of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award.

appointed to Catholic Health Initiative’s first leadership team as vice president of Treasury Services, focusing on socially responsible investing. Jerry began serving on the SC Ministry Foundation Board Finance Committee in 2003 and was named to the Board of Directors in 2004. As Board chairperson for the last three years, Jerry provided invaluable and visionary leadership to the Foundation. Those who nominated Jerry characterize him as a faith-filled father, husband, and community member. Norm Rich has worked with the Sisters of Charity at Catholic Central High School in Springfield, Ohio, and Alter High School in Kettering, Ohio. Norm is a theology teacher who imparts Gospel values to his students, offering his personal faith journey on the Senior Kairos retreats. He shares his expertise with both school and community. He chairs the Ohio Catholic School Accrediting Association for Alter, teaches RCIA at St. Charles parish, and facilitates the Ignatian Spirituality retreats for men who are homeless. Those who nominated Norm characterize him as a prayerful, humble man who serves as a role model for his students. 23

Embracing the Mission


or those born and raised in the Cincinnati area, there usually comes a sense of familiarity with the Sisters of Charity. Whether taught by a Sister, involved in a parish with them, or affiliated with one of their sponsored ministries, those relationships are lasting.

A separate family connection is what led Mary Pat to the Sisters of Charity in 2000. A Licensed Independent Social Worker, she was working with the Hamilton County Courts in domestic relations when her cousins Anne Gutzwiller, former MMH clinical dietitian, and S. Marty Gallagher informed her of a job opening in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility.

Even before arriving at Mount St. Joseph, Director of Resident Services Mary Pat Burke had built many memories with the Sisters of Charity. She was born at Cincinnati Good Samaritan Hospital (founded by the SCs and staffed by many throughout the years) and attended St. Lawrence and Seton High School, taught by many SCs, including Sisters Terese Sherritt and Rose Adelaide Anderson. Additionally Mary Pat went to school with future Sisters of Charity.

“Both cousins spoke highly of Mother Margaret Hall,” Mary Pat recalled. “They said I would be a ‘good fit.’” With professional experience in the field of social services and the relationships she’d built with Sisters through the years, Mary Pat felt she’d be the right fit, as well. While it has evolved over the last 13 years, in her position Mary Pat coordinates all admissions to Mother Margaret Hall, including when a Sister is discharged from the hospital. Mary Pat ensures the Sister’s room is ready for her based on her needs. In addition she communicates with Sisters’ families to prepare their care plans; this also is true during the dying process. More recently she has become more involved with the Activities Department in helping coordinate activities that meet each Sister’s needs.

“I played volleyball, basketball and softball with S. Joyce Brehm,” Mary Pat said. “We were always on the same teams. And S. Lois Jean Goettke and I went to both grade and high school together.” Even Mary Pat’s mother was employed with the Sisters of Charity in the 1940s. “She had asthma,” Mary Pat said, “and went to Colorado Springs for her health. She was a ward clerk at Glockner Hospital [formerly owned and operated by the Sisters of Charity] for two years. The only reason she came back was because she was homesick.”

“Our population is very unique,” Mary Pat said. “Their lives have been one of service and adventure. In providing activities, it is important to have an awareness of their individual stories and celebrate their gifts and accomplishments.” How does this role differ from previous positions she has held? “I have benefitted from the Sisters’ collective wisdom. Their stories reflect great experiences and a sacred calling. I have had the privilege of knowing them on a deeper level.” Reflecting on her 13 years with the Sisters of Charity, Mary Pat says she has seen and personally felt the SC mission at work. “I have worked in places where the bottom line is the bottom line, but here they care for you. The Sisters of Charity live their mission and extend their caring to the people who work for them. “I am most grateful to be employed by the Sisters of Charity,” she concluded. “It is an honor to be a small part of something so great. To embrace their mission and meet the challenge of service to others has been a gift. The Sisters have truly served their Church – and, through dedication, they have changed the world!”

Mary Pat Burke (left) came to the Sisters of Charity at the encouragement of her cousins S. Marty Gallagher (right) and Anne Gutzwiller.



F ormer M embers

Gather for Reunion

In September 2013, 32 former members of the Band of 1963 gathered for a reunion. The celebration marked 50 years since their entrance into the SC Community.


n 1963, sixty-nine women entered the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. That same year President John F. Kennedy was shot; Vatican II was well underway; and Mother Mary Omer Downing was Mother General of the Community. As they ate, prayed, cried and laughed together true bonds formed. In all, a total of 61 women would eventually leave the Community, but the relationships built and their respect and admiration for the Sisters of Charity remained. In September 2013, 50 years since their entrance into the Community, 32 former members gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio, to reunite and celebrate. A few of those women reminisce below: Deb Metter Lobring said of their Band: “We were the group on the cusp of all the change in the Church. We were the beginning of the new era of Sisters. When we are together there is that bond that goes beyond other types of friendship and I think it had to do with the excellent formation process and people like Sisters Emily Anne Phelan, Jane Grosheider, and Elizabeth Cashman.” Their time in the Community allowed for an education and ministries that included teaching, and social and parish work. Decisions to leave the Sisters of Charity Community came with much guilt and angst. When expressing her feelings Kathleen Lenover said Mother Mary Omer told her, “‘The Sisters of Charity’s role was to take young women, train and educate them to be Christian leaders. We have done that. Now you are going out to continue your work of being a Christ presence in the world.’ I felt like I was being sent out on mission again, not made guilty for leaving.” That sentiment is expressed by many. “Life has been a continuation of my call to do God’s will,” Irene Behling said, who went on to work in parish ministry and adult education, chaplaincy, and eventually mission director at St. Mary-Corwin W inter 2 0 1 4

Hospital in Pueblo, Colo., for eight years. “I will always be a Sister of Charity in my heart,” Behling continued. “That is where I ‘grew up’ spiritually. And I have taken what I have learned and hopefully continue to add value to the lives of those I touch. The friendships I have formed with the various Sisters continue today. The Sisters will always be an integral part of who I am. It was a gift to be a Sister and it’s a gift to now be married. I regret neither but am filled with gratitude for the journey I’m on.” The gathering in Cincinnati was a time to celebrate friendship and the spiritual connection felt with each other and the Sisters of Charity. The group attended the jubilee celebration at the Motherhouse that Sunday afternoon and had the opportunity to visit and reminisce with the Sisters. Afterward Lobring said, “I had a lot of guilt leaving [the Community]. I was 30 years old at the time, and was concerned about the future of the Community and the older Sisters. I didn’t want to abandon them. To see how the Community had gone on and prevailed and grown and the marvelous women still there, it was a wonderful experience to be there and at the Mass. I was a part of it and gave 12 years to the Community, and maybe, in some way, I helped them to be who they are today as well.” Added Lenover, “I read S. Benedicta Mahoney’s book We Are Many … the History of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. An insight received makes me weep. The challenges inherent in holding together a Community going through such massive changes, with responsibilities to the aging population within the Community and to the work needing to be done out in the mission was staggering. Those [women] did it! I am so proud of the Sisters of Charity who stayed in – it was their calling to do so as clearly as it was our calling to serve elsewhere.” 25

S.Eugene Marie Carpe from the archives –


orn to Jewish parents in Jackson, Mich., in 1906, S. Eugene Marie Carpe (formerly Marcella Carpe) was attracted to Catholicism at a young age. Growing up, she and her childhood friend, Alice Warner, would visit St. Mary’s Church in Jackson to call on the Sisters. They would ask S. Margaret Agnes Brande if they could walk her home every evening. S. Eugene Marie eventually was baptized Catholic. Shortly after, in September 1924, she came at the invitation of Mother Irenea Fahey to Mount St. Joseph Academy to finish her education. The following year, she entered the Community.

contributed frequently to technical, hospital and laboratory journals on subjects ranging from hematology to architecture, personnel management and interior decorating.” Sister was appointed administrator of Good Samaritan Hospital in 1950; two years later the local media named her “one of the top career women among the Sisters of Charity because aside from supervising the operations of the hospital, she continues research in the Rh blood factor.”

In 1941, S. Eugene Marie Carpe directed Dr. Charles Pfahler in performing the first exchange transfusion treatment in the Cincinnati area for newborn babies affected by the Rh factor.

But it is the remembrances of her coworkers, Sisters and acquaintances that truly capture S. Eugene Marie:

S. Eugene Marie’s first assignment was to teach first grade at Holy Name in Cleveland, Ohio. Stories circulated about her time there. One said that by recess on the first day, she had taught the outline of what she was supposed to cover for the entire year. Another said she walked in the first day and ordered the children to write their names. “Tears were all over the place because the children didn’t know how to write!”

S. Margaret Ebbing: “As my beginning career in nursing/ administration was in obstetrics, the contact was one of deep interest and thrill that she made the breakthrough in the field for these little ones, who were previously doomed. I remember how humble she was about the vast impact she made in medicine. All the acclaim she gained through this was attributed to others.”

It wasn’t long before Sister’s ability in science began to shine. She was missioned to spend one year studying at Divi Tome in the science institute. The following year she was missioned to Cincinnati Good Samaritan Hospital to work in the medical laboratory. This was the beginning of a distinguished career.

S. Joseph Ignatius Owyang: “I found S. Eugene Marie an honest, humble and sensitive person. She was firm and decisive; one knew where one stood with her, but she would listen and accepted differences of opinions.

S. Eugene Marie was interested in bone marrow studies and hematology, particularly the Rh factor. In 1941, after visiting Boston Children’s Hospital to observe the use of the replacement transfusion, Sister directed a resident staff physician, Charles Pfahler, in performing the first exchange transfusion treatment in the Cincinnati area for newborn babies affected by the Rh factor. Pfahler said Cincinnati Children’s was skeptical about the value of the treatment but Sister stood her ground and within a few years the exchange transfusion became acceptable. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer at the time, “Hospitals in every corner of America sought the benefit of [S. Eugene Marie’s] talent. She was the first nun administrator to be elevated to the presidency-elect of the Ohio Hospital Association and the first president of the Greater Cincinnati Hospital Council. She 26

“S. Eugene Marie used to visit all the floors in the hospital daily. She would visit all the sick Sisters and priests. She often greeted people with a smile. When a Sister was to go to surgery, S. Eugene Marie would often accompany her to the operating room.” Mr. Edward Kent, hospital staff member: “When named administrator there was skepticism among some people at the hospital about this appointment because she hadn’t had experience, but it wasn’t very long before people were sitting up and taking notice and saying that this was in fact a brilliant appointment because she turned out to be quite a capable administrator.” S. Eugene Marie Carpe died on May 11, 1962, at the age of 55. Intercom

On the Web For full articles, please visit the News/Events section of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati website at, and click on “Feature Articles.” Associate Spotlights Meet Florida Associate Geri Anderson and Cincinnati Associate Carmen Ferguson. Gaining Confidence, Leading Meaningful Lives S. Patricia Dittmeier ministers with IKRON (Integration of Knowledge and Resources for Occupational Needs) in Cincinnati. S. Pat Dittmeier

Graphic Design/Layout Michelle Bley Photographer S. Marty Dermody Director of Communications S. Georgia Kitt Executive Council Liaison S. Mary Bookser

(From left) S. Sally Duffy, S. Donna Steffen and Affiliate Annie Klapheke participated in the November Nuns Build.

Did You Know? S. Jacqueline Kowalski’s ancestral family has important roots in local and national history. SCs Remember Days as Cadet Nurses Sisters Pierre Habel and Maura Jean Tapke are among nine Sisters of Charity who were educated by and served in the US Cadet Nurse Corps. S. Pierre Habel (front row, fourth from left) and the late S. Mary Cecilia Eagan (front row, eighth from left) were among the first group of graduates at St. Joseph Hospital in Mount Clemens, Mich.

W inter 2 0 1 4

Intercom Staff Editor Erin Reder

Nuns Build 2013 Sisters from across the SC Federation gathered in New Orleans, La., Nov. 18-22 for the annual Nuns Build. View the video! Remembering President John F. Kennedy In November 2013, the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Sisters and Associates share their memories of receiving the news and the events thereafter.

Intercom is the quarterly magazine of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. This apostolic Catholic women’s religious community exists to carry out the Gospel of Jesus Christ through service and prayer in the world. Approximately 340 Sisters are joined in their mission by 199 Associates (lay women and men). Sisters, using their professional talents as ministers of education, health care, social services and environmental justice, live and minister in 29 US dioceses and in Guatemala, Mexico and the West Indies. They also sponsor institutions to address education, health care and social service needs, with particular concern for direct service to the poor.

Advisory Board Members: S. Mary Bodde S. Mary Ann Flannery S. Karen Hawver Mary Jo Mersmann S. Joyce Richter S. Frances Maureen Trampiets Vicki Welsh Letters to the editor, articles and photos are welcome. The staff reserves the right to edit for space and readability. Make submissions to: Communications Office 5900 Delhi Road Mount St. Joseph, OH 45051 Phone: 513-347-5447 Fax: 513-347-5467 Email: Subscriptions: $15 per year

5900 Delhi Road Mount Saint Joseph, OH 45051 sistersofcharityofcincinnati


5900 Delhi Road Mount Saint Joseph, OH 45051

11 Annie Klapheke (right) was officially welcomed into the Community as an Affiliate on January 12, 2014.

6 S. Diana Durling (with great-grandson Jason) tells her story of the journey from motherhood to Sister Mom.


Norm Rich was one of three recipients of the St. Elizabeth Seton Award, the Congregation’s highest honor, during a celebration January 5, 2014.

Winter 2014 Intercom  

Intercom is the quarterly magazine of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.

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