Margaret O’Brien, SSJ, formerly known as Sister Mary Matthew, was born on March 21, 1937 in Oil City, Pennsylvania. Sister entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Joseph Parish in Oil City on August 29, 1956 and professed her final vows on August 15, 1964.
Sister graduated from St. Joseph High School, Oil City in 1956, and earned a BS degree in elementary education from Villa Maria College, Erie, 1968. She earned a gerontology certificate from Gannon University, 1969, and a reading specialist certificate from Edinboro University, 1971. She also has nurse aide certification from the American Red Cross, 1986. It was at this time that Sister began her ministry at St. Mary’s home of Erie as a nurse aide.
For 23 years, sister taught at several Erie Diocesan schools including: Blessed Sacrament, Villa Maria Elementary, Holy Rosary, and Our Lady of Peace schools in Erie from 1956-1974, as well as primary grades at St. Francis in Clearfield, PA; St. Bernard in Bradford, PA; and St. Leo in Ridgway, PA. She was the convent superior in Bradford, Pennsylvania from 1974-1980. Since 1986, sister has worked at Saint Mary’s Home of Erie in various positions. In 2014, sister was honored with the highest and most prestigious Médaille D’or Medal from the Saint Mary’s board and administration, recognizing 28 years of dedication and service. In November of this year, she will celebrate 30 years in healthcare.
Over the years, sister has met families and their loved ones in many relationships, who have been a great inspiration to her and she continues to instill in them, the charism of the Congregation, “neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.”