Nancy Sonnenfeld, SSJ

When I’m out taking pictures, I’m ever surprised with the new and different ways God comes to me.

“Flowers,” says Sister Nancy Sonnenfeld,SSJ, “are just like people—the strong, the weak, those that need much care, those that survive no matter what; the varying colors, the tall, the short and on and on.”

A woman of intelligence and creativity, Sister Nancy has what some may see as competing interests and inspirations: nature and technology. Yet, she finds ways to bring them together in her passion for

That creativity is evident in her pieces of art. Sister Nancy has won medals at various contests and events.

A native of St. John the Baptist Parish in Erie, she is the daughter of the late Clarissa (McKay) and Frederick Sonnenfeld. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1957 and made her final profession in 1965. She was formerly Sister Frederick Claire.

After graduating from Villa Maria Academy, Sister Nancy earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She studied at the International Institute of Reflexology and became a certified reflexologist, continuing to offer this service today.

Sister Nancy’s other ministries over the years included teaching and providing financial and media services. She taught at the following elementary schools in the Diocese of Erie: Sacred Heart, Blessed Sacrament, Holy Rosary, St. Paul,and St. John the Baptist, all in Erie; St. Agatha, Meadville; St. Bernard, Bradford;and Notre Dame, Hermitage.

She also taught adults in the education department of Saint Vincent Hospital and was a financial assistant at St. Andrew Parish, Erie. For a time, she served as coordinator of media services for the Sisters of St. Joseph.

According to Sister Nancy: “The area from which I receive most of my inspiration is nature.”