Sister Claudia Dombrowski, SSJ, was born in Erie, PA, to the late Harry and Joan (Bronakowski). She graduated from Villa Maria College, where she earned a BS in elementary education. She later earned an MEd from Xavier University in Cincinnati and did additional studies at Edinboro University and Boston College being certified in both Elementary and Secondary Administration.
The call to religious life began in high school for Sister Claudia as she observed the Sisters of St. Joseph. She came to know some of the sisters more personally by helping with Church work and becoming a catechist. She came to realize how God was leading and directing her and she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1971 after graduating from college. She professed her final vows in 1977.
“There were many changes happening in the Church and religious life at that time —changes that brought us back to our roots and enabled us to minister to God’s people in many diverse ways. Today religious life is again moving to something new,” she says. “These are exciting times and I know that God will never disappoint us.”
Sister Claudia enjoyed a long ministry career in education which included teaching at Blessed Sacrament, St. John’s, Villa Maria Academy, and Cathedral Preparatory Schools, all in Erie. She also served as principal at St. John’s, Our Lady of Peace, and Cathedral Prep and Assistant Principal at Villa Maria Academy. She served as a parish support person at St. Peter’s parish in Conneautvulle, PA, and currently ministers as a caregiver with Home Instead Senior Care. In 2019, she was elected to serve the Congregation as councilor-at-large.
Sister Claudia has served and is presently serving on the SSJ Board of Directors. In 2006, she was awarded the Papal Cross pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, bestowed by Pope Benedict XVI.