Sr. Lucille DeStefano, SSJ, was born in Ridgway, PA to the late Michael and Helen Delpozzo DeStefano. As a young girl, she was greatly influenced by the Sisters of St. Joseph as she observed their good works for members of the community in her home parish of St. Leo’s in Ridgway.
“I know it was the neighborliness of the Sisters of St. Joseph that attracted me,” she says. “Not only were they our teachers, but they also came to visit when someone was ill, or when they were passing by for a walk. Also, as a piano student, I had the opportunity to practice at the convent and came to realize that the sisters were a ‘family.’”
Following high school, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1946 where her musical and spiritual vocations were nurtured. She then attended and graduated from Villa Maria College in Erie in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She went on to earn a Masters in Music Education from Chicago Musical College/Roosevelt University.
During her ministry career, Sr. Lucille taught piano at Villa Maria Conservatory of Music in Erie, and at St. Francis Parish in Clearfield, PA where she also served as choir director. Then for many years, Sr. Lucille was on staff at Villa Maria College serving as associate professor, and chairperson of the Humanities Dept. and the Fine Arts Dept. She also served as Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Gannon University in Erie. For her religious community, Sr. Lucille served as a member of the Community Living Center Team and director of liturgy.
Looking back at her childhood observations of the Sisters of St. Joseph, she realizes that without knowing it, she was witnessing the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph: unity of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.