Phyllis McCracken, SSJ, was born in Meadville, PA, to Robert and Pauline Snyder McCracken. After graduating from Franklin High School in Franklin, PA, she attended Spencer School of Nursing and Villa Maria College and earned a Diploma RN and BSN degree. She also received an MS in Nursing Services Administration from Boston University. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1971 and professed final vows in 1977. “My call to religious life is as vibrant today as it was 50 years ago. God has continued to bless me as I live out our mission of reconciling love with our dear neighbors,” said Sr. Phyllis.
Sister Phyllis currently serves in Leadership, as Treasurer, for the Sisters of St. Joseph. Prior to that, she served for 35+ years at Saint Mary’s Home of Erie, including nearly 18 years as president/CEO. She was also assistant and acting director of nursing, vice-president for patient care services, vice president for special projects, and vice president for planning. Her earlier ministries included staff nurse and hospice consultant at Spencer Hospital, Meadville, PA; director of student health services at Villa Maria College; developer/director at St. Martin’s Health Center; director and geriatric staff nurse at Villa Maria Convent; director of nursing continuing education for Villa Maria College and Edinboro State College; director of nursing continuing education for Erie Institute for Nursing and admission analyst, quality assurance at Saint Vincent Health Center. She served on many community boards, including Saint Vincent Board of Corporators and Board of Trustees, HVA Senior Living Alliance, Villa Maria Center, Saint Mary’s Home of Erie, Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network, and Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association. She also served on the Erie Diocesan Medical Moral Ethics Committee. She is a member and Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club of Erie and was named one of the 1977 Outstanding Young Women of America. She received the Medaille D’Or Award from Saint Mary’s Home of Erie in 2008 and was one of the 2019 Women Making History honored by the Mercy Center for Women.