Sr. Margaret Pellerite, SSJ — A Woman Making History

Photo credit: Lorei Portraits Congratulations to Sr. Maraget Pellerite, SSJ, who was recently recognized as a 2023 Women Making History by the Mercy Center for Women in Erie, PA. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the annual Women Making … Read More

James Francis Mulligan, SSJ — 75 years

Sister James Francis Mulligan, SSJ was born in Meadville, PA. She attended St. Brigid Elementary School and St. Agatha High School in Meadville. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Villa Maria College, Erie, and went on to … Read More

Rose Marie Chisholm, SSJ — 75 years

Sister Rose Marie Chisholm was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown, Massachusetts, on May 8, 1947, and professed her final vows in 1953. Sister Rose Marie graduated from Watertown … Read More

Ann Patrice Murnock, SSJ — 70 years

Sister Ann Patrice Murnock, SSJ, is a native of St. Michael Parish in Forest City, PA. She graduated from Forest City High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Villa Maria College in Erie, PA. She entered the … Read More

Mary Arnold Tann, SSJ — 70 years

Sister Mary Arnold Tann, SSJ, is a native of Hamilton, Ohio. Her family moved to Erie, where she graduated from Villa Maria Academy. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Villa Maria College in Erie and earned certifications … Read More

Ricarda Vincent, SSJ — 70 years

Sister Ricarda Vincent, SSJ, is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Strong Vincent High School in1949 and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1952 from her home parish, St. Andrew’s, in Erie. She made her final profession … Read More

Lucille DeStefano, SSJ — 75 years

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 … Read More

Mary Carol Hoke, SSJ — 70 years

Sister Mary Carol Hoke, SSJ, was born in Meadville, PA, to Arthur Charles and Marion Josephine Chalot Hoke. Following high school, she worked as a secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Highways for more than four years. She attended mass … Read More

Maria Onuffer, SSJ — 70 years

Sister Maria Onuffer, SSJ, was born in Lewis Run, PA, to John and Anna Hvizdak Onuffer. After graduating from  St. Bernard High School in Bradford with the highest commercial honors, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business education from Villa … Read More

Barbara Ann Zakutney, SSJ — 70 years

Sister Barbara Ann Zakutney, SSJ, was born in Houtzdale, PA, to Stephen and Elizabeth Susko Zakutney.  After completing high school, she graduated from Villa Maria College, Erie, with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She also studied at the University … Read More

Michele Healy, SSJ — 60 years

Sister Michele Healy, SSJ, was born in Ridgway, PA, to Clair and Lulu Margaret McDonald Healy. Following high school, she received a bachelor’s degree in education from Villa Maria College, a master’s in theology from St. Bonaventure University, and a … Read More

Moira Sullivan, SSJ — 60 years

Sister Moira Sullivan, SSJ, was born in Johnsonburg, PA, to William H. and Elsie Penfield Sullivan. After completing high school, she attended Villa Maria College in Erie and earned a BS in English. While there and after initially resisting the … Read More

Claudia Dombrowski, SSJ — 50 years

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 … Read More

Phyllis McCracken, SSJ – 50 years

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 … Read More

Mary Rita Kuhn, SSJ

Mary Rita Kuhn, SSJ 70-year Jubilee Encouragement to do something special during Lent from her 10th-grade religion teacher led a young girl to attend daily Mass as often as she could. Today, Sr. Mary Rita Kuhn credits that prayer time … Read More

Mary Rachael McGuire, SSJ

Sister Mary Rachael McGuire, SSJ 80-year Jubilee Sister Mary Rachael recalls going to Mass every morning before her job at the hospital as a young woman and Sister Anna Therese saying to her, “I think you should be a Sister.” … Read More

Stephanie Wagner, SSJ

Stephanie Wagner, SSJ  70-year Jubilee It was during a high school vocation talk when Sr. Stephanie heard, “Some of you are being selfish with God, and He may be calling you.” She discerned that thought for about a year and … Read More

Geraldine Olon, SSJ

Geraldine Olon, SSJ 70-year Jubilee Sister Geraldine Olon entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Joseph Parish in Oil City, PA, in 1950 and professed her final vows in 1956. She attended St. Joseph High School in Oil City, … Read More

Mary Claire Kennedy, SSJ

Mary Claire Kennedy, SSJ 70-year Jubilee As a student at Villa Maria College, Sr. Mary Claire Kennedy learned of the rich social teachings of the Church and experienced individuals, lay and religious, who lived their faith very seriously. This had … Read More

Agnes Marie Hughes, SSJ

Agnes Marie Hughes, SSJ 70-year Jubilee From the time she was about five years old, Sister Agnes Marie knew she wanted to be a sister.  She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania in 1950 from her home … Read More

Marjorie Adams, SSJ

Marjorie Adams, SSJ Formerly Sister Agatha 70-year Jubilee Sister Marjorie Adams first became acquainted with the religious life while living and studying at Villa Maria College. The spirit and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph, exemplified by joy, dedication, … Read More

Mary Herrmann, SSJ

Mary  Herrmann, SSJ formerly Sister Rosemary 60-year Jubilee From her earliest memories, Sister Mary Herrmann felt that she wanted to be a “sister.” After beginning her education with the Sisters of St. Joseph, she knew that meant a Sister of … Read More

Teresa Marie Bohren, SSJ

“The Lord nudged me in high school.” That’s the way Sister Teresa Marie Bohren, SSJ, describes her call to religious life. “The strongest influence was the example of my parents,” she says. “They did what was right, no matter how … Read More

Margaret Ann Hardner, SSJ

Sister Margaret Ann Hardner, SSJ, wanted to be a Maryknoll Sister and serve in a foreign land.  Her parents were reluctant, however, for her to be so far away. They felt she could do as much here with the Sisters … Read More

Ann Marie Joint, SSJ

The thought of a religious vocation came to Sister Ann Marie Joint, SSJ, at an early age, she recalls, having considered it as early as during 7th and 8th grade, though admittedly, she tried to ignore it. She was impressed … Read More

Colette Palmer, SSJ

Sister Collette Palmer, SSJ, recalls hearing the call to religious life in the 4th grade. She was so impressed with the love, joy and dedication to God of a young postulant, Sr. Michelle Pillar, that she knew she too was … Read More

Martha Howick, SSJ

Sister Martha Howick, SSJ, says that her call to religious life was dormant until adulthood. “Having learned for the first time that God had a unique plan for my life was very freeing,” she recalls. “From then on, with fervent … Read More

Mary Francis Becker, SSJ

Sister Mary Francis Becker, SSJ, says the call to religious life was always present. “I kept denying it was there, but God does not relent,” she says. Her parents were the first and most impressive examples of faith in action … Read More

Mercy Center for Women Honors Phyllis McCracken, SSJ

One of 2019’s Women Making History Phyllis McCracken, SSJ is being honored as one of 2019’s Women Making History, at an event being held on March 6, 2019 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center … Read More

Nancy Fischer, SSJ

Nancy Fischer, SSJ entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. John the Baptist parish in Erie.  She currently ministers as the Director of the Office of Religious for the Erie Diocese, as well as Director for small communities and … Read More

Naomi Wood, SSJ

Sister Naomi Wood, SSJ, formerly Sister Ann Catherine, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Holy Rosary Parish in 1958 and made her final profession in 1966. A Johnsonburg native, Sister Naomi earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from … Read More

Margaret Pellerite, SSJ

Margaret Pellerite, SSJ, formerly Sister Anthony Marie, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Francis parish in Clearfield, PA.  Sister Margaret currently ministers in Campus Ministry at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage, where she also served as a … Read More

Rosemary O’Brien, SSJ

Rosemary O’Brien, SSJ, formerly Sister Cordelia, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Joseph parish in Oil City, PA.  Her current ministry includes Spritual direction and retreats, formation and ministry to refugees since 2013 as well as serving on … Read More

Elizabeth Ann Niebauer, SSJ

Elizabeth Ann Niebauer, SSJ, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Blessed Sacrament parish in Erie.  In her most recent ministry, she served as an Accounting Associate at the Barber National Institute from 2001 – 2014.  Her earlier ministries included … Read More

Frances Therese Matia, SSJ

Sister Frances Therese Matia, SSJ, believes her vocation came from the example of her parents who were strong, practicing Catholics. “We attended Mass together as a family, the sacrament of reconciliation monthly, Stations of the Cross and prayed the rosary … Read More

Mary Fromknecht, SSJ

Mary Fromknecht, SSJ, Formerly Sister Ann Raymond, entered the sisters of St. Joseph from St. John the Baptist parish in Erie. Since 2015, she has served as Executive Director of Sister Services for the sisters of St. Joseph.  Prior to … Read More

Joseph Marie Fitzgerald, SSJ

Joseph Marie Fitzgerald, SSJ, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Peter Cathedral in Erie. Since 2003, she has ministered as Resident Supervisor at Saint Mary’s Home of Erie, East. She is being recognized this month for 15 years … Read More

Sister Ann Marie Cappello, SSJ

Sister Ann Marie Cappello, SSJ, formerly Sister Francetta, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Sacred Heart parish in Erie.  She currently ministers as SSJ Mission Effectiveness Coordinator and Co-director of the SSJ Associates.  Previously, she taught at Blessed Sacrament, … Read More

Kathleen Kirsch, SSJ

Kathleen Kirsch, SSJ, formerly Sister Mary Leo, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Holy Rosary parish in Erie.  She currently ministers with the Sisters of St. Joseph prayer call ministry. Sister Kathleen served as a volunteer at Saint Vincent … Read More

Mary Julia Scully, SSJ

Mary Julia Scully, SSJ, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Peter cathedral parish in Erie.  Prior to retiring from active ministry, Sister Mary Julia spent 25 years teaching at St. Patrick, Holy Rosary, Sacred Heart, St. Andrew and … Read More

Jean Baptiste DiLuzio, SSJ

Jean Baptiste DiLuzio, SSJ, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Holy Rosary Parish in Erie.  She currently ministers in the development and communications offices of her congregation. Her work in the ministry of education has included teaching at Blessed … Read More

they met on the links

On a late August Saturday in 2016, we met up at a driving range with a few sisters who’ve always had a love for the game of golf. It was a beautiful day and these ladies were ready for a … Read More

she walks the walk

A story about Sister Josephine DePetro Sister Josephine DePetro spent more than 20 years teaching in several Erie Diocesan schools that had her ministering with those she most desired to work with: youth. She also worked as a Juvenile Probation … Read More

I tried running from God

When Sister Carmel Rojek reflects on her call to the religious life, she describes it as a metanoia, or conversion, experience. “I had never entertained ideas of becoming a religious,” she said. “But gradually through my young adult life, I … Read More

a special homecoming

Sr. Mary Kay McNelis was recently honored by Pastor Fr. Dan Arnold and the parishioners of St. Mark the Evangelist Church in Lawrence Park where she served as Director of Religious Education for 8 years. Sister Mary Kay attended the … Read More

Linda Fusco, SSJ

“God working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.”  Ephesians 3 A mother and grandmother, Sister Linda Fusco, SSJ, celebrates 25 years as a Sister of St. Joseph this year. A late vocation, she entered … Read More

Marianne Stuckert, SSJ

“This is what God asks of you, only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 Sister Marianne Stuckert, SSJ, offers this advice to those interested in devoting time and energy to … Read More

Marie Timmons, SSJ

“You shall love the Lord, your God… This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22 Over 60 years of religious life, Sister Marie Timmons, SSJ, taught at … Read More

Jude Marie Talerico, SSJ

“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.”       Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 Children are at the heart and soul of Sister Jude Marie Talerico’s 60 years of religious life. A Sister … Read More

Ann Stephanie Stano, SSJ

“Stimulated by the Holy Spirit of love and receptive to His inspirations, the Sister of Saint Joseph moves always toward profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction…”    From the Consensus Statement of the Sisters of St. Joseph Sister Ann Stephanie … Read More

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 … Read More

Veronica Mittal, SSJ

Sister Veronica Mittal, SSJ, formerly known as Sister Andrene, was born in Masury, Ohio, but grew up in Sharon. The daughter of Andrew and Mary (Dacey) Mittal, she attended Sacred Heart School in Sharon, where she was taught by Benedictine … Read More

Phyllis Hilbert, SSJ

“…eyes open and ears attentive to the sufferings of the world…spirit alert…sleeves rolled up for ministry without excluding the more humble, the less pleasing, the less noticeable.” Father Marius Nepper, SJ The life of Sister Phyllis Hilbert, SSJ, is a … Read More

Ann Donohue, SSJ

Sister Ann Donohue, SSJ, hails from the beautiful hills of Bradford, where she recalls her parents being the earliest source of inspiration. “My first recognition of being called to consecrated life came from my parents [the late Timothy and Regina … Read More

James Francis Mulligan, SSJ

Sister James Francis Mulligan—known as “Sister Jim” to many friends and former students—still finds a way to attend many Cathedral Prep sporting events in Erie. She’s been a dedicated fan since the 1980s, when she began teaching at the all-boys school.  During her 32 … Read More

Mary Arlene Menz, SSJ

Sister Mary Arlene Menz, SSJ, brought her love of education—particularly her passion for history and opera—to the young people she taught at every level, from first grade through college. A Sister of St. Joseph the past 70 years, she continues … Read More

Mary Kay McNelis, SSJ

“In contemplative prayer, we seek to become the person we are called to be not by thinking about God, but by being with God.” Dom John Main

Rose Ann Fedorko, SSJ

Growing up during World War II, I saw my four brothers go off to war and saw the sacrifices, prayers and tears—as well as the joys—of returning heroes. I was deeply impressed with their faith and dependence on God through it all. I wanted to give … Read More

Rose Marie Chisholm, SSJ

A native of Cambridge, Mass., Sister Rose Marie Chisholm, SSJ, has never lost her New England accent, even after spending the past 70 years as a Sister of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Nor has she lost the generosity that … Read More

Marie Celeste Bindseil, SSJ

Sister Marie Celeste Bindseil, SSJ, originally felt a call to join the foreign missions, but she decided instead to follow what she considered her real call from God: to become a religious sister.  Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she was christened Lieselotte Albina Bindseil, … Read More