S. Patmarie Bernard
Growing up in Celina, Ohio, Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Patmarie Bernard (the former Sister Patrick Marie) was nurtured and mentored by loving parents and life-giving family relationships. She attended Immaculate Conception Grade and High School, and graduated in 1958. Sister said this set the stage for “hearing the call – deep within” to religious life and stepping out, first of all, into her journey of deepening her relationship with God. As a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, Sister Patmarie emphasized many rich opportunities presented themselves during these past 60 years to nurture her contemplative spirit and this most important relationship.
Sister began her ministry in health care as a medical technologist at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 1962-1968, having received a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio). From 1968 until 1981 Sister Patmarie ministered at St. Joseph Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, first as a medical technologist, then as surgical head nurse and finally as an education coordinator. During this time Sister also earned the Associate Degree in Nursing from the University of Albuquerque, receiving management training as well.
From 1981-2004, Sister became the executive director of Villa Therese Catholic Clinic, a mostly free medical clinic in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sister Patmarie acknowledges that many were her blessing during her 23 years working in solidarity with the poor and underserved, along with numerous beauty-filled Board members, medical and para-medical volunteers, and a host of benefactors and friends. She also served on the Board of Directors for St. Joseph Health Care, Albuquerque, from 1987-1996 and the Board of Directors for St. Joseph Community Services in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 2003-2009.
After her departure/transition in 2004, following 42 years in health care in New Mexico, Sister Patmarie returned to the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse at Mount St. Joseph, Ohio. She continued her health care ministry at Santa Maria Community Center, an organization founded by the Sisters of Charity. She currently enjoys involvement as an RN with their wellness outreach to seniors and serving on their Board of Trustees. She also is involved with Bayley Senior Care serving on the Mission Integration Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee and volunteering at Bayley Adult Day Care. Sister Patmarie is a collaborator with the SC Spirituality Center and has been serving as a spiritual director and retreat minister, along with music ministry with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati since 2004, which she calls a privilege. “Active involvement in all aspects of Sisters of Charity Community life is a priority commitment,” she said.
In May 2012, Sister was awarded the Sister Margarita Brewer HOPE award from Santa Maria Community Services for her many years and outstanding service in the health-care field caring for the Hispanic/Latino communities.
Looking back on her 60 years as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, Sister Patmarie said, “A part of my heart will forever be in New Mexico, but God is in the now, and all is well!”
S. Jacqueline Kowalski
“It is hard to choose my happiest memory,” says Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Jacqueline Kowalski (the former Sister Sheila Marie). “I would have to say that I am happy that our Congregation is on the forefront of responding to the needs of God’s people, and that as Sisters, we are given the freedom to pursue careers that are meaningful to us.” This year, Sister Jackie celebrates 60 years as a religious.
From an early age, Sister Jackie had a connection with the Sisters of Charity. Her maternal grandparents were among the first settlers in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and donated land upon which St. Louis parish in Mount Clemens was built. Attending St. Louis School for all but two of her elementary and high school years, Sister Jackie said she was deeply impressed by the friendliness of the Sisters of Charity who taught at her school.
“Throughout my junior and senior years of high school, Sister John Francis Burns was my science teacher,” Sister Jackie says. “I loved her upbeat, outgoing manner and the friendly spirit in the Community. The possibility of a religious vocation was a constant intrusion in my thoughts during my senior year.” Sister entered the Congregation on Sept. 8, 1958.
While ministering as an elementary teacher at St. Saviour in Rossmoyne, Ohio, from 1961 until 1963 and St. Andrew School in Milford, Ohio, from 1963 until 1966, Sister Jackie was drawn to the children who had difficulties with learning. For the next decade, she ministered as a teacher and a principal at Springer School in Cincinnati, Ohio, a school dedicated to empowering students with learning disabilities. While also teaching, Sister earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1968 and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Cincinnati in 1970.
After 10 years, Sister Jackie felt a great need to work with children and families as a psychologist. She applied for graduate school at the University of Cincinnati, completing coursework for a dual doctorate in special education and psychology in 1980. That year, she won the Garvin Award for having the best doctoral dissertation in the College of Education.
Additionally, in 1980 Sister Jackie was recruited by the College of Mount St. Joseph to minister in setting up a diagnostic center as part of a community outreach program. Along with teaching in the Education Department, Sister served as director of the diagnostic clinic for 11 years (1980-1991), and helped develop Project Excel, the learning disability program for college students. In 1989, she founded the Seton Family Center in East Price Hill (Cincinnati), a non-profit organization that serves the mental health needs of people in the community and served as director until 2009, when she retired.
Nowadays, Sister Jackie serves as a volunteer in many capacities. “My hopes and dreams are simple,” she says, “I want to continue serving God’s people in whatever way is possible for me.” Sister is a facilitator at Resurrection School (Cincinnati) for students dealing with personal grief and loss and also leads retreats at the Mount St. Joseph Spirituality Center. For the past 25 years, Sister has enjoyed dabbling in art, especially pottery. She also plays guitar, sometimes leading singing groups.
“I am so grateful to my family, my Congregation and God for all the gifts I have been given and the marvelous opportunities I have experienced as a Sister of Charity,” says Sister Jackie.
S. Patricia Newhouse
“My lifetime commitment as a Sister of Charity has given me many opportunities to show compassion by embracing people with tenderness, responding to their needs of the moment and sharing God’s welcoming embrace,” said Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Patricia Newhouse (the former Sister Christopher Ann) on her 60 years as a religious.
Sister Pat was educated by the Sisters of Charity throughout grade school and high school at St. Mary Cathedral in Lansing, Michigan, and knew she wanted to follow in their footsteps as a teacher and a Sister. “Their kindness and concern for others inspired me to consider a religious vocation,” Sister said. “I have never regretted that decision.”
With a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio), she began her elementary education ministry in 1962, teaching students at Annunciation School in Cincinnati from 1962-1966. After serving the next two years at St. Brigid School in Xenia, Ohio, Sister Pat spent the next seven years teaching at St. Mary School in Jackson, Michigan, and St. Mel School in Cleveland, Ohio. From 1975 until 1977 she was the elementary principal at St. Mel’s, and then spent two years at St. Martin de Porres in Cincinnati.
Sister Pat returned to Michigan in 1979 to serve the next 14 years as a teacher at Holy Cross School in Lansing, and 10 years at St. Martha School in Okemos, Michigan until 2002.
From 2002 until retiring in 2007, Sister served as pastoral associate and director of religious education at St. Martha Parish in Okemos.
Currently, Sister Pat is volunteering as a pastoral minister at St. Martha’s. Additionally, she is on the Diocesan Sisters Advisory Board and serves as the parish representative on the Lansing Area Council, as well as a member of the Sisters Advisory Council and the Seniors on Aging Council.
Sister Pat volunteers with the elderly at St. Martha’s and is involved in fundraising efforts for a homeless shelter and food bank in Lansing. She was honored as the Capital Area Philanthropist of the Year in 2017, for her fundraising efforts.
Throughout the years, she has entertained many as a professional clown (Looney Lou Lou) and her Dr. Suess hat is on display at Mother Seton’s Shrine Museum (Emmitsburg, Maryland) depicting the many hats worn by Sisters. Sister Pat has served as a docent at the St. Elizabeth Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg during summers for the past 14 years.“Throughout my years of ministry, I have been blessed in so many ways and it encourages me to continue being a blessing to others,” she said. “I have always treasured my vocation and thank God every day for allowing me to serve Him as a Sister of Charity.”
S. Juliette Sabo
After 52 years of teaching elementary school, a ministry she adored, Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Juliette Sabo retired in 2013. This year, she celebrates 60 years as a religious.
Since retiring, Sister Juliette spends her time volunteering as a teacher’s aide for a few days a week at Resurrection School in Price Hill, a neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught elementary students from 1996-2013. In addition, Sister volunteers at the Holy Family/St. Vincent DePaul Pantry in Cincinnati helping those in need and is a Eucharistic minister at Holy Family Church.
Education has always played an important role throughout her life. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Sister Juliette attended St. Gabriel School and Shrine of the Little Flower (Royal Oak, Michigan), graduating from high school in 1958. That same year, in the fall, Sister entered the Community.
Sister Juliette holds both a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio) and a master’s degree in education from the University of Detroit. Her first teaching ministry was at St. Saviour in Rossmoyne, Ohio (1961-1967).
Returning to Detroit for the next two years, Sister Juliette taught at St. Luke School. She then spent 24 years (1969-1993) teaching at Holy Name Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio, before returning to Cincinnati to teach at St. Mark School until 1996 and then Resurrection School until her retirement. Her sense of humor and understanding of children were her strongest assets as a teacher, and continue to serve her well in her current volunteer ministry.
In 2004, Sister Juliette served as a docent at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland. “It was like getting to know Mother Seton personally,” Sister said. “It was very touching to hear visitors’ stories. I felt a real bonding with so many prayerful people.”In her spare time, Sister Juliette enjoys reading, taking walks, gardening, and making jewelry with all proceeds going to the Sisters of Charity Retirement Fund. Since retiring, Sister has traveled to Guatemala several times and participated in Nuns Build, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
S. Ginny Scherer
Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Ginny Scherer (the former Sister Ann Richard) said her parents instilled in her a reverence for the Mass and the sacraments at an early age, and eventually, the thought of religious life became a reality. She entered the Congregation on Sept. 8, 1958, and this year celebrates 60 years as a religious.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sister Ginny attended St. Dominic School and Seton High School. “I had Sisters of Charity all eight grades at St. Dominic and my four years of high school at Seton,” Sister said on her inspiration for becoming a Sister. “I was always struck by their happiness and joy. They each were different, but each was genuine.”
With a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati), and a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana), Sister Ginny has spent her 60 years ministering in secondary education to students in Ohio and Michigan. She began her career teaching at St. Louis High School in Mount Clemens, Michigan, from 1962 until 1966.
Sister Ginny then returned to Ohio to minister at Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering until 1968, Lehman Catholic High School in Sidney until 1977, and Marion Catholic High School in Marion until 1980. Additionally, Sister Ginny ministered as principal at Marion Catholic High School for seven years.
Returning to Lehman Catholic High School in 1987, Sister Ginny continues to serve there, teaching AP Chemistry and Physics. She also moderates the senior class, the Science department, and the school’s Science Olympiad team. “Teaching high school is always challenging, but I thoroughly enjoy the students,” Sister Ginny said. “They give me life. They are challenging and demanding, but also are respectful and caring.”
Sister Ginny has received many awards and honors throughout her active ministry. Most recently, on June 14, 2018, she was honored at the annual Miami Valley Teacher Recognition Banquet for 55 years of service in Catholic education. This year, Lehman High School also received the Harold C. Shaw Outstanding School Award at the 2018 State Science Day thanks to Sister. In 2007, she received the Lehman High School Teacher of the Year honor for her years as a teacher, coach and administrator. She was the first coach for the women’s athletic teams and initiated substance abuse education. Lehman alumni, Linda Hugebach Scott, said at the time Sister Ginny is, “Unforgettable with her education, brilliance, and service to others” and parent, Jean Smith, called Sister, “A remarkable role model in the lives of the children.”
Other awards and honors Sister Ginny has received include Secondary Educator of the Year from the Westinghouse Education Foundation; an Excellence in Education Award from the Miami Valley Catholic Education Council; the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year Award in 1996; the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Science Teaching from 1990 to 2007; and recognition from the Ohio Academy of Science as the District Ohio Academy of Science Outstanding Teacher in 1971, 1982 and 1994.
Looking back on her years with the Congregation, Sister Ginny said, “I have had many experiences as a Sister of Charity, and in all of them I can say I am very happy. Religious life has helped me to grow as a woman of faith. The Sisters I have met and lived with have shaped me, stretched me, encouraged me and strengthened me. I am truly blessed.” She currently lives at St. Mary Convent in Piqua, Ohio, with two other Sisters of Charity.
S. Marie Irene Schneider
“In reflecting on my life, I would joyfully repeat each experience I have had,” says Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Marie Irene Schneider (formerly Sister Loraine Marie) of her life as a Sister of Charity. This year she celebrates 60 years as a woman religious.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Sister Marie Irene attended St. Luke School and graduated from St. Alphonsus High School (Dearborn, Michigan) in 1958. During her youth she often spent time with the Sisters and priests in the school and rectory, learning much and forming friendships. Those relationships, she said, influenced her decision to enter the Sisters of Charity in 1958.
Following the death of her eighth grade teacher, Sister Marie Irene said she felt God was calling her to take her former educator’s place as a Sister of Charity teacher, which she did, teaching high school English for 51 years.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in English from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio), Sister Marie Irene’s first teaching assignment was at Carroll High School in Dayton, Ohio, for six years (1962-’68). Although she said it was a great challenge, teaching was her passion and she realized what a wonderful opportunity she had to influence the future.
Sister received her master’s degree in English from the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana) and in 1969 began teaching at Seton High School in Cincinnati. From 1976 until 1982 she ministered as the assistant principal there. She returned to the classroom in 1982 and remained in the position until retirement in 2013.
In the early 1980s Sister was honored as the Outstanding Classroom Teacher Educator of the Year by the Ohio Association of Teacher Educators. She also received the prestigious 2005 Exemplar Award for outstanding achievements in the field of education presented by the Notre Dame Club of Greater Cincinnati.
Sister Marie Irene is currently retired and living at the Motherhouse where she says she has been “blessed” to serve as sacristan of the Motherhouse chapel. She also enjoys crocheting and makes baby blankets and hats for Good Samaritan Hospital, prayer shawls for Bayley, and items for art shows and displays.
Each day Sister prays that young women will find the same joy in religious life as she found; she has faith that young people will continue to be given the opportunity to grow with change as the Church changes.
S. Roberta Westrick
“As a Sister of Charity, I’ve had a rich and varied ministry experience,” said Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Roberta Westrick of her 60 years as a woman religious. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1938 and attended Dominican High School. Sister Roberta first met the Sisters of Charity while working as a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Impressed with the Sisters who trained her, and their work, Sister entered the Congregation on Sept. 8, 1958.
Sister Roberta’s first ministry as a Sister of Charity was in 1962 teaching primary students at St. Saviour in Rossmoyne, Ohio. After four years at the school, she began teaching intermediate students at St. Dominic in Cincinnati.
Sister moved West in 1966 to teach primary students at Loyola in Denver, Colorado, until 1968 and Pauline Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1968 until 1972.
In 1972 Sister Roberta left teaching to serve as a youth minister in the Colorado Springs area. She joined the Catholic Youth Services program, directing “Days of Christian Focus” for five years. She joined the pastoral team at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs in 1976, completing a master’s degree in pastoral counseling from St. Paul University in Ottawa, California, in 1980. She went on to serve as a pastoral assistant at three rural parishes in the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, (1981-’86); as pastoral minister at St. Patrick in Colorado Springs (1986-’93); and as pastoral associate at Holy Trinity (1999-2000) and St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral (2000-’06), both in Colorado Springs.
In 1992 Sister Roberta began painting saints as a hobby, and through the years has become a working artist in this art form, known to many in the Southwest as santos or saints/holy images. Her work is currently displayed at Regis University and St. Gabriel Episcopal Church in Denver, Pikes Peak Community College and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Colorado Springs, and in private collections throughout the United States.
“I am a firm believer that if you honor the God-given creative urge within you and say ‘yes’ to those little whispered ideas that flash like comets through your mind, God will lead you to create,” Sister said in an interview in 1999. “It takes you places you never expected to go, bringing beauty, joy and delight into your own life, to those around you, and sometimes into a cold and harsh world.”
In 2001 Sister was commissioned by the art committee of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Colorado Springs to participate in a major art project - an outdoor display of the patron saints of 46 parishes in the Diocese of Colorado Springs. The Plaza de los Santos took more than one and one-half years to complete and was dedicated and blessed in 2003.Sister retired from active ministry in May 2008 but continues to pursue art. She received an honorable mention for her santos exhibit at the Colorado Springs Art Guild’s Woodmen Valley Chapel Spring Art Show in March 2011. She currently volunteers at Sacred Heart Church Pantry, and sells her artwork through the Boulder Street Gallery, and to private patrons in the Colorado Springs area.