S. Mary Lou Knapke
S. Mary Lou Knapke died Nov. 6, 2018 , at the age of 77 in her residence in Norwood, Ohio. Sister Mary Lou was born on Feb. 20, 1941, to Rudolph and Dorothy (Kobes) Knapke in Coldwater, Ohio. She was one of two children. She was a Sister of Charity for 58 years.
S. Mary Lou attended Holy Trinity grade and high school in Coldwater, graduating in 1959. She entered the Sisters of Charity on Sept. 8, 1960.
S. Mary Lou earned the Bachelor of Science in Education from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1972 and she received the Master in Religion/Pastoral Ministry from the Mount St. Mary Seminary (Cincinnati), part of a pilot program, in 1979.
S. Mary Lou’s ministries included 14 years as an educator and 20 in pastoral ministries in a wide diversity of settings. She began in the Catholic school classroom in 1965 at St. Boniface, Cincinnati; next she went to St. Michael, Findlay, Ohio (1966-’70); St. John, Lima, Ohio (1970-’71); St. Albert, Kettering, Ohio (1971-’72); and St. Elizabeth, Norwood (1972-’74). She ministered in adult education programs at both HUB services, Cincinnati (1978-’79) and East End Community Learning, Cincinnati (1988-’89). She looked in the direction of parish ministry, serving at St. Matthew, Norwood (1976-’77) and St. Andrew, Cincinnati (1979-’88). Following renewals programs at Maryknoll, New York and Mount St. Benedict, Erie, Pennsylvania, S. Mary Lou completed a licensed program in massage studies at the Cincinnati School of Medical Massage.
For S. Mary Lou this ‘hands-on’ ministry offered her the opportunity to apply this skill and ‘her touch’ to a variety of locations including Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati; Bayley Senior Care Corporation, Cincinnati; the Forest Park Fire Department, Cincinnati; and disaster settings in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Ground Zero in New York City, New York. She taught massage techniques to nursing students in Romania as part of a larger program sponsored by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1992 to reach out to churches of Central and Eastern Europe.
At Good Samaritan Hospital, S. Mary Lou taught massage classes to parents and family members. At Forest Park Fire Department she helped personnel deal with stress as they returned from fire runs in the mid-2000s and became a close friend of deceased Fire Chief Trish Brooks. As a member of the Ohio Massage Disaster Response Team, she spent four separate weeks in the days following 9-11 in New York City in 2001 and 2002. The team provided free services to exhausted rescue workers and caregivers working near the site of the Sept. 11 tragedy; they listened, massaged and comforted. Sister Mary Lou was quoted at the time, “Human touch is so powerful to nurture and bring a person home inside themselves. It is a human ministry to human exhaustion and human pain.” They provided similar service to rescue workers and security personnel in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and those responding to the floods in Kentucky in 2003. Sister May Lou was also trained as a mid-life directions consultant and served as the ongoing coordinator of the After-Crisis Care Team.
At the time of her Golden Jubilee S. Mary Lou commented, “Margaret George [Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati founder] continues to be a source of inspiration and courage for me. May I have her simplicity and clarity of soul. I believe she will help me with any decision that I may have to make.”
S. Elizabeth Cashman
S. Elizabeth (John Christopher) Cashman died Oct. 29, 2018, at the age of 92 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Elizabeth was born Elizabeth Therese on Oct. 17, 1926, to John C. and Elizabeth (Fitzgerald) Cashman in Springfield, Ohio. She was the youngest of four children. She was a Sister of Charity for 73 years.
S. Elizabeth attended St. Raphael grade school and graduated from Catholic Central High School in Springfield in 1944. She attended the College of Mount St. Joseph for one year and entered the Sisters of Charity on Sept. 8, 1945. It was the close affinity with the Sisters, their love for prayer and their dedication to serving others that drew her to consider religious life; she also realized they had great fun together.
S. Elizabeth earned the Bachelor of Science in Education from St. Johns College, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1953 and she received a master’s in education from Xavier University in 1962. She did additional graduate work at Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, in the early 1970s.
S. Elizabeth’s ministries included 16 years as an educator and seven more as formation director for the Sisters of Charity. This was followed by 30 years in administration, including 14 with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and 16 with the College of Mount St. Joseph. Sister Elizabeth began as a teacher at Holy Name, Cleveland, Ohio (1947-’53); from there she went to Holy Redeemer, Kensington, Maryland, first as a teacher (1953-’57) and then as the school’s principal (1957-’63).
In 1963 S. Elizabeth was called upon to direct the Novices in the Sisters’ formation process. It was a turbulent time in the Church following Vatican II; she brought a listening ear to the program and helped foster young vocations until 1970. After graduate work at Loyola, S. Elizabeth served as Vicar for Religious in the Cincinnati Archdiocese (1972-’75) and later ministered as Director of Personnel Services from 1978-’86. She also served as a consultant to the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and also Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk.
In 1975 she was invited to serve as vice president at the College of Mount St. Joseph. Another new career emerged when she said ‘yes’ to serving as the Dean of Students at the Mount in 1986. S. Elizabeth referred to this time with great fondness. “I was home again with students. They enlivened as well as challenged me while offering me the opportunity to be part of their growth and development; this time to adulthood,” she once said. She witnessed all aspects of students’ lives in this role, from freshman orientation to graduation; this included helping the College meet the needs of a coeducational student population. In the 1990s she chaired the Mission Integration Committee and oversaw the expression of mission in events, awards and everyday life on campus. S. Elizabeth was honored for her dedication to the Mount and its mission with a special Elizabeth Seton Mission Award in 2002. Seventeen years later, 2003, she retired from the College. Members of the College community established the Sister Elizabeth Cashman Endowed Scholarship in her name as a farewell gift.
In her retirement S. Elizabeth volunteered in the Campus Ministry Center at the Mount. She saw this new time as an opportunity for growing deeper into prayer, to know in new ways God’s love for her. She volunteered with hospice and took time to cherish friends in a relaxed way and appreciate the natural world.
She said of her time working in formation, “I loved working with the young women who came to the Community. They came at a time when the Church, the Congregation and indeed the culture were entering into a time of momentous transition. It was a privilege to counsel, encourage and motivate them, but most meaningful was the privilege of walking with them in their personal and spiritual discovery process.”
S. Marian Ruede
S. Marian Ruede died Oct. 13, 2018, at the age of 88 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Marian was born on Nov. 27, 1929, to Benjamin J. and Emma (Zantop) Ruede in Jackson, Michigan. She was one of 11 children. She was a Sister of Charity for 71 years.
S. Marian grew up as part of a large family of faith in Jackson; she attended St. Mary grade school and graduated from St. Mary High School in 1947. She was attracted to the Sisters of Charity because of their friendliness, kindness and dedication. She entered the Congregation in September 1947.
S. Marian earned the Bachelor of Science in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1958, and she received a master’s in administration from the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, in 1970. She earned the Master of Arts in theology from the University of Dayton in 1979.
S. Marian’s ministries included 27 years as an educator and 25 years as a pastoral minister. She began as a teacher at St. Leo, Detroit, Michigan, in 1949. In 1951 she went to St. James, Bay City, Michigan (1951-’56 and 1966-’67); next it was St. Saviour, Rossmoyne, Ohio (1956-’58); Holy Name, Cleveland, Ohio (1958-’62); Holy Family, Cincinnati, Ohio (1962-’63); St. Mary, Jackson, Michigan (1963-’66); and St. Helen, Saginaw, Michigan (1967-’76) as principal.
In was at this time that S. Marian was seeking a new direction in her ministry, being attracted to rural parishes where pastoral needs of the people were not being met. While working on her degree in theology S. Marian began ministering at Cumberland Catholic Church, Burkesville, Kentucky (1976-’79); upon completion of her degree she served in a similar position at St. Elizabeth, Ravenna, Kentucky (1979-’82); St. Michael, Cincinnati, Ohio (1982-’83); and St. Theresa, Cleveland, Tennessee (1983-2001).
Other Sisters who ministered in pastoral services in parishes remember S. Marian well; she had a mission spirit and a real love for the people. She found great satisfaction in cooperative efforts. “We need one another, our support, a smile of encouragement, honesty and openness to receive more of the fullness of God’s message,” S. Marian commented at a parish meeting. That is the spirit she fostered in each parish she served. S. Carol Leveque recalls monthly gatherings of parish ministers in the area; they would share a meal and stories from their ministry experiences. “Marian’s stories kept us laughing,” she remarked.
S. Marian enjoyed bread making and golf. Relationships were important to her; in them she felt she became a more caring person and showed greater attention to others’ needs. In her retirement she enjoyed visiting the sick and homebound. The needs of the poor in the South tugged at her heart; unjust wages and the elimination of the death penalty were causes she championed. S. Marian moved to Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility in 2003.
S. Jane Grosheider
S. Jane Grosheider (formerly S. Mary Christopher) died Sept. 19, 2018, at the age of 92 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Jane was born Margaret Jane on March 7, 1926, to Arthur R. and Agnes (Day) Grosheider in Denver, Colorado. She was one of two children. She was a Sister of Charity for 75 years.
S. Jane attended St. Vincent de Paul elementary school and graduated from St. Mary Academy in Denver in 1943. She was inspired by Sisters she had as instructors at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was the influence of S. Margaret Loretto Ryan that brought her to enter the Sisters of Charity in February 1944.
S. Jane earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1957 and a Master of Education from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, 1962. She received a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York, in 1969. She did additional graduate work at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, and Regis College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
S. Jane’s ministries found her in the classroom for the first 20 years, beginning in 1945 at St. Mary, Lansing, Michigan; next she taught at St. James, Bay City, Michigan (1947-’49); St. Therese, Pueblo, Colorado (1949-’55); Loyola Elementary, Denver, Colorado (1955-’57); St. Rose of Lima, Denver (1957-’63); and Elizabeth Seton High School, South Holland, Illinois (1963-’65). S. Jane was then called to serve in the formation of young women religious at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse; this continued from 1965 through 1973, a time when there was much change occurring in religious life throughout our country. S. Jane offered her God-given gift of presence that was reassuring to many young religious at that time.
From 1973 until 1983, S. Jane served in Provincial leadership for the Sisters of Charity living in the Denver and Colorado Springs area. Following this she looked to clinical pastoral education and ministry as a chaplain at Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colorado. She served in this capacity until her retirement in 2004. S. Jane offered spiritual direction, individual retreats and spiritual companioning to many. In retirement she continued to offer spiritual caregiving as part of Centura Health and Home as well as volunteering with Them Bones, a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment program for soldiers returning to Fort Carson, Colorado. She provided a spiritual presence to many in the Colorado Springs community.
S. Jane was an avid reader who loved to travel and swim. She moved to the Cincinnati Motherhouse in July 2018 when her health began to fail.
S. Terry Dery
S. Therese (Terry) Dery died Sept. 11, 2018, at the age of 78 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Terry was born on May 12,1940, to Leo E. and Ida (Grandbios) Dery in Lowell, Massachusetts. She was one of two children. She was a Sister of Charity for 61 years.
S. Terry was raised in a French Canadian neighborhood in Lowell; she attended Ste. Jeanne d’Arc grade school and St. Joseph High School. She was inspired by and taught by the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, a French-Canadian congregation, entering their community in 1957.
S. Terry earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts, in 1968 and received the Master of Arts in Spanish from St. Mary College, Winona, Minnesota, in 1972. She earned a Master of Science in counseling from Loyola College, Columbia, Maryland, in 1986.
S. Terry’s ministries brought her to classrooms, missionary endeavors and behavioral counseling over a span of 54 years. While a Sister of Charity of Ottawa she taught in Haverhill and Lowell, Massachusetts. In 1973 she transferred to the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati after feeling a change in direction of her values and views of religious life. “It was a leap of faith, all in God’s hands,” she recalled. “I was attracted to the SCs who showed vision and leadership, who were involved in social justice issues, and who were risk-takers meeting the needs of the time. It was among them that I heard the cries of the poor.”
Following her transfer S. Terry continued as a teacher, working at Chaminade-Julienne High School, Dayton, Ohio (1973-’74) and Resurrection grade school, Cincinnati, Ohio (1974-’75) before looking in a new direction. From 1976 to 1983 she served as a missionary among the Quechua people in the Andes Mountains of Peru. This ministry taught her much about the poor and oppressed, making this experience her greatest challenge as well as her greatest joy.
When she returned to the States, S. Terry received a master’s degree in counseling, preparing her for yet another direction in her life – working among the most vulnerable as a mental health therapist at Samaritan Behavioral Health, a counseling center connected to Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton, Ohio. After serving there for 28 years she retired in 2015, but remained living in Dayton, volunteering as a counselor at St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter for Women and Families as her health allowed.
S. Mary Corrine Schmidt
S. Mary Corrine Schmidt died Aug. 12, 2018, at the age of 95 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Mary Corrine was born Elizabeth Rose Schmidt on Dec. 27, 1922, to Frank H. and Christine (Kraker) Schmidt in Melrose, Minnesota. She was the middle child of five and grew up in Melrose. She was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 67 years.
S. Mary Corrine attended St. Boniface Elementary School and graduated from Melrose High School in 1940. She earned an associate degree in business from the Minneapolis School of Business in 1942 and went off to Denver, Colorado, to seek employment. She secured a position as an office manager. It was a priest friend, Rev. Duane Theobald, who introduced her to the Sisters of Charity serving at Denver’s Cathedral parish at the time. The warmth and friendly spirit of the Sisters led her to enter the Congregation on Feb. 2, 1951.
S. Mary Corrine’s ministries brought her to the classroom initially and then to various Sisters of Charity hospitals in Colorado, Michigan and Ohio, spanning more than 50 years. She began as a business teacher working with high school students at Holy Trinity in Trinidad, Colorado, in 1953; she remained there for two years. She transitioned to serving in admitting offices in Sisters of Charity hospitals, first at Good Samaritan, Cincinnati, Ohio (1955-’57) followed by St. Mary-Corwin Hospital, Pueblo, Colorado (1957-’64). In 1964 she went to St. Joseph, Mount Clemens, Michigan (1964-’66) and then to Good Samaritan, Dayton, Ohio (1966-’71).
It was in 1971 that she updated herself in current accounting practices through course work at the University of Dayton and thus began a career in finance, particularly working as a property accountant. Her greatest challenge was setting up the fixed asset system at Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton. Over her years of service S. Mary Corrine processed and tracked millions of dollars’ worth of buildings and equipment. Major projects during that time included the South building, Seton Tower, Samaritan North, the ETC and several parking garage makeovers. After ministering at Good Samaritan, Dayton for a total of 39 years, S. Mary Corrine retired in 2005, but continued on as a volunteer.
In her free time S. Mary Corrine enjoyed walking, reading and knitting. She was most grateful for her good health for so many years. She desired that St. Elizabeth Seton’s love and futuristic ideas would continue to grow in the hearts and minds of young women.
The personnel of Good Samaritan Hospital with whom S. Mary Corrine worked were quick to say that the role she played was much more than her property work. She was the helpful team member, an off-duty volunteer, babysitter, part-time ‘therapist’ and a good friend. They considered her a confidant and a trusted advisor.
S. Annina Morgan
S. Annina Morgan died July 8, 2018, at the age of 102 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Annina was born on March 9, 1916, to Rollin H. and Zelda (Swope) Morgan in Alpena, Michigan. She was the oldest of four and grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her father drowned when she was 5 years old, causing her mother to move the family West. She was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 84 years.
S. Annina attended St. Mary Elementary School and St. Mary High School, Albuquerque, graduating from Mount St. Joseph Academy in 1934. It was the warmth and love of the Sisters of Charity at St. Mary’s, especially Sisters Ann Hermine Gerver and Henrietta Feld that influenced her to consider entering the Congregation. In September 1933, S. Annina traveled across country to enter the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
S. Annina earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1948 and she received a Master of Arts in History from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1955. She did additional post-graduate work in counseling at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
S. Annina’s ministries brought her to classrooms and principal responsibilities in Michigan, Colorado, and Ohio, covering 34 years. She began in St. Leo, Detroit, Michigan, in 1934; she remained there for 11 years. In 1944 she went to St. Rose, Lima, Ohio, and one year later was sent to Holy Name High School, Cleveland, Ohio (1945-’50); next it was to Pueblo Catholic High School, Pueblo, Colorado (1950-’51). She came to St. Mary, Chillicothe, Ohio, as principal (1952-’55) and then Pueblo Catholic as principal (1955-’61); St. Mary, Lansing, Michigan (1961-’62) and Shrine High School, Royal Oak, Michigan (1962-’68).
While ministering in Michigan, S. Annina became aware of new possibilities for her gifts, particularly pastoral ministry. She served as co-pastor of St. John’s, the parish center for Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (1968-’71); then St. John parish, Albion, Michigan (1971-’72) and finally St. Mary parish, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (1972-’74). Then the SC Congregation asked her to serve as personnel director for the Sisters, a position she held from 1974–1979. From there S. Annina agreed to direct a new entity, the Adult Women’s Center, at the College of Mount St. Joseph where she offered her leadership until 1985 when she found a further calling to retreat and spirituality ministry; from 1985-1990 she served as director of the retreat programs offered at the Motherhouse.
In 1990 S. Annina retired from active ministry, but continued to share her gifts in parishes and among persons, particularly women, who were looking to find a direction for their God-given gifts, beyond the traditional. She inspired many. At the time of her jubilee she reflected on God’s ever-present love and faithfulness, “May we continue to be women who embody the principles of justice, love and deep commitment to address the unmet needs of our day, as St. Elizabeth Seton did. God walks with us.”
In her retirement she directed the Motherhouse Resource Center, moving there in 2001. She volunteered in a variety of services including spiritual direction and hospitality. She supported all activities that appreciated participation. To S. Annina no one was a stranger.
S. Loretto Burke
S. Loretto Burke died July 2, 2018, at the age of 96 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Loretto was born Mary Burke, the fifth of seven children on May 23, 1922, to James P. and Laura (Hughes) Burke in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The family moved to Springfield, Ohio, for her father’s work when she was 2. She was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 78 years.
S. Loretto attended St. Raphael School, Springfield, and graduated from Mount St. Joseph Academy in 1939. Her father died suddenly in 1925 leaving her mother with six children and expecting a seventh. In 1928 it was decided that the children would be better off in St. Joseph Orphanage, run by the Sisters of Charity. It was S. Mary Therese Reagan, recognizing her musical gifts, who taught S. Loretto piano for six years and violin for four. She owed much to the instruction she received from S. Mary Therese. S. Loretto said of that time. “To me ‘home’ had come to mean ‘being with the Sisters.’” When she chose to enter the Sisters of Charity in 1939 it was as though she had ‘come home’ more fully.
S. Loretto earned a Bachelor of Arts in music education from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1957 and she received a Master of Arts in music from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. in 1965.
S. Loretto’s ministries brought her to New Mexico, Colorado and Ohio; she was a music educator for 30 years in elementary, high school and college. This began at St. Lawrence, Cincinnati (1942-’52); followed by St. Vincent High, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1952-’55); St. Mary High, Chillicothe, Ohio (1956-’60); Cathedral, Denver, Colorado (1960-’62); Marian High School, Cincinnati (1962-’66); Holy Name High, Cleveland, Ohio (1966-’71); and the College of Mt. St. Joseph (1971-’72).
In 1972 S. Loretto moved into administrative roles at the College of Mount St. Joseph, ministering there for the next 27 years. Her responsibilities included assistant dean, music department chair, weekend college and director of institutional advancement from 1985-’99. She was named adjunct professor of the year in 1982.
In 1976 S. Loretto wrote and produced A Valiant Woman, a musical work about St. Elizabeth Seton. As part of her preparation she spent time in Emmitsburg, Maryland, working with the letters of Elizabeth in the archives there and being in the environs of where Elizabeth lived and founded the Sisters of Charity. Fellow educators acclaimed her for being able to wed both poetry and music in this production. Throughout her long life S. Loretto was quick to credit her Sisters of Charity music teachers. It was S. Agnes Eppley who inspired her to pursue a ministry of music. “I learned that doing good was also doing what you loved doing,” S. Loretto stated at the time of her golden jubilee.
S. Loretto came to live in the Sisters of Charity nursing facility, Mother Margaret Hall, in 1997, being the first Sister to bring her computer with her in her retirement. She continued to write music, building on spreadsheets she had been using since the mid-1980s. Besides having more time to compose and pray S. Loretto particularly enjoyed reconnecting with former students of whom there were many. They brought her joy.
S. Janice Ernst
S. Janice Ernst (formerly S. Mary Victor) died June 11, 2018, at the age of 83 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Janice was born on Oct. 5, 1934, to Victor L. Ernst and Dorothy (Heydinger) Ernst in Bellefontaine, Ohio. She was the middle child of six and grew up in Springfield, Ohio. She was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 65 years.
S. Janice attended St. Teresa grade school and graduated from Catholic Central High School in Springfield in 1952. She said that her interest in becoming a religious Sister had its beginnings with her mother and was encouraged by her teachers. In September 1952, following graduation, S. Janice chose to enter the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, a decision she never regretted.
S. Janice received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1964 and earned a Master of Arts in mathematics from the University of Detroit in 1971 through a National Science Foundation Grant.
S. Janice’s ministries brought her to Michigan, Colorado and Ohio; she was an educator for 35 years, serving as executive director of the Ohio Association of Student Councils (OASC) for four of those years, 1977-’81. She began in the classroom at Cure of Ars School, Cincinnati (1955-’57); followed by St. Luke, Detroit, Michigan (1957-’58); St. Savior, Rossmoyne, Ohio (1958-’61); Resurrection, Cincinnati (1961-’63); St. Jude, Cincinnati (1963-’64); St. Mary High/Lumen Christi, Jackson, Michigan (1964-’70); and Catholic Central High, Springfield, Ohio (1970-’77). In 1979 S. Janice taught at St. Charles Prep, Columbus, Ohio, until 1988, followed by three years at Newark Catholic in Newark, Ohio.
It was at this time that S. Janice sought a new direction for the next 10 years of her ministry; she became certified in the chaplaincy residence program at Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, and then served as a staff chaplain there. In 2000, when entering her retirement years, she left her roots in Ohio and moved west to Pueblo, Colorado, where she worked with senior citizens who lived in low-income housing. She provided a listening ear to their concerns, helped with well-being clinics, delivered Meals on Wheels and led senior exercise programs. S. Janice would say of these years, “[They] were the best 10 years of my Community life, spending them here in the West.”
In 2010 she came to the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse (Mount St. Joseph, Ohio) to take up residence. She answered phones at the Front Desk and at The Women’s Connection in Price Hill (Cincinnati). In 2011 she began volunteering as a receptionist at the soon-to-be DePaul Cristo Rey High School, Cincinnati; once again her love for high school teens was reborn. In 2014 she was the recipient of the first Spirit of Service Award given by the school, an award she cherished.
S. Janice would say of her life, “The Community gave me many opportunities and the vow of celibacy left me freer to do my work, freer than my siblings to accomplish what I saw as important, be it for young people or senior citizens. It has been a blessed life.”
S. Jeanine Marie Holthouse
S. Jeanine Marie Holthouse died May 2, 2018, at the age of 85 in Mother Margaret Hall, the nursing facility of the Sisters of Charity. S. Jeanine Marie was born on Feb. 20, 1933, to G. Howard and Helen (Thomas) Holthouse in New Madison, Ohio. She was the oldest of four and grew up in Richmond, Indiana. She was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 63 years.
S. Jeanine Marie attended Riley Elementary School and graduated from Richmond Senior High in 1950. It was the influence of her great-aunt that encouraged S. Jeanine Marie to consider the College of Mount St. Joseph, and it was the influence of her Sister professors while a student at the college that brought her to consider entering the Congregation. In September 1954, after college graduation, she entered the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
S. Jeanine Marie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1954 and she received a Master of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Detroit in 1968. She enjoyed being a part of the National Science Foundation Grant program.
S. Jeanine Marie’s ministries brought her to Michigan, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio; she was an educator for 56 years, 41 of those spent in the classroom and another 15 as a high school administrator. She began her years in education at Resurrection School, Cincinnati, Ohio (1954-’55) followed by St. Brigid, Xenia, Ohio (1956-’58); Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak, Michigan (1958-’60); Cathedral High School, Denver, Colorado (1960-’69). After nine years she went to Elizabeth Seton High School, South Holland, Illinois (1969-’70) where she first taught math and then moved into administration (1970-’82). In 1982 she came to Seton High School, Cincinnati, first as a math teacher and then as an assistant administrator until 1985. For the next 25 years she taught math at Seton through 2010.
It was over these years of educational ministry that S. Jeanine Marie wore many hats; she carried her enthusiasm to the many extra-curricular activities high schools offer. She served as class moderator and school chance drive coordinator; she ran science and math tournaments, served as president of the Colorado Catholic Science Teachers Association and moderated Moms and Dads clubs. In 2000 she received the Knights of Columbus’ Religious Teacher of the Year Award from the Purcell Council for her dedicated service to Seton High School, Cincinnati.
S. Jeanine Marie considered herself blessed. She was most grateful for her families – personal and Sister of Charity. While teaching in Colorado she remarked, “There is something about the mountains that draws you closer to God. They are so peaceful.” She delighted in the times the Sisters had at Camp St. Malo in Estes Park, Colorado.
S. Linda Chavez
S. Linda Chavez (formerly S. Leo Margaret) died April 19, 2018, at the age of 91 in Mother Margaret Hall, the nursing facility of the Sisters of Charity. S. Linda was born Erlinda Elisa Jeraldine Chavez on May 31, 1926, to Leonardo and Leonor (Perea) Chavez in San Ysidro, New Mexico. She entered religious life on Sept. 7, 1947, and was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 70 years.
From an early age S. Linda knew she wanted to become a teacher, and the desire never left her. She met the Sisters of Charity as a student at St. Vincent Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but instead chose to attend the University of New Mexico at the age of 17 before entering religious life in 1947.
S. Linda earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1948, and a master’s degree in home economics from St. Louis University (Missouri) in 1960. She also earned a master’s degree in religious education from Loyola University (Chicago, Illinois) in 1974.
S. Linda’s love for teaching provided her with 40 years of classroom memories. She began her ministry in education teaching seventh grade at Corpus Christi in Dayton, Ohio (1949-’51) then transitioning to secondary education at Holy Trinity, Middletown, Ohio (1951-’52); Catholic Central, Springfield, Ohio (1952-’56); Seton High School, Cincinnati, Ohio (1956-’60); Bishop Fenwick, Middletown, Ohio (1960-’67); St. Mary, Jackson, Michigan (1967-’68); and Lumen Christi, Jackson, Michigan (1968-’69).
S. Linda once wrote that her years at Catholic Central in Springfield were the most enriching of her teaching years. “Both young men and young women appreciated the values and skills they were receiving in class. For me, the realization that these young people wanted to be and for the most part are committed family builders was satisfaction beyond belief.”
For 20 years, from 1969 until 1989, S. Linda ministered at St. Pius X in her hometown of Albuquerque. She had found a welcome place. Recognizing the school’s lack of emphasis in the humanities, S. Linda introduced “Spirituality through the Arts.” She once said she would run into former students on occasion who would tell her, “Every time I see a Monet or a Chagall, I think of you.” S. Linda cherished her years at the school, and appreciated the dedicated, committed faculty and staff.
During that time, in 1970, S. Linda was appointed the Associate Vicar for Religious for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the second woman in the country to hold that office. She remained in the position for 13 years, performing her duties along with her full-time teaching assignments.
Following Vatican II, S. Linda was graced with being actively involved in serving on two committees introducing significant changes to the Sisters of Charity congregation: the habit committee in 1965 and the Constitutions Committee in 1983. In addition she was a charter member of the National Assembly of Women Religious and of Las Hermanas, an organization which fostered leadership among Hispanic women religious. In 1989, she was elected to Congregational leadership, managing SC activities in the western region; she was honored to be the first Hispanic Sister of Charity elected to leadership. “My four years in Congregational leadership were very special for me,” she once wrote. “I learned to know my Sisters as no other experience could have afforded me. For this time I shall always be grateful.”
In 1993, S. Linda found herself in a new ministry serving the poor in Albuquerque through S.E.T. (Service, Empowerment, Transformation). She served as the organization’s executive director from 1994 until 2002, during that time establishing well-being clinic sites for low-income seniors and educating poor families to improve the quality of their health through clinics and self-care programs.
Among her awards and honors, S. Linda was inducted into the Albuquerque Senior Foundation’s Hall of Fame in 2000, and the St. Pius X Wall of Recognition in 2004. She also received the Senior Foundation’s Special Achievement Award in 2000 along with the 1998 Sister Mary Lea Mueller Award from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati). Following her retirement from S.E.T. in 2002, S. Linda continued her board and committee participation for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and volunteered for many organizations throughout Albuquerque, including St. Joseph Community Health, Bernalillo County Detention Center, and Good Shepherd Center for the homeless.
S. Jane Vogt
S. Jane Vogt died April 6, 2018, at the age of 95 in Mother Margaret Hall, the nursing facility of the Sisters of Charity. S. Jane was born Mary Jane Vogt on Sept. 22 1922, to Leonard and Helen (Naber) Vogt in Covington, Kentucky. She was an only daughter, having one brother. She was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 77 years.
S. Jane attended Resurrection grade school and Seton High School, graduating in 1940. She was taught by the Sisters of Charity in both schools and it was because of their influence that she chose to enter the Community just prior to her 18th birthday in September 1940.
S. Jane earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, in 1954 and a Master of Education from Xavier University, also in Cincinnati, in 1956.
S. Jane’s ministries brought her to the elementary classroom over the first 17 years, beginning with St. Boniface, Cincinnati (1944-’47); then St. Lawrence, Cincinnati, (1947-’51); St. Dominic, Cincinnati, as principal (1951-’55); Divine Redeemer, Colorado Springs, Colorado (1955-’57); and St. Joseph, Springfield, Ohio (1957-’61). In 1961, her childhood dream of being a missionary became a reality. S. Jane volunteered to do mission work in Latin America. She went to Huancane, in Peru’s Andes Altiplano. It was a very poor area, with the Sisters teaching in the public schools, and traveling by truck or jeep. Her work spanned not only the classroom, but also preparing teachers and meeting and advising the instructors in various schools. In collaboration with the Maryknoll Sisters she helped formulate a uniform religious education syllabus to be used throughout the Altiplano. S. Jane served in Lima the last four years, beginning in 1968.
After 12 years in Peru she returned having a greater appreciation of the beauty of God’s people and speaking fluent Spanish. From 1973-’77 S. Jane ministered at St. Vincent Hospital, Santa Fe, New Mexico, visiting indigent Spanish-speaking people as an outreach worker in the Pastoral Care Department. This work gave birth to the Meals on Wheels project in the area and the establishment of the Social Service Department. In 1977 S. Jane was asked to serve her Sisters in Mother Margaret Hall as the Director of Activities while at the same time attending to her elderly mother’s needs. Mrs. Vogt became a resident of Mother Margaret Hall in 1982 where she remained until her death in 1984.
A strong desire to return to mission work called her to join S. Mary Joaquin Bitler in 1986 in the village of Los Rico, Mexico; their focus was on a more contemplative form of prayer, shared with the villagers and all in Spanish. The Sisters also taught in the newly erected school.
S. Jane returned to the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse in 1987 as transportation coordinator, serving in that capacity until 1994. In her retirement years she volunteered with the veterans at St. Joseph House with S. Kateri Maureen Koverman and at Our Daily Bread, a downtown Cincinnati soup kitchen, and assisted Sisters in Mother Margaret Hall with their banking needs until 2000.
S. Joan Crocker
S. Joan Crocker died March 19, 2018, at the age of 92 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Joan was born on Oct. 1, 1925, to Emmitt and Frances (Murray) Crocker in Pendleton, Oregon. She had two brothers and a sister. She was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 75 years.
S. Joan attended Blessed Sacrament grade school and Cathedral High School, Denver, Colorado, graduating in 1943. It was the influence of S. Therese Martin McCarthy and her spirituality that first drew S. Joan to consider religious life. After graduation, and the assurance that she would get a college education, S. Joan’s parents gave their blessing. She chose to enter the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati in September 1943, traveling by train from Denver.
S. Joan earned a Bachelor of Science in education from the Athenaeum of Ohio in 1952, and received a Bachelor of Arts in education in 1964 from the College of Mount St. Joseph. She earned a master’s in early childhood education from the University of Colorado in 1972 and a pastoral ministry degree from the University of Loyola, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1988.
S. Joan’s years of ministry seem evenly divided among elementary teaching, day-care administration, mission work and pastoral ministry. She began as a classroom teacher at St. William, Cincinnati (1946-’53). She went to St. Therese, Pueblo, Colorado (1953-’57) and St. Luke, Detroit, Michigan (1957-’58). Sister administrators then tapped her to assist in business offices at St. Mary-Corwin Hospital, Pueblo, Colorado, and El Pomar Retreat Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado (1958-’62). S. Joan became the director of Marjorie Reed Mayo Daycare Center, Denver, for the next 13 years, 1962-’75. A Sister friend, S. Ruth Jonas, had invited S. Joan to consider missionary work in Malawi, Africa, where the need for pastoral services was great; this began seven years of serving 10 mission centers, traveling by bike, to help establish small base Christian communities, a ministry and challenge she loved.
In 1983 S. Joan returned to the states, offering pastoral services, first at St. Ann parish, Palisade, Colorado, and then at Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colorado (1989-‘2001) as a chaplain. When she became a retired volunteer the following year S. Joan brought her services to an area soup kitchen and Habitat for Humanity. She continued her woodcarving and social justice activities as well. In 1990 she was one of five Sisters arrested outside of Lowry Air Force Base for protesting the U.S. involvement in El Salvador.
S. Edith Louise Merhar
S. Edith Louise Merhar died March 19, 2018, at the age of 88 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Edith Louise was born on July 14, 1929, to Louis and Edith (Terlop) Merhar in Cleveland, Ohio. She was an only daughter, having one brother. She was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 70 years.
S. Edith Louise attended St. Lawrence grade school and Holy Name High School, both in Cleveland, graduating in 1947. She was taught by the Sisters of Charity and it was their influence that continued to remain with her. S. Edith Louise received a scholarship to Ursuline College, which she attended for a year and a half while also working part-time at The May Company. In February 1949 she chose to enter the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
S. Edith Louise earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1957; through a National Science Foundation grant she received a Master of Arts in mathematics from the University of Detroit in 1963, and later earned a Master of Science in administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1979.
S. Edith Louise’s ministries brought her to five states and 44 years of teaching, 40 in high school with two in college and two others as an archdiocesan coordinator. She began in St. Mary High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1950; after seven years she went to Shrine High School, Royal Oak, Michigan (1957-’59); St. Louis, Mt. Clemens, Michigan (1959-’63); Elizabeth Seton, South Holland, Illinois (1963-’64 and 1968-’69); and St. Leo, Detroit, Michigan (1964-’68). It was then that she served as the first mathematics supervisor and consultant in the Archdiocese of Detroit, coordinating teachers and choosing math textbooks for kindergarten through 12th grades. From 1971-’72 S. Edith Louise offered her gifts as principal at Marion High School, Cincinnati and went on to teach at the College of Mount St. Joseph, 1972-’74. She returned to Detroit, serving as the archdiocesan multi-media center director through 1977.
It was at this time that S. Edith Louise felt the call to return to the high school math classroom and assist in the care of her aging parents in Cleveland. She also enjoyed the opportunity for inter-community living among a variety of religious communities in the area. She ministered at Cleveland Catholic Central (1977-’79) and Trinity High School, Garfield Heights (1979-’94). Of those 40-plus years in education, she remarked, “The most important happening was the people I encountered – be it Sisters, students, parents and everyone else - some you prayed with, and others you prayed for!”
After a sabbatical semester in Concordia, Kansas, S. Edith Louise visited her Daughter of Charity cousin in Yugoslavia, and volunteered in the bookstore at Trinity High School. In 1997 she came to Cincinnati, helping in the art department at the College of Mount St. Joseph and painting “greenware” ceramics for craft shows in the area. In 2004 she became a resident of Mother Margaret Hall.