Copyright©2008. Congregation of Saint Joseph.
|Sister Angela Kelly, CSJ
80 YearsSister Angela Kelly entered religious life on October 15, 1932 from St. Cecelia Parish in Cleveland. She attended high school at St. Joseph Academy in Cleveland, and college at Sisters College (later known as St. John College) where she earned her B.S. in Education in 1944. After graduation, Sister went on to teach in many Cleveland, Akron & Canton area schools including St. Augustine, Annunciation, St. Ignatius, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Joseph (Canton), where she also served as Principal, St. Mary (Berea), Immaculate Conception (Akron), and St. Joseph (Strongsville). After teaching, Sister continued to serve her community in many different capacities including ministering to the elderly at Immaculate Conception in Madison, serving as secretary and later volunteering at St. Joseph Academy, and in prayer ministry at Mother of God House of Prayer in Venice, FL. Sister Angela currently resides and is active in prayer ministry at Regina Health Center in Richfield.
“As I recall the past I am deeply grateful for the deepening of my faith and the relationships I have developed and the piece of God’s presence in my life.”
– Sister Angela
Sister Wilma Apack, CSJ(Ann Joseph)60 YearsSister Wilma Apack entered religious life on September 8, 1952 from Immaculate Conception Parish in Akron. She attended grade school at both Smith and Immaculate Conception Elementary Schools in Akron, and St. Vincent High School in Akron, from which she graduated in 1952. She went on to earn her B.S. in Elementary Education from St. John College in 1961, and her M.S. in Education in 1969. Sister Wilma’s journey as an educator began at St. Augustine School where she taught from 1955-1963. She then went on to teach at St. John the Baptist School in Lorain from1963-1969. That same year, Sister Wilma became Principal at St. John where she stayed until 1976. Sister then transitioned to the next phase of her career – serving as Pastoral Minister, first at Epiphany Parish in Cleveland until 1980, and next at St. Philip Neri in Cleveland where she served from 1980-2002. Later that year, Sister Wilma became a Pastoral Associate at St. Colman Parish in Cleveland, where she remains active today. Currently, Sister Wilma resides and is also active in prayer ministry at St. Joseph Center.
“Upon reflection of my life as a Sister of St. Joseph, I feel that the Holy Spirit had inspired me to search for a community of nuns that not only shared a special love for God, but one that also served the needs of others. There I could offer my life to make the world a better place. Judy Cannato [author and CSJ Associate] might call this decision to enter the Sisters of St. Joseph a moment of ‘quantum grace’ or a ‘wave of energy’ that entered my life. I now look back in ‘radical amazement’ at all the wonderful opportunities in my various ministries that challenged and enriched me so greatly. Little did I realize that years later, this desire to serve the ‘dear neighbor’ would extend to global issues and even include concerns about our planet, earth. I owe a debt of gratitude to the quality of meaningful connections I had experienced with the people who mentored me and befriended me at the various parishes and schools where I worked and ministered, and also the rich diversity of friendships with sisters from other religious orders, who inspired me to commit more deeply to the mission of our CSJ community. As Judy Cannato said, ‘I am connected to all that has been, all that is now, and all that is to come,’ as we all search for ways to contribute to a peaceful world."
– Sister Wilma
Sister Delphine Kennedy, CSJ(Mary Pauline)60 YearsSister Delphine Kennedy entered religious life on September 8, 1952 from St. Francis de Sales Parish in Akron. She attended Highland Park Elementary School and Kenmore High School, both in Akron, and graduated in 1948. She went on to earn her B.S. in Elementary Education from St. John College in 1961, and her M.S.E. in Administration & Supervision in 1968. Her journey as an educator began at St. Rose Elementary School in Cleveland in 1955, where she served as a first grade teacher until 1959. That year, she went to St. Bridget in Parma where she taught fourth and fifth grades until 1961. Sister Delphine then taught third, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades at St. Anthony of Padua in Parma from 1961-1967. She then went on to serve as both a teacher and principal at St. Vincent de Paul in Elyria from 1967-1973. That year, she began teaching fourth grade at St. Wenceslas in Maple Heights where she stayed until 1976. That year, she moved on to St. Francis de Sales in Akron, where she served as principal until 1980. Later that year, Sister Delphine moved to Beattyville, Kentucky to work with the Appalachia poor at Queen of All Saints Parish, where she volunteered until 1981. Sister Delphine then began a ten-year ministry at St. Elizabeth Parish in Elizabeth, West Virginia where she served as Co-Mission Director until 1991. In 1991, she moved to the Columbus area and served as principal and kindergarten teacher at St. John Elementary in Logan, Ohio for two years. In 1993, she returned to the Cleveland area and taught first grade at Immaculate Conception until the school closed in 1995. That year, she returned to West Virginia where she served as Co-Mission Director at Risen Lord Catholic Church in Maysel, West Virginia, where she stayed until 1999. Later that year, she returned home and again served as a teacher at Immaculate Conception School in Cleveland until 2001. Since then, Sister Delphine's ministry has been visiting home bound parishioners at both St. Augustine and Prince of Peace parishes in Barberton, Ohio, where she also currently resides.
“It is with great joy that I celebrate my 60th Jubilee as a Sister of St. Joseph. From the time I entered the community in 1952, there have been many changes and challenges. Amid these times, there have also been untold occasions of surprises, happiness and special blessings, too numerous to count. One of my great joys was being a teacher for more than thirty years. After having taught children in every grade from kindergarten to eighth grade, it's hard to say which was a favorite because each was so interesting and very different. Being a substitute teacher for two years in the public schools in West Virginia was a very valuable learning experience for me. It gave me a greater appreciation for our catholic schools and their set of values that formed the minds and hearts of the students we taught. My seventeen years of working with the Glenmary and Divine Word home missioners in the appalachian areas of Kentucky, West Virginia and southern Ohio, will always hold a special place in my heart. I feel it was such a privilege to work with the poor and unchurched, who were always open in accepting what was good and enriching for themselves and others. Now, I look upon each day as a gift and another opportunity to strive to carry out, in the best way I can, the plans that God has for me. I continue to reach out to the homebound and elderly in Barberton. Many of these dear friends have passed away, but my life is still filled with visiting other needy homebound and elderly people. I am amazed when I listen to their stories, because they enrich my life so much. Together, we grow in our love for God and all people. All in all, I am deeply grateful and thank God for my call to religious life in the CSJ Community, and for all who have helped me to grow in so many ways. This includes my family, those with whom I have traveled along the way, and those who continue to journey with me toward that "profound love of God, the dear neighbor and all of creation.”
– Sister Delphine
Sister Kathleen Kilbane, CSJ(Ann Michael)60 Years
Sister Kathleen Kilbane entered religious life on September 8, 1952 from St. Clement Parish in Lakewood. She attended both St. Clement Elementary School in Lakewood and St. Ignatius Elementary School in Cleveland, and St. Joseph Academy in Cleveland, from where she graduated in 1952. She went on to earn her B.S. in Elementary Education from St. John College in 1962, and her M.S.E. in Administration in 1973. She also attended Kent State University where she studied education for the deaf, as well as Cleveland State University where she completed courses required to obtain her social work license. Sister Kathleen’s journey as an educator began in 1955 at Annunciation Parish, where she taught first and third grades until 1957. She then went on to teach third and sixth grades at St. Angela Merici in Fairview Park from 1957-1960, and serve as both teacher and principal at St. Aloysius in Cleveland from 1960-1969. Sister then taught at St. Mary in Berea for one year, then served as assistant principal and teacher at St. Colman from 1970-1975. Her last teaching position was at St. Vincent de Paul in Cleveland, where she taught eighth grade from 1975-1977. That year, Sister became the Director of West Side Catholic center where she stayed until 1987. In 1988, she became the project coordinator for Adult Homeless Literacy Project, where she served until 1997. Sister then founded and became the Executive Director of Seeds of Literacy, and adult tutoring and literacy program in Cleveland, where she served until 2003. Since then, Sister Kathleen has held multiple volunteer positions, including working for River’s Edge Women’s Outreach Center and St. Colman’s Adult Literacy Outreach program, which she is still active in. She resides at St. Joseph Center in Cleveland.
“Every year brings its blessings! Sixty years of mine have been as a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph. My Irish background provided me with a supportive and loving family, as well as frineds, who nurtured me and provided the faith and the encouragement to be who I am today. My journey has lead me to a deepening love of God and the Congregation. Ten years ago, at my fiftieth jubilee, I was ready to gently and prayerfully move into a quiet peaceful mode. How mistaken I was! In the years that have ensued, I’ve learned to view life in a whole new dimension. In my wildest dreams, I never envisioned 7 CSJ communities coming together as one. Being part of its evolution brought both growth, joy, and pain. It has been a life giving experience. Our charism is the basis for movement into this century together. Ministries are being adapted to meet the needs of the present time. Seriouse issues face our world and need to be addressed in new and creative ways. Our Generous Promises have become our guiding light in doing this. It has been a blessed time. Jubilee is a time to celebrate. With great love I renew and celebrate my commitment to Jesus, the Christ, the Congregation of St. Joseph and all of creation.”
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
Sister Rita Mackert, CSJ(John Bosco)60 Years
Sister Rita Mackert entered religious life on September 8, 1952 from St. Clement Parish in Lakewood. She attended St. Clement grade school and St. Joseph Academy, from where she graduated in 1952. She went on to earn her B.S. in Elementary Education from St. John College in 1961, and her M.S.E. in History in 1969. Her journey as an educator began in 1955 at St. Vincent de Paul in Cleveland, where she taught first grade until 1958. She then went on to teach first grade at St. Mary in Berea from 1958-1962, St. Thomas Aquinas in Cleveland from 1962-1967, and St. Colman in Cleveland from 1967-1968. Later that year, Sister Rita began teaching first grade at St. Joseph School (now Sts. Joseph and John) in Strongsville, where she stayed 42 years retiring in 2012. Since then, sister has served as a reading and math tutor for first and second graders at Sts. Joseph and John. She resides at St. Joseph Center in Cleveland.
“This is a time to give glory, praise, and thanks to God for what He has done for me. I am grateful He called me from my wonderful family. God planted the seed through my father who expressed his wish to have one of his six sons become a priest, and one of his four daughters, a sister. He died when I was seven, so he must have continued interceding with God. My mother’s strong faith, great courage and compassion was the example always before me. She was an advocate of truth and simplicity. I had the Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Clement, St. Therese Academy, and St. Joseph Academy. I loved school and the sisters. I also reflected on becoming a Sister of St. Joseph and teach children like they did. In my senior year at Saint Joseph Academy, I made a thirty day novena to Our Lady for the conversion of my boyfriend. Little did I know I was the one to receive the conversion! While I was praying for him, Sister Ambrose was keeping an eye on me. She asked me if I ever thought of becoming a sister. I told her I did. Later, on the day of our admittance into the Alumni, she led me over to meet Mother Margaret Mary. That started my sixty blessed years as a Sister of St. Joseph. I’ve loved my calling and the community of St. Joseph sisters. God had been good to me. He has been my rock and my salvation. Through my life with the sisters, He has taught me that to increase, I must decrease. My most precious gift is Himself in the Eucharist from which he feeds me, nourishes me, strengthens me, and encourages me through His oneness with me and all my community and those in my life, so that Christ will be the one they see in the world.”
– Sister Rita
Sister Marie Therese Courtad, CSJ
Marie Therese Courtad entered religious life on September 7, 1963 from
St. Bridget Parish in Logansport, Indiana. She attended high school at
St. Joseph Academy. After graduating and entering St. Joseph Convent in
Tipton, she served as a housekeeper at the motherhouse from 1966-1980.
That year, sister earned her Certificate in Home Care and began serving
as a Nursing Assistant in hospitals around the area including Mercy
Hospital and St. Anthonys, where she worked as a restorative aide for
the therapy departments. She continued this ministry until 1993. Sister
then went on to serve as a driver and a Sacristan at St. Joseph Center
in Tipton. Sister Marie Therese recently moved and currently resides at
St. Joseph Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She is active in prayer ministry
and hopes to help with driving duties once she learns her way around!
I look back on my life, I am grateful for God’s gentle way of calling
me to follow him. I jut knew that this was how I wanted to spend the
rest of my life. After expressing to my family and friends my desire to
become a nun, our parish priest, who was taught by the Sisters of St.
Joseph, told my mother and father and me about the Sisters of St. Joseph
in Tipton. I finished high school at St. Joseph Academy then entered
the convent in the fall of 1963. I received the guidance in
strengthening my vocation and a great love for God and the ‘dear
neighbor’. I also got to develop my skill as an artist when I was given
the opportunity to work as an aide in Mercy Hospital in Elwood, Indiana
and as a restorative aide in the therapy department at St. Anthony
Health Care in Lafayette, Indiana. I returned home to Tipton to help
with driving and in the Sacristy. When the Tipton center closed its
doors, I moved to Cleveland where I lived the first twelve years of my
life. I hope to help with the driving and in the Sacristy, enjoy the
outdoors, and continue my hobby in art.”
– Sister Marie Therese
Sister Christine Schenk, CSJ25 YearsSister Christine Schenk entered the Congregation of St. Joseph on September 1, 1987 from the Community of St. Malachi Parish in Cleveland. She attended St. John, St. Rose and St. Charles grade schools in Lima, and Lima Central Catholic High School, from which she graduated in 1964. She went on to earn her B.S.N magna cum laude from Georgetown University, her M.S. in Nursing Education/Medical Surgical Nursing. She later trained as a nurse practitioner and nurse midwife at the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Hyden, Kentucky.
Schenk was a member of the Medical Mission Sisters from 1972 -1977, but left the order before making final vows. From 1972-73, she served as instructor at Temple University School of Nursing in Philadelphia and from 1973-75 she served as the interfaith coordinator for the United Farmworkers Union in that same city. From 1977-1978 she worked at the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing as family nursing coordinator. She moved to Cleveland in 1978 to work with low-income families as a nurse midwife at Metro Health Medical Center where she served until 1992. In 1980 she helped to organize a statewide coalition to expand Medicaid coverage to include pregnant low-income women and their children. During this same time she helped organize a public sanctuary at her parish, the Community of St. Malachi that eventually helped 23 political refugees from Central America find safe harbor in Canada. She served as Director of Midwifery for Cleveland Neighborhood Health Services from 1992-1994.
In 1993 Sr. Chris completed a Master’s Degree in Theology “with distinction” from St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Cleveland. In 1990, together with the Rev. Louis J. Trivison, Sister Chris co-founded FutureChurch a national coalition of parish-centered Catholics concerned about reforms in church practice, particularly in regard to preservation of the Eucharist. She has served the organization as Executive director since 1990 when she worked to transform a diocesan network of 28 parish councils and 100 parish leaders into a national organization reflecting the values of Vatican II. Sr. Chris has given hundreds of presentations and media interviews about the world wide priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist to Catholic worship, strategies for preserving vibrant parishes, optional celibacy, Jesus and women, and women officeholders in the early church.
“I’ve loved being Sister of St. Joseph. The day I made final vows was the happiest of my life. Being a member of the Congregation has given me both the freedom and the support I needed to take risks on behalf of God’s ‘kin-dom’ of justice and right relationship always struggling to be born in our world and in our Church. It hasn’t always been easy. But it has always been a blessing. I have been especially enriched by the wisdom and support of our CSJ leadership, our sisters and associates, my family and friends, and the FutureChurch community. I am profoundly grateful for God’s faithfulness over these past 25 years and look forward to the next 25!”
– Sister Chris