Copyright©2008. Congregation of Saint Joseph.
Sister Dorothy Doyle, CSJ
“You have not chosen me; I have chosen you; …” This scripture passage has been a source of strength and comfort and helped me to trust, to love, to move on and keep my focus on the Lord with gratitude.
I was educated by the IHM Sisters at St. Catherine School, Detroit. Religious life was never in my plans until one day, walking home from school, I was “struck” with the “call” that led me to the Sisters of St. Joseph.
I earned a BS degree and a MA degree in business education and was licensed in social work, all of which helped prepare me as teacher and principal in several schools in Detroit, Flint, and Muskegon and service to others in need. Eight years at Nazareth College, Kalamazoo as director of student financial aid, was challenging and another highlight in my life. Based on my experience in administration and counseling, and wishing to continue working with people, in 1977 I accepted a position at Mercy hospital, Muskegon in the social services department. All of these experiences kept me on my toes and young at heart.
In 1989 I was asked to become administrative assistant for the Congregational Leadership Team. The slower pace and the distance from people’s life-threatening situations were not easy adjustments at first, but the opportunities to be with my religious sisters once again was most rewarding. Upon retirement from active ministry in 2007, I lived with my sister, Margaret, and assisted her until her death before returning to Nazareth in 2015.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord truly called me and led me to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth. My hope and prayer is that our congregation will move globally and spiritually with the times and be responsive to the needs of the Church.
“You have not chosen me; I have chosen you; …” John 15:15
Sister Betty Granger, CSJ
60 YearsThere were three of us in my family for several years, and we were delighted when we learned that there would soon be a new baby. No one seemed surprised, or disappointed, when it was another girl. Within the family circle, we are still affectionately called ‘the Granger girls’. I always recall my childhood as a happy time with memories of Sunday visits to relatives. Connections with extended family were especially important since Mom was orphaned as a young child, and had been cared for by her aunts and uncles. Dad was a convert to Catholicism and as we grew older, we became more aware of how much his faith meant to him. We were middle class, and had some difficult financial times. It has always amazed me that our parents made it possible for all four of us to attend a girls’ academy for our high school years.
It was during my senior year in high school that the call to religious life came as a gentle urging. When I talked with my parents, they encouraged a year of college before taking such a step. By spring the thought of entering reoccurred and became too persistent to ignore. So the summer of 1956 was spent in preparation for entering the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth.
I believe that one is called not only to religious life but to a particular congregation with its unique charism. I believe that all I am and have is gift, that a loving God began a good work in me, gives me the strength to carry it out, and in good time, will draw it to a close. I believe that both the call and the ability to respond, are gift. This belief guided me through those early years as a postulant, novice and junior professed sister, and through changes in ministry – from elementary teacher and principal, to ministry with senior citizens as a certified HUD housing manager, and then to healthcare administration.
I continue to re-learn a conviction formulated during transition several years ago, that ministry is not a place or position, but a presence, a being with others. Through the years, I have learned that you become who you are through the persons that come into your life. I have been richly blessed by the relationships that have become such a part of me – family, friends, and colleagues in ministry.
I am so grateful to the congregation for the opportunities I have had with the invitations over the years to become involved in diverse ministries that have been so life giving. And in retirement, to have the support to be involved in volunteer activities that continue to inspire, and challenge me. Psalm 139 has always been a comfort to me –
Lord, you have probed me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I stand; You understand my thoughts from afar. .. Behind and before me, you encircle me and rest your hand upon me. Psalm 139
Sister Janet Chadderdon, CSJ
I came into the world as a “Gorgeous Borgess” baby. I was blessed to be number eight of Ray and Bernice’s eight children. We were close in many ways and shared most everything, especially the girls! I was little when my brothers went into the armed service. I attended Parchment school through the ninth grade and St. Augustine High School through the twelve before entering Nazareth College in 1955, hoping to be a teacher. The following year, I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph where teaching became my life work. I taught nine wonderful years in elementary schools and afterwards ministered in the field of religious formation as a diocesan religion consultant, parish DRE, hospital chaplain, Coordinator of Adult Ed. and RCIA. From formal teaching, I transitioned into ministry as a massage therapist for 12 years, during which time I also taught massage and other wellness classes with a friend. I loved each ministry and found them connected and complimentary. They were privileged ways to interact with people during significant times of their lives.
As to my vocation, the witness of the Sisters of St. Joseph touched me and drew me to consider religious life. As a child, I only saw them in church with their veils lowered after communion (mystery), but later, as teachers in high school and college I saw them as very remarkable women. I began thinking of religious life. I made the step. It was a turnaround from the direction I was headed and a difficult choice at that time but I am grateful I had the grace to accept the call and all that has followed.
"I have called you by name: you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
Sister Theresa MacIntyre, CSJ
Born on January 19, 1939 to Wilfrid and Gladys MacIntyre, I grew up in the neighborhood of St. Rita Parish in Detroit. Entering the Sisters of St. Joseph at Nazareth, Michigan in 1956 I received the name, Sister Wilfrida, and have had many opportunities to study and minister in the areas of music and ministry. I taught at St. Joan of Arc, Barbour Hall, St. Rita, Nazareth College and had campus and pastoral ministry experiences at Nazareth College, Michigan State University and the University of Mississippi. It has been a privilege to serve in administration at both the Nazareth and Tipton Centers as well as with the people of St. Jude Parish in Gobles.
My call to religious life grew during high school as I played the organ and learned to appreciate the liturgy, prayer and sacramental life of the Church. Our home was one block from St. Rita Parish, where more than twenty Sisters of St. Joseph lived. I came to know and love many of them and they were a huge part of my life and education. I am grateful for the inspiration shared and the courage shown by the women on whose shoulders I stand. Among my greatest gifts and joys is to be part of a community that encourages, supports and challenges me to the More. In this year of Mercy I want to celebrate being part of the Congregation of the Great Love of God and to continue sharing the gift of inclusive love with others.
Be still and know that I am God. Ps 46
Sister Sally Callahan, CSJ(Sister Lawrence Marie)
I started my life with my parents and older brother Lawrence (Larry) in Wyandotte, Michigan. My first 12 years of education were in the local catholic school with the Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters. It was a happy time with friends and family. After graduation I entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary order in Monroe, Michigan. I was able to stay only six months due to family needs. For three years I helped at home and had good experiences working at the National Bank of Wyandotte. On January 1, 1957, I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. After novitiate I ministered at Immaculate Heart of Mary School for two years and then returned to Nazareth for a year before final profession. As a professed sister, I spent 30 years in Child Care work, first at St. Francis Home for Boys, Detroit, then Sarah Fisher Home, Farmington, St. Louis Center, Chelsa and in the L’Arche Community in Canada. Upon returning to Nazareth in 1993, I worked seven years in the business office and then in the Audio/Visual Library which I continue to do in retirement.
I first thought about being a religious when I was in the second grade. I am grateful that God brought me to my home at Nazareth. Here I have received so many blessings. I have, with God’s help, developed a precious prayer life beyond what I would have imagined. I have wonderful friends and continuing blessings. I earned a Master’s degree preparing me for special work with children and adults who did not have a stable home or friends like I have had. Throughout my ministry, I have seen how much has been given to me which has moved me to give to others. I am most grateful. As I celebrate jubilee, I pray for continued openness to blessings, joy and peace, that with God’s grace, I can be a positive influence in other’s lives and make the world a better place.
“I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Sister Jacqueline Wetherholt, CSJ
Born in Sault Ste Marie of a Catholic mother (Chippewa, Swiss, French Canadian) and a Lutheran father (Blackfoot and Prussian), I was raised as a Catholic and lived in several cities before moving to Davison, Michigan. I was educated mainly in public schools, but following a year at Nazareth College and being influenced by the “college sisters” and those at the local convent, I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph Congregation from St. John the Evangelist parish in Davison.
I always claim that it was in the fifth grade that I began to think about religious life. It was the only year before college that I was taught by nuns (The Holy Names of Jesus and Mary) and, it was also at that time that I lived at St. Vincent Home for Girls run by the Daughters of Charity. BUT, I really wanted to be a member of the Sisters of Mother Cabrini: a childish dream and one that never came to fruition. It was only after I met the Sisters of St. Joseph in Religious Education and attended a year at Nazareth College that I made the decision to enter the convent there. Because I was given the wonderful opportunity to be involved in national peace and justice issues in several different arenas over the years, I have found my greatest joy in being a SSJ of the CSJ congregation. So this Jubilee year I plan to spend the time in celebration and thanksgiving for all that our foremothers have provided for us!
Therefore put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed in righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:13-15
Sister Melanie Filipac, CSJ
I was born on August 8, 1938. I graduated from St. Rita High School in Detroit in 1956 and entered the Congregation of St. Joseph at Nazareth on September 1, of that year. In 1959 I began teaching in several schools of the Congregation including: St. Henry, Lincoln Park, St. Joseph, Battle Creek, St. Pius X in Grandville and St. Gerard in Lansing. In 1972, using my science background in the health care field, I transitioned to a new ministry as a Medical Technologist at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan. In 1985 I returned to Nazareth where I worked in the Business Office until the time of my retirement in 2015.
I have enjoyed my retirement which has given me the opportunity and time to volunteer with AARP, continue various works in the Nazareth Business Office, cutting grass and caring for trees on campus. I relish long mornings for prayer and reading.
I have been afforded many opportunities for professional and spiritual growth and multiple careers. All I am is gift of God through the Congregation of St. Joseph. Thank you one and all!
“Be still and know that I am God.” Ps 46:10
Sister Jeanne Lenore Twomey, CSJ
I was born Mary Judith Twomey on February 9, 1938 to Mary and Bill Twomey. My siblings are John, Bill, and Janet. I attended St. David School, Detroit from the sixth grade through high school and graduated in June of 1956 before entering the Sisters of St. Joseph at Nazareth on September 1.
I was first aware of my call to religious life when I was in the sixth grade. Sr. Sienna Stoll, my teacher, was a very special person whom I soon came to admire. She truly was a model of Christian virtues. Her joyful spirit inspired me to desire to want to become a Sister of St. Joseph. The loving support of my family and religious community has sustained me throughout these years. I have especially felt it after being diagnosed with Parkinsons.
I consider myself blessed for these sixty years of serving my God.
“In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” John 16:33
Sister Anne de Paul Rivard, CSJ
I was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 26, 1938, and baptized Barbara Ann, the daughter of Jeanette and Harvey Rivard and one of 8 children. Caring for younger brothers and sisters and helping my parents and extended family members were my everyday responsibilities that fostered skills in relating to people in all sorts of situations. I entered the Congregation of St. Joseph of Nazareth from St. James Parish, Ferndale on September 1, 1956 and was given the name Sister Anne de Paul at Reception. Joining the Sisters of St. Joseph was a natural progression of my desire to help others. There I met kindred spirits as I worked toward a Bachelor’s degree in Science from Nazareth College and later, a Master’s degree in Special Religious Education from Cardinal Stritch University. I taught for several years at St. Joseph, Lake Orion, St. Monica, Kalamazoo and St. Mary, Flint before returning to Kalamazoo in 1973 to become the first Director of Special Religious Education Services for the Kalamazoo Diocese. For 14 years I served individuals with special needs and their families in nine counties establishing parish religion classes, setting up volunteer programs, conducting ecumenical summer Bible School, and sponsoring Christmas programs.
Following ministry for the diocese, I worked as Health Care Assistant at Nazareth Center, Kalamazoo, Religious Services Volunteer and Classroom Assistant for children’s psychiatric services at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac. During the years before my retirement in 2009, I continued providing for those in need as a full-time tutor and caregiver.
I cherished my different ministries as opportunities for teaching others and also learning myself while crafting loving relationships with parishioners and colleagues that lasted a lifetime. I am filled with joy and gratitude for the blessings given me during my whole lifetime and this Jubilee am reminded of my Lover’s promise:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine.” Jeremiah 31:3
Sister Jeanne Gamache, CSJ
I was born into a family of two very special parents, Helen and Fred, and two big brothers, Rob and Rich, in Flint, Michigan on September 8, 1938. It was my family who first taught me about being loved, to be loving and to be of service. I began school at Civic Park Public School and transferred to St. John Vianney School from 5th to 12th grade. Upon graduation, I entered the Congregation of St. Joseph at Nazareth and began my ministries in education, followed by hospital chaplaincy, Initial Formation, Congregational leadership, and many years in Latin America, both in Peru and Nicaragua. Upon returning to the States, I ministered to migrants in Michigan and then as hospital chaplain and Director of Spiritual Care in the Detroit area. From 2008 until the present, I have served as a Hospice Chaplain supporting and journeying with those who are dying and with their loved ones.
I grew up with the Sisters of St. Joseph at St. John Vianney School and it was this happy lot who were a big part of my life and encouraged me to become involved in almost every school activity. I would say that my religious life has been a great ‘campo’ in which to learn and grow and deepen my relationship with God through the ‘dear neighbor’, creation, and many spiritual experiences. I’ve been blessed with a wide variety of opportunities and gifts, the greatest of which are the relationships that have developed, whether with God, others or self. I celebrate my Jubilee year as a journey each day with my Goldengate Community and my hospice ministry, attempting to live the moment and find God’s presence in whatever occurs. I look forward to celebrating both my birthday and my Jubilee in LePuy, France, where I hope to find and deepen my religious community roots. It’s been a great ride and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
"He measured off another thousand and made me wade across again; the water reached my waist. He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which could not cross… He then said, "Do you now see?" Ex. 47:1-6
Sister Peggy Galloway, CSJ
50 YearsI was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 10, 1948, the daughter of George and Ruth Galloway. I was a member of St. Lucy Parish in Detroit at the time of my entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph on August 24, 1966. After many years in education in the Archdiocese of Detroit, I served in Membership Development and Formation for the Congregation, and in Pastoral Care at the McCauley Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
I was born into a large family. There were 11 children and I was right in the middle. Like any other family we had our ups and downs, but as we grew older and time moved on, we really learned to appreciate our family. I was aware of my desire to join the Congregation before I finished high school. The support from family and several of the sisters who had been teaching me put me on the move. My aunt was a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph when I entered, and I learned lots of things from her those first years. She later decided to leave the congregation but I still felt that I was in the right group and the right place, and I thank my aunt for giving me the initial idea of joining the Sisters of St. Joseph community.
I am aware of the fact that being in the Congregation is a gift; it is here that I have gotten to know so many wonderful people and love and celebrate all the connections I have made.
"In you, O Lord, do I take refuge." Psalm 70
Sister Elizabeth Fallon, CSJ
I received my Bachelor’s degree in 1971 from Nazareth College, Kalamazoo, MI in elementary education and art education, and my Master’s Degree in Education from Sienna Heights College in Adrian, MI. I spent many years in classroom teaching, first in the Archdiocese of Detroit at Saint David School Detroit, Saint Mary School Port Huron and Saint Edwards-on-the-Lake, Lakeport; then in the Diocese of Lansing at Saint Mary’s School, Flint; and in the Diocese of Kalamazoo, at Saint Monica School, Kalamazoo and Holy Angels, Sturgis. After classroom teaching I cared for preschoolers at a CDC Day Care Center and continue to this day as a tutor in the public school system. Ministering to young children all my religious life has been very enriching and has touched my heart. It has taught me many lessons and continues to give me happiness.
My call to religious life started back in grade school and continued into high school where I was taught by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. I entered religious life in 1966 right after the close of the second Vatican Council, a time of many ongoing changes in religious life. My entrance into the Sisters of Saint Joseph fifty years ago was and continues to be a gift and a blessing from my God. Journeying with community, I have received support and love from all my religious sisters, my brother and sister and many friends. While living religious life I have had many opportunities for spiritual enrichment and personal prayer and meditation.
I am grateful to my God for my vocation and the support I have received from God and the Congregation of Saint Joseph these past fifty years. My life has been spent in striving to reach out and be of service to my dear neighbor.
"God who is mighty has done great things for me; Holy is His name." Luke 1:49
Sister Christine Gretka, CSJ
I was born to Mary (Kolniak) and Walter Gretka, the oldest of 6 children, on February 12, 1948. I attended Christ the Good Shepherd Elementary School (Lincoln Park) and Saint Francis Xavier High School (Ecorse) where I first met the Sisters of Saint Joseph. I earned a B.A. degree in Music from Nazareth College in 1971, a Master of Music degree in 1974 from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame.
I entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Nazareth Michigan on August 23, 1966. Answering the call to religious life has been spiritually enriching and personally fulfilling for me. In many ways, my early experience of having a family that attended Mass together each week, along with having Sisters as teachers, singing in Church choirs, playing the organ for Mass and appreciating the Church’s liturgy, laid a foundation for my call to religious life. I was first aware of that call on my First Communion Day (April 22, 1956). After receiving Jesus for the first time, I prayed: “If you want me to be a Sister someday, please let me know, and I will become one.” My mother added these words: “If you want to become a Sister, you must wait until you have finished high school to enter the convent.”
Having become acquainted with the Sisters of Saint Joseph in high school, and realizing how down to earth and authentic they were, I knew this was the community I wanted to enter. I noticed among them a balance of giving oneself totally to God yet not losing one’s love and compassion for God’s people. The joy I find in being a Sister of Saint Joseph and the meaning it gives to my life and the Church can best be expressed in the Consensus Statement of the Sisters of Saint Joseph: “Stimulated by the Holy Spirit of Love and receptive to Love’s inspirations, the Sister of Saint Joseph moves always towards profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction …”
Sister Christine Gretka has primarily served the Church over the past 50 years in the Archdiocese of Detroit and the Diocese of Saginaw. She has served as music teacher (in Elementary, Middle and High School), theology teacher, French teacher, Organist, Choir Director, Director of Music and Liturgy, Diocesan Associate for Music and Liturgy, and Pastoral Administrator. Her assignments include: Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish and School (Plymouth), Gabriel Richard High School and Saint Cyprian Parish (Riverview), Our Lady of Victory Parish (Northville), Holy Family Middle School (Bay City), Saint Boniface Parish (Bay City), Saint Brigid of Kildare Parish (Midland), Saint John the Baptist Parish (Carrollton), the Diocesan Office of Liturgy (Saginaw), Saint Josaphat Parish (Carrollton), Saint Matthew Parish (Zilwaukee), and Saint John Paul II Parish (a merger of Saint John the Baptist, Saint Josaphat, and Saint Matthew Parishes).
"I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me, you can do nothing." John 5:5