Copyright©2008. Congregation of Saint Joseph.
Sister Angelina Cavallaro, CSJ
Sister Angelina Cavallaro entered the Congregation of St. Joseph from her home parish of St. Francis Borgia in Anmoore, West Virginia, on August 15, 1941. Following her novitiate experience, she professed her vows on St. Joseph's day in 1944. Sister received a B.S.Ed. degree in elementary education from Duquesne University and an M.S.Ed. degree in special education from St. Louis University.
As a teacher, Sister Angelina served first in diocesan elementary schools: St. Agnes in Charleston; St. Peter School and St. Joseph Villa Kindergarten in Fairmont; St. Francis Xavier in Moundsville; and Blessed Martin in Wheeling. She also served as house parent and teacher at St. Vincent Home for Girls in Wheeling. From 1961 until 1969 she provided a Special Education Class for special needs students in Wheeling and neighboring cities. From 1969-1979, she served as a faculty member in the Department of Education at West Liberty State College.
Following preparation and certification in clinical pastoral education, Sister Angelina embarked on a new career in pastoral ministry in 1979. Until her retirement to Mount St. Joseph in 1997, she served the pastoral needs of patients and families at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, United Hospital Center in Clarksburg, and St. Joseph Hospital in Parkersburg.
“It is with heart-felt joy and deep gratitude that I celebrate another milestone in my life as a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph. It has been a journey propelling me, along with my sisters, to move always toward profound love of God and love of the 'dear neighbor without distinction.' Mine has been a faith-filled journey for which I thank God and all those whose lives have enhanced mine.”
Sister Angelina will celebrate her 75th jubilee this year at Mount St. Joseph.
Sister Rose McBreen, CSJ
(formerly Sister Rose Immaculate)
Gretchen Cecilia McBreen, of Epiphany Parish in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, entered the Congregation at St. Joseph in Wheeling on January 6, 1941. Upon reception into the novitiate, she became known as Sister Rose Immaculate, a name she shortened in the late 1960s to simply Rose. Sister received a Bachelor of Science degree from Mount St. Joseph College in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was certified to teach biology, art, and home economics. Later she received a Master of Science in Education degree from Duquesne University. She also studied art at Catholic University in Washington, DC, for a full year - living on campus.
As a teacher, Sister Rose ministered at Corpus Christi and Blessed Martin Grade Schools, St. Joseph Academy, and Central Catholic High School in Wheeling; Notre Dame High School in Clarksburg; Fairmont Catholic High School; and St. Joseph High School in Huntington. From 1984-2003, she participated in social ministry to women in need by her endeavors at Madonna House and the Sisters of St. Joseph House of Hospitality in Center Wheeling. Sister retired to Mount St. Joseph in 2004, where she continues in a ministry of prayer.
“A motto that I lettered years ago in the Novitiate has great meaning for me and I have tried to follow its message: ‘A Sister of St. Joseph is gentle, patient, hardworking, humble, obedient, charitable, and above all simple and joyous.’ Many and varied were the happenings during the past 75 years - too numerous to mention and some too sad to recall. But one thing has remained constant: God's love and care for the Congregation of St. Joseph, of which I have the privilege and the joy of being a member.”
Sister Rose will celebrate her 75th jubilee at Mount St. Joseph this year.
Sister Brigetta Forde, CSJ
Sister Brigetta Forde, from Loughrea, County Galway in Ireland, entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Wheeling on February 19, 1946. She made her first vows on August 19, 1948. She received a B.S. in Education from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, and an MA in Education from Antioch College, Keene, NH.
Most of her ministry was in classroom teaching at the elementary level in parochial schools in the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese. These included: St. Francis Xavier in Moundsville; Blessed Trinity, Cathedral Grade, St. Vincent de Paul, and Corpus Christi Schools in Wheeling; St. Francis Borgia in Grasselli; St. Mary’s and St. James Schools in Clarksburg; St. Patrick’s in Weston; All Saints in Bridgeport; St. Francis de Sales in Beckley; St. Joseph’s in Huntington; St. John-St. James in Benwood; and Fairmont Catholic in Fairmont. Sister Brigetta also tutored children and adults who had special learning needs in reading and writing. She participated in training programs conducted by Literacy Volunteers of America and Laubach Literacy International. She found this work extremely rewarding.
Following her years in teaching, Sister Brigetta was Supervisor of Housekeeping at the Wheeling Center for 10 years. She shared: “I always felt that it was important to make everyone feel welcome and at home when they came to visit or live at Mount St. Joseph.”
Sister Mairead Scanlon, CSJ
Sister Mairead Scanlon, from Athea, County Limerick in Ireland, entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Wheeling on February 19, 1946. She made her first vows on August 19, 1948. She received B.S. in Education from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.
Her first ministry was teaching in Diocesan Schools, including: Blessed Trinity, St. Mary's, and Corpus Christi in Wheeling; St. Joseph’s in Huntington; St. Peter’s in Fairmont; All Saints in Bridgeport; St. Francis de Sales in Beckley; and in Wood County Schools in Parkersburg. She also provided Pastoral Ministry at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Parkersburg and at Wheeling Hospital.
“Before I became a Sister of St. Joseph, I didn't even know what their habit looked like nor which ministries were theirs. I did learn early in life, however, to live with blind faith and trust in God. It was these which enabled me to leave my home in Ireland in 1946 to travel with a group of young women on a missionary journey to the United States. Since those first days, my life here has brought a continuing invitation to give my best with love and compassion as I help the people God puts into my life. Now, as I reflect back over the past years, I'm filled with gratitude for all the lives which have touched mine. I hold many treasured memories, and I thank God for these seventy interesting and delightful years of my life.”
Sister Peggy Sinnott, CSJ
Sister Margaret (Peggy) Sinnott, celebrating the 70th anniversary of her entrance into the Congregation of St. Joseph, was born in County Wexford, Ireland. She entered the congregation on February 19, 1946, and professed her vows on August 19, 1948. Her undergraduate degree was earned at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, and her Master's at St. John's College in Cleveland, OH, majoring in elementary education.
After spending 38 years in parochial education as a teacher and principal, Sister Peggy spent a year at Notre Dame University and then embarked on a new career in Health Care. When she asked for a job description for One Day Surgery, Mother Rosaria matter-of-factly said, "Develop One!” It was a new program there. She spent 13 years ministering as Coordinator of Outpatient Services and as Patient family Representative to outpatients. Then she moved to volunteer at St. Agnes Parish.
Sister Peggy shared: “I have enjoyed my ministry through the years and would do it all over again. The God I serve is one of surprises, and He always got to places before me. He was always there to welcome me. Now as I reflect on my life, the things I did are unimportant but my relationship with my God is my prime concern.”
Sister Anne Francis Bartus, CSJ
Catherine Frances Bartus, born in Rachel, WV, and a member of St. Patrick Parish, Mannington, WV, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wheeling on September 8, 1956. Since her reception, she has been known as Sister Anne Francis. Her education includes Rachel Grade school, Farmington High School, Duquesne University, Catholic University, the University of Notre Dame, Saint Meinrad School of Theology, and West Virginia University. She has the honor of being the first woman in West Virginia to earn a Doctor of Ministry Degree, which she received from Saint Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD.
Her ministerial experience includes teaching at All Saints, Bridgeport; St. Mary, Wheeling; St. Francis DeSales, Beckley; St. James, Clarksburg, and part time faculty member for Salem College and Wheeling College. She was the first Deanery Directress for Religious Education in the Diocese of Wheeling, serving in Beckley and Weirton, and ministered as Religious Education Directress at Immaculate Conception Parish, Washington, PA.
In 1974, Sister established the Diocesan Office for Continuing Adult Religious Education and served in that capacity for 13 years. She has served on various Diocesan Commissions and Harrison County Boards, and has been honored numerous times for her volunteerism in Harrison County. For over 28 years, she has been the Directress of Jacob’s Well, Salem, WV, a Christian Renewal Center she helped to establish. In addition to her ministry at Jacob’s Well, she serves as treasurer for the Catholic Daughters of America, Court Clarksburg, as secretary for the Upper Tenmile Watershed Association, and is a volunteer chaplain at United Hospital Center, Bridgeport, WV.
“Being a member of the Congregation has afforded me the opportunity to be involved in various ministries with a large number of God’s people and to realize the importance of God’s presence in enriching relationships.”
Sister Jane Cain, CSJ
Sister Jane Cain entered the Congregation of St. Joseph from Immaculate Conception Parish, Clarksburg, WV, on September 8, 1956. She professed her vows on July 31, 1959. She received an Associate in Arts Degree in Special Education from Cardinal Stritch College, Milwaukee, WI; a Bachelor in Education from West Liberty University, West Liberty, WV; and a Master in Pastoral Ministry from the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH.
Sister Jane ministered to children at the Diocesan Institute for Children and St. Vincent Home in Wheeling; taught at St. Vincent School in Wheeling, St. Mary School in Clarksburg, and St. Patrick School in Weston; and worked in Pastoral Ministry at Assumption Parish in Keyser and St. Patrick Parish in West Union. In 1995, she began her ministry in health care first as Chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Parkersburg, and then as Patient Family Representative at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to form relationships in all the experiences I’ve had during my lifetime as a member of the congregation.”
Sister Theresa Metz, CSJ
Sister Theresa Metz, from Saint Patrick Parish in Weston, WV, entered the Congregation of St. Joseph on September 8, 1956, and professed her vows on July 31, 1959. She received a BS in Education from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA; an MA in Religious Education from Fordham University, New York, NY; and Spiritual Direction Certification from Pecos Benedictine Monastery, Pecos, NM.
Sister Theresa taught in several diocesan schools including: Cathedral Grade and Blessed Trinity Schools in Wheeling, Saint Thomas in Thomas, and Saint Mary in Clarksburg. She ministered as the Coordinator for Religious Education at Immaculate Conception and St. James Parishes in Clarksburg. She also ministered as Pastoral Associate and Director of Ministries at Cathedral Parish in Wheeling and Sacred Heart Parish in Princeton. She also served as Patient Family Representative at Saint Francis Hospital, Charleston. She continues to serve as a spiritual companion and does Parish days of reflection and retreats. She enjoys art and is a member of the Creativity Committee for the Congregation of St. Joseph – Wheeling Center, which harvests the “arts” of the sisters.
“The feast of the Blessed Trinity, the loving unity of three Persons in one God, reminds me of the charism of my community, the Congregation of St. Joseph, which is love of God, all persons, and all creation. My lived experience of religious life and my mission have been one of prayer and trying to share this mutual love with God and all who have accompanied me throughout my journey: my sisters, family, friends, co-workers, as well as diocesan, ecumenical, and civic groups of which I've been a part. Unconditional mutual love sounds good, but it does not come naturally. During my life I have experienced honest struggle to love as Jesus does. I also had to pray my way through the hard times in the same way as Christians throughout history had to do. John Pierre Medaille, our founder, said well how we are able to succeed: ‘I am in love with love and let love love through me.’ Freedom!”
“During my life, I have enjoyed many wondrous experiences of doing part of God's work: witnessing the wonder of children as they learned to read, empowering adult Catholics to become certified to teach religion, trying to create communities of love wherever I was. It has been a joy to find love in my life as I also companioned other persons as they discovered God's love in their lives. Gratitude fills me!”
Sister Helen Skormisley, CSJ
Sister Helen Skormisley entered the Congregation of St. Joseph from St. Peter the Fisherman Parish, Fairmont, WV, on September 8, 1966. She professed her vows on November 3, 1969. She received a Diploma in Nursing from St. Mary’s School of Nursing; a BSN from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA; an MSN with Certification as an Adult Nurse Practitioner from the University of Pittsburgh; an MSW in Social Work from West Virginia University; Certifications in Spiritual Direction and Dream Leadership Training from the Haden Institute in Hendersonville, NC, and Certification as a Trauma Therapist from the Intensive Trauma Training Institute in Morgantown, WV.
Sister Helen ministered at St. Mary’s Hospital and United Hospital Center in Clarksburg, WV; West Virginia Northern Community College and Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Wheeling, WV; Mountaintop Home Health Agency in Thomas, WV; and Monongalia County Home Health and Hospice in Morgantown, WV, where she was the Executive Director. From 2001 to 2006 she was a Clinical Addiction Therapist at Chestnut Ridge Psychiatric Hospital in Morgantown, WV. Presently, she facilitates Dreamwork Groups, provides spiritual direction and counseling to clients as well as Bereavement Group Support and Board consultation to the WV Family Grief Center in Morgantown, WV. Since 2002, she has been the Co-Executive Director of the Sisters of St. Joseph Health and Wellness Foundation (SSJHWF) which provides grant funds to WV School-Based Health Clinics, particularly Mental Health as well as Child Abuse Prevention and Family Strengthening Programs. On behalf of the SSJHWF, Sister Helen was a recipient of the Bishop’s Cross in 2012 in recognition of the Foundation’s commitment to sponsoring School-Based Health Services in Diocesan Catholic Schools.
As Sister Helen reflects on her 50 years as a Sister of St. Joseph she shares these thoughts: “Our CSJ spirituality is the heart of my life which has inspired me these last 50 years. I have particularly been led by Maxim 73 which is one of our many spiritual guides for living the inner life: Live out your life with one desire only: To be always what God wants you to be, in nature, grace, and glory, for time and eternity. No matter what the season of my life, Maxim 73 has always been a beacon guiding me to become who I am called to be while waiting for what the future will hold and what life and others will ask of me.”