Sister Ruth Harbor, CSJ
Sister Ruth Agnes Harber entered religious life with the founding community of Tipton, Indiana, on September 1, 1942. She completed her high school education at St. Joseph Academy in Tipton and her nurse’s training at St. Joseph Hospital in Kokomo, Indiana.
Sister Ruth began her career in healthcare as a staff nurse at Mercy Hospital in Elwood, Indiana. She then moved to the northwest where she held several supervisory positions at her beloved St. Charles Hospital in Bend, Oregon, for a total of 26 years. Later she served as surgery nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne and as a Chaplain at Mercy Hospital.
After her retirement from nursing, Sister Ruth moved to Anderson, Indiana, and lived in the Isabel Harter House, a senior care facility. She was a long-time honored member of Alcoholic Anonymous and over many years, befriended and mentored countless numbers of AA participants. She also volunteered at St. John’s Anderson Center, helping others with drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Though Sister Ruth positively influenced the lives of untold numbers of persons through her various ministries, she remained humble giving all glory to God and faithfully following the call to serve.
Currently, Sister Ruth resides at our Nazareth center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she is active in prayer ministry.
Sister Jane Ann Comerford, CSJ
Sister Jane Ann Comerford entered religious life with the founding community of Tipton, Indiana, on September 7, 1947, from St. Charles Parish in Peru, Indiana. She started teaching elementary school at St. Peter in Winimac in 1950, then taught at various other area parishes including St. Joseph (Delphi), St. Paul (Marion), St. Joan of Arc (Kokomo), St. Paul (Marion), St. Bernard (Crawfordsville), and St. John (Tipton).
In 1969, Sister Jane Ann became the Program Director of the Newman Center at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She then became the Director of Religious Education for Our Lady of Grace Parish in Noblesville where she served for five years. In 1979, Sister Jane Ann joined the Administrative Council for the founding community of Tipton where she served for 4 years. In 1983, she transitioned to a new position – Counselor for the Methodist Episcopal Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.
Sister Jane Ann retired in 2008 and a few years later, moved to our center in Cleveland, Ohio, where she stayed active by volunteering at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, holding and cuddling premature newborn babies, a ministry she loved. She currently resides at Regina Health Center in Richfield, Ohio, where she stays active in prayer ministry.
Sister Rosie Coughlin, CSJ
(Sister Marie Josine)
Sister Rosemary (Rosie) Coughlin, a native of Kentland, Indiana, entered religious life with the founding community of Tipton on September 1, 1947. She attended high school at St. Joseph Academy in Tipton, and went on to attend Loretto Heights College in Denver, Colorado, where she earned a B.A. degree in Elementary Education. She later earned an M.A. degree in Elementary Education from St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and an M.S.W. degree in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago.
Sister Rosie began her teaching career in 1950 and taught at several diocesan schools in Indiana including Our Lady of Grace (Noblesville), St. Paul (Marion), St. Matthew (South Bend), and St. Bernard (Wabash). She also served as principal of Our Lady of Grace in 1969.
In 1970, Sister Rosie transitioned to social work and served as a Child Welfare Worker at Catholic Charities in Kokomo, Indiana, from 1970-1974. She then accepted a social work position with the Jasper-Newton Mental Health Center in Rensselaer, Indiana, where she served until 1983. In, 1984, Sister Rosie came home to serve as Conference Center Coordinator at the St. Joseph Motherhouse in Tipton, a position she held for two years. She then transitioned to chaplaincy work and served in this capacity at St. Vincent Hospice in Indianapolis, Hospice of Miami County in Troy, OH and St. Vincent Mercy Hospital in Elwood, IN.
Sister Rosie was elected to the leadership team of the Tipton Sisters of St. Joseph and served from 1994 to 1998. She then served at St. Vincent Mercy Hospital in Elwood, Indiana as a full-time chaplain from 1998 to 2008 when she retired from active ministry.
Sister Rosie pursued a variety of volunteer positions until 2019 when she moved to the CSJ Center in Wheeling, West Virginia. She enjoys music and writing poetry, and remains active in prayer ministry and with the center’s outreach projects.
Sister Damien Fitzsimmons, CSJ
(Sister Mary Damien)
Sister Damien Fitzsimmons entered religious life with the founding community of Tipton, Indiana, on September 7, 1952. She completed her high school education at St. Paul School in Marion, Indiana, and her nurse’s training at Good Samaritan School of Nursing in Kokomo, Indiana. She later trained in radiologic technology at Good Samaritan Radiology School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and at Indiana University in Kokomo.
Sister Damien began her career in healthcare in 1955 as a staff nurse at Mercy Hospital in Elwood, Indiana. She served there for three years, and then transferred to St. Joseph Hospital in Kokomo. In 1961, Sister Damien was called to teaching and spent the next 3 years teaching elementary school at St. Matthew in South Bend and St. Mary in Frankfort, both in Indiana. In 1964, she returned to healthcare and served as a surgery nurse and an x-ray technician at St. Joseph Hospital where she remained until 1989. She then served as a receptionist at West Sycamore Chiropractic until 1995. Sister Damien also trained at Kokomo Clown School, and she shared her talents at Nursing Homes and other facilities where she ministered. Known as Crackers the Clown, she spread laughter and joy and helped brighten the days of the elderly and infirm.
In 1999, Sister Damien came home to the St. Joseph Motherhouse in Tipton where she served her community by managing the insurance needs of the sisters. She retired in 2012 and currently resides at our Nazareth center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she is active in prayer ministry.