Wheeling Jubilarians – 2020 – Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Wheeling Jubilarians – 2020

Sister Gabriella Wagner, CSJ

85 Years

Sister Gabriella Wagner entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wheeling in 1935. She earned a BSEd degree from Duquesne University and an MTS degree from Catholic University of America. She ministered in education throughout the diocese: Clarksburg, Fairmont, Grasselli, Huntington, Moundsville, Thomas, Weston, and Wheeling. Following her retirement as an educator, she served as Treasurer of the SSJ Retirement Foundation for more than two decades.

Sister Gabriella currently resides at Mount St. Joseph in Wheeling, where she will celebrate her 85th Jubilee on July 1, 2020.


Sister Mary Florence Burke, CSJ

75 Years

Sister Mary Florence Burke entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wheeling in 1945, having been taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph for twelve years. Throughout her years of consecrated life, she says the joy of living in the house of the Lord, participating in daily Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist, the rosary, prayers, and other devotions have been a blessing.

Sister Mary Florence is retired and currently resides at Mount St. Joseph in Wheeling where she stays active in prayer ministry.

“Life has been replete with its unforgettable joys and tragedy. I have played a role in the lives of children for nearly seventy years, and I treasure the memories, the pictures, and the daily tidbits (thanks to modern technology) that keep me in touch with their lives and those of their offspring. My teaching career has enabled me to appreciate the diversity of religious beliefs and international cultures. In celebration, I thank God for my gift of life and health, and for my ability at ninety-three to continue to serve my local CSJ community through prayer and action. My thoughts are centered: ‘Every sunrise is God’s message to me. Every sunset brings His message to a close. That message is God’s Word to me for that day. My response to that message is my response to God.’ “

Sister Anna Marie Cole, CSJ

70 Years

Sister Anna Marie Cole entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in 1950. She received a BS Degree in Education from Duquesne University and MA in Reading from West Virginia University. She served students and faculty in diocesan schools located in Beckley, Benwood, Bridgeport, Charleston, Clarksburg, Follansbee, Huntington, Moundsville, Wheeling, Williamson and Bristol, VA. She has also ministered in pastoral care at Wheeling Hospital and on the staff at Paul VI Pastoral Center in Wheeling. Sister coordinated the religious education program at St. Alphonsus Parish in Wheeling.

Sister Anna Marie currently resides at Mount St. Joseph in Wheeling and provides support services in her community there.

Sister Mary Alice McMaster, CSJ

70 Years

Sister Mary Alice McMaster entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wheeling on August 22, 1950. She has served the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston most of her religious life. She has been involved in child-care, health-care and parish ministries. She retired from St. Vincent Parish in 2010. After her retirement she continued to volunteer at the parish.

Sister Mary Alice currently resides at Mount St. Joseph in Wheeling. She continues to make hospital calls, send cards and stays connected with friends.

“My seventy years have been Spirit filled and I am grateful for all graces and blessings bestowed on me.  May God continue to lead me where he wants me to be.”

Sister Maria Porter, CSJ

70 Years

Sister Maria Porter entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wheeling in 1950. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Duquesne University and certificates in Remedial Reading and Early Childhood Education from West Virginia University. Sr. Maria served God’s little ones for many years in Wheeling, Bristol, VA, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Huntington and Moundsville. She also worked for Ohio County in their Remedial Reading Program. Sister Maria worked for many years as the receptionist at Mount St. Joseph. She was an avid promoter of the 30 annual Spaghetti Dinners and Craft sales.

Sister Maria currently resides at Mount St. Joseph in Wheeling, where she is a positive, prayerful presence to the staff and other sisters. She continues to enjoy visitors, especially the young and the young at heart. Four-legged visitors hold a special place in Sister Maria’s heart.

Sister Eva Marie Schlag, CSJ

70 Years

Sister Eva Marie Schlag (Mary Evelyn) entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wheeling in 1950. She received degrees of BSEd from Duquesne University and MSAdm from St. John University of Cleveland. She taught in parochial schools in Clarksburg, Fairmont, Weston, Huntington and Wheeling. She also served as principal in Clarksburg and Wheeling and provided clerical services at Central Catholic High School in Wheeling.

Sister Eva Marie is retired and currently resides at Mount St. Joseph in Wheeling where she stays active in prayer ministry.


Sister Barbara Kupchak, CSJ

60 Years

Sister Barbara Kupchak entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wheeling in 1960. She earned a Diploma in Nursing from Wheeling Hospital School of Nursing in 1966, after which she practiced nursing at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, WV, and St. Mary’s Hospital in Clarksburg, WV. In 1969, she earned a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Loyola University in Chicago, and in 1974, earned a Master’s degree in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

After graduation, she returned to Wheeling to work as a counselor/therapist for children at Catholic Charities. After 4 years, she was invited to teach at the newly established Nursing education program at Wheeling Jesuit College, a four year BSN program established by Sister Mary Byrne, CSJ. During this time she began her PhD in Nursing at the University of Texas in Austin, receiving her PhD in Psych/Mental Health Nursing with a focus on Geriatrics in 1987.

In 1985, while still a student in the PhD program, she was invited to teach at West Virginia University’s Master’s in Nursing program and helped create a Master’s program for Family Nurse Practitioner’s. While at WVU, she was given the opportunity to teach for a semester as visiting Professor of Nursing at Zhejhaing University, Hangzhou, China. In 1998, she was invited to present workshops and teach a course in Rural Health Nursing at the Royal College of Nursing, Melbourne, Australia. While a teacher at WVU, Sister Barbara was honored to be given the designation of a Distinguished Practitioner of Nursing and made a Fellow in the National Academies of Practice.

After 30 wonderful years at WVU, Sister Barbara retired from West Virginia University as a Professor Emeritus. She currently resides at Mount St. Joseph in Wheeling where she stays active in prayer ministry and volunteer work.

Sister Marguerite O’Brien, CSJ

60 Years

Sister Marguerite O’Brien entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wheeling in 1960. She earned a BS degree in Chemistry from Wheeling College, an MS degree in Pathology/Clinical Chemistry from The Ohio State University, and an MA in Liturgy from Notre Dame University. Her earliest ministry was as a science teacher in Huntington. She entered the health care field as a medical technologist and as director of medical technology programs at Fairmont State and Wheeling Colleges. She was a resident counselor for many years at Wheeling College as well as vocation director for the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1989 she embraced leadership responsibilities for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wheeling and, from 2007-2018 she was a member of the leadership team of the Congregation of St. Joseph. From 2017-2018 she served as the Interim CEO of the Congregation’s senior living company, CSJ Initiatives.

“It’s hard to capture in just a few words the blessings, the challenges, the opportunities that my life as a Sister of St. Joseph has afforded me.  As a child I would never have dreamed that I would be part of a dynamic community that touches the world in such significant Gospel ways.  Together we strive to give love and support to each other and to the neighbor who comes into our lives each day.”

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