2016 Jubilarians: Sisters of Charity
The staff of The Catholic Telegraph wishes to express our gratitude to the following Sisters of Charity celebrating jubilees in 2016 for their steadfast faith and dedicated service to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Sister Rita Schmutte
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Sister Rita Schmutte began her educational ministry teaching at various schools in Ohio, Colorado, and Michigan. In Cincinnati, she taught at St. Anthony and Seton High School. After teaching and serving as principal and assistant principal in schools for 29 years – including four years as principal at Holy Angels in Sidney – Sister Rita began 17 years at the College of Mount St. Joseph as the college registrar (1972-1989). Sister Rita retired in 1989, but she continues to volunteer in various capacities.
Sister Anna Maria Ahl
Sister Anna Maria Ahl’s years in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati included serving as a general office worker at Good Samaritan Hospital and teaching elementary and junior high students at St. Lawrence while studying education at the College of Mount St. Joseph. After teaching in Colorado for a few years, she returned to teach at Seton High School, then came to the Sisters of Charity motherhouse to pursue her true passion of creative art of poetry, which continues in her retirement. She is currently living in Colorado Springs, where she served for 23 years before her retirement.
Sister Margaret Marie Anthony
Sister Margaret Marie Anthony (formerly Sister Francis Agnes) was an elementary educator for almost 50 years in schools throughout Ohio, Colorado and Georgia. She taught at several schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, including St. Albert the Great in Dayton, and St. Rose, St. Martin de Porres, Holy Family, and St. Mark, all in Cincinnati. She retired to the Sisters of Charity motherhouse in 2002 and has continued to volunteer in various ways, including managing the Tape Library where CDs, videos, and taped talks are organized and copied for the sisters to enjoy.
Sister Ruth Bockenstette
A Cincinnati native, Sister Ruth Bockenstette’s varied teaching ministry took her to many schools throughout Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, and Kentucky. She taught at the following Archdiocesan schools: St. William, St. Jude, Holy Family, St. Francis Seraph and St. Pius in Cincinnati; Carroll High School in Dayton; St. John the Baptist in Harrison; and St. Raphael in Springfield. Sister Ruth retired in 1995 and has continued to volunteer around the city at the Vine Street Neighborhood Service Center and at the St. Leo Pantry, as well as cultivating a raised-bed garden at the motherhouse.
Sister Rose Cheng
Sister Rose Cheng made her first vows in Wuchang, China, in 1946, and arrived in Cincinnati in 1948 to minister in food service at the Sisters of Charity motherhouse and Mother Margaret Hall (1948-1960). She served as a nurse aide at the motherhouse and Mother Margaret Hall interspersed between years of foreign mission work in Peru, Vietnam and China. Sister Rose returned to the motherhouse and assisted in the rehabilitation department at MMH from 1979 until 1986, and then as a nurse from 1986 until 1993. Since 1994 she has been retired; she is currently living in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility and serving the Ministry of Prayer.
Sister Helen Cranley
Sister Helen Cranley (formerly Sister Helen Thomas), a native of Cincinnati, ministered for 30 years in the archdiocese. Sister Helen served as a registered nurse at Cincinnati’s Good Samaritan Hospital, was a hospital teacher at the Cincinnati College of Nursing, served as director of health services at the SC motherhouse, and worked for Catholic Social Services in Cincinnati as director for divorced Catholics. From 1994 until her retirement in 2000, Sister Helen was a home-care nurse to clients in southwestern Ohio with Carewise Health in Cincinnati. Currently Sister Helen is living in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility and serves the Ministry of Prayer.
Sister Rosemary Clare Eagan
Sister Rosemary Clare Eagan, a native of Norwood, taught for seven years at St. Bernadette in Amelia before changing her ministry to social work. From 1971-1972 and from 1974-1985 she ministered at Santa Maria Community Services as a social worker. From 1986 until retirement in January 2000, she provided social services at Mother Margaret Hall, the Sisters of Charity nursing facility. Currently Sister Rosemary Clare is living at Mother Margaret Hall and serving the Ministry of Prayer.
Sister Joan Groff
Sister Joan Groff, a native of Cincinnati, ended her ministry years as a counselor at the Professional Pastoral Counseling Institute in Cincinnati (1994-2007) but began her ministry in education. In the archdiocese, she taught at St. Teresa in Springfield and St. Patrick and St. Dominic schools in Cincinnati. She served as principal of Resurrection School in Price Hill (1967-1972) before becoming provincial superior of her congregation for the next four years. Sister Joan was a member of the staff of the Life Development Office of the congregation when new educational opportunities led her to become a pastoral counselor and she joined the staff of the Archdiocesan Consultation Service in 1980, where she eventually served as director from 1987 until 1994. Sister Joan is currently living in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility and serving the Ministry of Prayer.
Sister Ruth Hunt
Sister Ruth Hunt’s (the former Sister William Marie) ministry in education spanned 27 years in schools throughout Michigan, Ohio and Maryland, including the archdiocesan schools of Holy Family in Cincinnati, and St. Brigid in Xenia. In 1979, Sister Ruth participated in a year-long sabbatical program called An Active Spirituality for a Global Community at Mount St. Joseph, Ohio, and then served as the secretary of the global community program at the Mount from 1983 until it closed in 1988. Sister Ruth was an administrative assistant for The Women’s Connection in Price Hill from 1997 until 2005 before retiring. Currently she lives in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility and serves the Ministry of Prayer.
Sister Rebecca Hurr
Sister Rebecca Hurr, a native of Middletown, served for 25 years in the Cincinnati archdiocese. She was the director of campus ministry at Catholic Central High School in Springfield (1993-2001), a program she developed. Other schools Sister Rebecca taught at in the archdiocese include Annunciation and St. Rose in Cincinnati; Holy Angels in Sidney; Elizabeth Seton in Milford; St. Albert the Great in Dayton; Holy Trinity in Middletown; St. Brigid in Xenia; and St. Joseph, St. Raphael and St. Bernard in Springfield. Sister Rebecca is currently retired and living in Centerville, Ohio, where she continues to volunteer her services as needed.
Sister Irene Luther
Sister Irene Luther spent most of her years in ministry in Ohio; 23 years as an intermediate and junior high teacher and more than 30 as a high school librarian. Sister Irene served in the archdiocese at St. William and St. Matthew in Cincinnati; St. Gabriel in Glendale; and St. Joseph in Springfield. She is currently retired and living in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility where she continues to volunteer in educational services.
Sister Loretta Saupe
Sister Loretta Saupe is a native of Cincinnati and served the archdiocese for 30 years, 24 of them in Springfield where she taught at Catholic Central and St. Bernard schools. She then served as principal of St. Bernard (1978-1989) until shifting to a new ministry as a senior aide at the St. John Center in Springfield. From 1991, and for the next 10 years, Sister Loretta served as a clerk in the post office and receptionist in the executive offices of the Sisters of Charity at Mount St. Joseph. Currently Sister Loretta is living in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility and is volunteering her services as needed.
Sister Marion Agnes Boeddeker
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Sister Marion Agnes Boeddeker ministered for 20 years as the Group Mother at St. Joseph Orphanage (1953-1973) in Cincinnati where she also served in the child care department as a social worker. From 1974 until 1992, she transitioned to finance and served in the accounting and business office at St. Joseph Infant and Maternity Home; during her last two years there she served as chief financial officer. Sister Marion Agnes also ministered at the Mount St. Joseph motherhouse in the Finance Office for two decades responsible for the managing of the sisters’ cars and automobile insurance. Currently Sister Marion Agnes volunteers her services at Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility where she also resides.
Sister Kathryn Ann Connelly
Born and raised in Cincinnati Sister Kathryn Ann Connelly ministered in education in the Dioceses of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Cleveland, Ohio, and Cincinnati, Ohio, for 18 years, including Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering, Ohio. In addition to teaching, she served as the assistant principal and then principal at Archbishop Alter High School, and then principal at Seton High School in Cincinnati from 1976 until 1983. In June 2002, after 18 years, Sister Kathryn Ann retired as the superintendent of schools and director of educational services of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Since her retirement, she has volunteered in various capacities, assisting with the organization of Price Hill Will, and serving on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations assisting those living in the poorest neighborhoods in Cincinnati.
Sister Lucien Marie Davis
Sister Lucien Marie Davis, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, began her 50 years in education as a primary teacher at St. Sebastian in Chicago, Ill. For the next 11 years she ministered as a junior high or intermediate teacher in schools in Ohio and Michigan, including St. Mary, Cincinnati (1960-1966). From 1995 until 2013 Sister Lucien Marie volunteered as a tutor at Resurrection School in Price Hill, Cincinnati. She is currently retired and assists the school as needed.
Sister Helen Fox
Sister Helen Fox entered the Sisters of Charity Community in 1951, but due to illness she returned home to Cleveland where she entered the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland in September 1954. In August 1980, Sister Helen returned to the Cincinnati community. She served the education ministry in the following archdiocesan schools: Gressle School in Norwood and St. John the Baptist School in Harrison. Currently Sister Helen is living at the Mount St. Joseph motherhouse and volunteering her services where needed.
Sister Helen Julia Hahn
Sister Helen Julia Hahn, a native of Cincinnati, spent 36 years educating children, 28 of those years as a teacher and eight as an elementary school principal. Her educational ministry in the archdiocese began at Holy Family in 1960. Sister Helen Julia spent the next seven years teaching junior high and intermediate grades at the school and then at Annunciation, St. Dominic and St. Lawrence. Since 1978, Sister Helen Julia has ministered entirely at St. Lawrence in Price Hill, Cincinnati. At the school she served as teacher and then principal for eight years before transitioning into pastoral associate in 1990, a position she continues today.
Sister Kathleen Houck
Sister Kathleen Houck began her 18-year ministry in education at Corpus Christi Elementary School in Dayton in 1954, and then St. Saviour School in Rossmoyne. Sister Kathleen transitioned from education to parish work in 1972, serving as religious education coordinator in parishes in Ohio and Michigan before completing her years in fulltime ministry as a pastoral minister at parishes in Cleveland, Ohio, and Fairdale, Ky. Sister Kathleen retired from active ministry in 2006. She currently resides in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility and volunteers where her services are needed.
Sister Jeanne Roach
Sister Jeanne Roach began her ministry in the health-care field as a student nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton. Later, Sister Jeanne ministered as the nursing supervisor, director of nursing or assistant administrator at hospitals in Colorado, Michigan and Ohio, including assistant administrator at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati (1978-1982). In 1990, Sister Jeanne became administrator of Mother Margaret Hall, the Sisters of Charity nursing facility. Five years later, she was named chief executive officer of Bayley in Cincinnati until 2005. Currently, Sister Jeanne is retired and serving on several health-care related boards in Cincinnati. She also volunteers at Mother Margaret Hall.
Sister Rita Maureen Schmidt
A native of Springfield, Ohio, Sister Rita Maureen Schmidt taught at the intermediate and junior high levels at St. William and St. Saviour, both in Cincinnati, and St. Albert the Great, Dayton. She also served as elementary school principal at St. Joseph in Springfield (1970-1973) and St. Bernard in Springfield (1989-1993). In 1993, Sister Rita Maureen transferred into a new ministry as a pastoral associate at Holy Angels in Sidney, a role she continued in until her retirement in 2003. Currently, Sister Rita Maureen is living in Sidney. She spends her days involved in pastoral work.
Sister Janet Wehmhoff
Born in Cincinnati, Sister Janet Marie Wehmhoff began her ministry in education as a primary teacher at St. Francis Xavier School in Pueblo, Colo., in 1956. She went on to teach in the field of primary education at schools in Colorado for the next 50 years, including 39 years at Loyola Catholic Grade School in Denver, Colorado. Currently Sister Janet is retired and living in Denver. She volunteers her services as needed.
Sister Jeannette Cochran
Born and raised in Marion, Ohio, Sister Jeannette Cochran spent most of her ministry years in nursing and as a family nurse practitioner in the Albuquerque area. After retiring in 2003, she volunteered with pre-school and kindergarten children at Nativity Parish in Almeda, NM, before moving to the Sisters of Charity motherhouse in Cincinnati, where she continues to volunteer in health care and Mother Margaret Hall services.
Sister Barbara Counts
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Sister Barbara Counts began her ministry years in education, serving as teacher and then assistant principal at Seton High School. Many of her years in ministry were spent in the Colorado Springs diocese, opening her arms and heart to a diversity of ministries, including 10 years (1990-2000) as executive director of S.E.T. in Colorado Springs, which she founded to provide basic medical and holistic health programs to uninsured and low-income individuals without discrimination. Currently retired and living in Colorado Springs, Sister Barbara continues to provide spiritual direction and counseling.
Sister Dorothy William Englert
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Dorothy William Englert devoted many years of ministry to teaching high school students at schools in Ohio and Michigan, including Archbishop Alter High School in Dayton and Catholic Central High School in Sidney. As teacher and assistant principal at Lehman Catholic High School in Sidney (1970-1977), she started all the girls’ athletics teams with the help of Sister Ginny Scherer. Sister Dorothy William served as co-principal at Marion Catholic High School, and then at St. Brigid in Xenia as principal before having the opportunity to minister as librarian at All Saints School in Cincinnati (1995-2007). She is currently retired and living at the Sisters of Charity motherhouse. She volunteers as a tutor at Corryville Catholic and Holy Family schools, while also doing the bookkeeping for Holy Name Parish.
Sister Rita Hawk
Sister Rita Hawk’s (formerly Sister Maria Julia) educational ministry took her to a variety of places and positions, including creating and developing religious education programs and ministering as a pastoral associate. In Cincinnati she became her congregation’s first director of Associate programs (1992-1997) and pastoral associate at St. Joseph, North Bend (2004-2008). Sister Rita retired in 2008, and she began facilitating online theology and scripture courses through the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) from the University of Dayton. She has also spent several summers working as a docent at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md. She currently resides at the Sisters of Charity motherhouse.
Sister Patricia Hill
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sister Pat taught first grade from 1960 to 1978, her educational ministry taking her to five schools in Ohio and Michigan, including the archdiocese schools of St. Bernadette in Amelia and St. Brigid in Xenia. She also served 10 years as pastoral minister at St. Brigid Parish (1978-1988), before becoming a pastoral minister to the congregation of St. Clement in Cincinnati. Although retired, Sister Pat continues to volunteer with the parish weekly.
Sister Nancy Hoffman
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Sister Nancy Hoffman began an educational ministry that took her to several schools in Ohio, Michigan, and Colorado for 13 years. In 1973, she spent three years as a chapter coordinator of the Sisters of Charity Congregational Office in Cincinnati, then changed again in 1976 as she spent three years as provincial superior of the Cincinnati Province. Following her service there in 1979, Sister Nancy became process consultant, then director of Active Spirituality, a renewal program of women religious based at Mount St. Joseph. She stayed with Active Spirituality from 1979 to 1988 before going to Denver, where she has remained in various ministries, including an 11-year ministry at Centura Health as the first executive vice president of mission and ministry (1996-2007). Sister Nancy is currently serving part-time as a spiritual counselor in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas.
Sister Esther Marie Humbert
Born and raised in Norwood, Sister Esther Marie began an educational ministry that took her to schools in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and New Mexico, including St. Mary in Marion and St. Albert the Great in Dayton. She changed ministries in 1972 to begin a retreat ministry that took her to several locations, including Holy Cross Center, where she served as retreat minister (1975-1977), and Friarhurst Retreat Center where she served as director of retreats (1977-1981), both in Cincinnati. She also was in charge of the Sisters of Charity summer retreat program for over 25 years and served as director at their retreat center from 1981 to 1985, and again from 1990 to 2003, after its name was changed to the Spirituality Center. She is now retired and volunteering in pastoral care at Mother Margaret Hall.
Sister Patricia McQuinn
A native of Middletown, Ohio, Sister Patricia McQuinn began an educational ministry that took her to schools in Ohio and Michigan, including St. Mary in Cincinnati and St. Dominic in Cincinnati (1986-1997). She started helping in the Sisters of Charity archives during the summers while at St. Dominic, and eventually, the position transitioned into a full-time ministry, one she continues to serve in today.
Sister Sarah Mulligan
Born and raised in Middletown, Ohio, Sister Sarah Mulligan’s health-care ministry took her to several hospitals in Ohio, Michigan, and Colorado, including Good Samaritan hospitals in Dayton and Cincinnati as a registered nurse. In 1994, Sister Sarah was missioned to Mixco, Guatemala, to serve as administrative director of the new Clinica Comunitaria Daniel Comboni. Sister Sarah has now been serving at the clinic that provides health services and community programs to the large population of indigenous people living in poverty in the area for the last 22 years.
Sister Patrick Ann O’Connor
Aside from a two-year break to serve as assistant provincial for the Provincial Office in Cincinnati, Sister Patrick Ann O’Connor, a native of Marion, Ohio, taught at two different schools in Cincinnati: St. Dominic as primary teacher from 1959 to 1968, and elementary principal from 1982 to 2003, and St. Lawrence as elementary principal from 1968 until 1974, and elementary/junior high teacher from 1976 to 1982. She now serves in the Finance Office in the Sisters of Charity motherhouse in Cincinnati.
Sister Mary Dolores Schneider
A native of Detroit, , Sister Mary Dolores Schneider’s education ministry took her to schools in Dayton, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and South Holland, Ill. In 1983, she began teaching at Seton High School in Cincinnati and remained at the school for 33 years until her retirement this past June. One of her noted accomplishments at Seton was starting a program where students taught Latin to students in elementary schools all over the West Side. She also served as director of student activities. Retired, she is living at the motherhouse and serves on the Mount St. Joseph University board and mission committee, and on the Bayley mission effectiveness committee.
Sister Barbara Hagedorn
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Sister Barbara Hagedorn taught at Catholic Central in Cincinnati (1970-1975) and Carroll High School in Dayton (1975-1981). She returned to the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse to serve as Formation director from 1981 to 1988. Sister Barb was elected as a congregational councilor in 1995, and was in charge of the major renovation of the Immaculate Conception Chapel in the motherhouse that was completed in 2000. In 2003, she was elected to two terms as president of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati (2003-2011). She now coordinates client services and front desk volunteers at Good Samaritan Free Health Center in Price Hill and is on the boards for the Good Samaritan Foundation and Catholic Health Initiatives.
Sister Mary Alice Haithcoat
Sister Mary Alice Haithcoat was born and raised in Cincinnati. Her educational ministry has led her to serve exclusively in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. She served as an elementary teacher at Holy Angels, Sidney (1971-1979) and at St. Mary, Greenville (1979-1984). She also was principal at St. Mary from 1984 until 1993. Sister Mary Alice is currently teaching second grade at Piqua Catholic, where she has been serving in teaching and administrative roles since 1993.
Sister Georgia Kitt
A native of Iowa, Sister Georgia Kitt’s educational ministry took her to schools in Ohio and Massachusetts. In the archdiocese,she served as counselor at both Bishop Flaget in Chillicothe and Catholic Central in Springfield. Sister Georgia transitioned to an administrative role at Catholic Central, serving as assistant principal and then as principal. In 2003, she was elected to leadership for her community; she served two four-year terms as councilor. Since 2012, Sister Georgia has served as the director of communications for the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
Sister Patricia Wittberg
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Sister Patricia Wittberg began a teaching ministry at St. Joseph Commercial High School in Dayton, staying there from 1970 until 1982. After receiving a master’s and Ph.D. in sociology, she taught at various universities for 32 years. In addition, she began a research ministry, conducting research at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, around the topic of the changes that have taken place in religious life. She now resides in Cincinnati and is a research associate for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). She is also the author of several books related to the subject.