Sister Spotlight

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Scully_SS Sister Rita Michael Scully SSJ is on a mission to aid Philadelphia’s homeless. Her mission doesn’t require a building, a vision statement, a strategic staff…just a sturdy pair of shoes, a bus pass and a canvas bag. Two Saturdays each month she travels the streets of Center City Philadelphia, delivering socks to the homeless.

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lawrence-elizabeth-sandoli-ss Sister Lawrence Elizabeth Sandoli SSJ has served in the ministry of education for over 55 years. Twenty of those years were spent as principal of Stella Maris Catholic School in South Philadelphia, which closed in 2010. At the same time, a need for ESL (English as a Second Language) at that location became apparent. With her usual enthusiasm and energy, Sister Lawrence was very much interested in this possibility and ready for the challenge.

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barbara-nolan-ss

Sister Barbara Nolan SSJ always knew she wanted to be a teacher. In 1956 she entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. After teaching elementary school for several years and serving as Principal at Saint Columba School in Philadelphia, Sister Barbara was assigned to Chestnut Hill College as teacher and chair of the Political Science Department. After teaching for 59 years, Sister Barbara retired from Chestnut Hill College in May of 2016. She knew it was time to move on to something new. She wanted to stay in education in some way, work with young children and in a school that was connected to the Sisters of Saint Joseph historically. What happened next was a surprise and a joy!

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 dowd-valese-ss “We are team players,” says Sister Therese Dowd SSJ, as she reflects on the ministries of Sister Joyce Valese SSJ and herself. “What Joyce and I do is ordinary, behind-the-scenes out- reach. We are both kind of quiet in our approach to things. But, what we are doing at this point in our lives is wonderful!” After spending more than 50 years in the ministry of education, over 30 years of which were in the Lehigh Valley, both Sister Joyce and Sister Therese felt it was time to move on to some new endeavors. Sister Therese recalls, “We wanted to have a different kind of outreach to people. We thought, who are the people who really need companionship or a presence?”

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Kathleen_Coll1 Women Religious have been the vanguard of anti-human trafficking efforts for decades. Sister Kathleen Coll SSJ is a leader in the Catholic Church’s anti-trafficking movement. She is a Steering Committee Member with the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT). In 2015, Sister Kathleen represented the United States as she joined 40 leaders in the Church’s international network for the Talitha Kum Second International Coordination meeting in Rome. The member organizations of Talitha Kum are primarily engaged in the prevention and protection for victims, in cooperation with several governmental, non-governmental and church organizations.

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Jean-Fsustman-ss Fourteen thousand feet above sea level in the South Andes of Peru is the City of Yauri. Sister Jean Faustman SSJ, an Associate Professor of French at Chestnut Hill College, lived among the poor of Yauri between 2006-2009. She has returned each summer to the place and people she loves. While there, she spends her time at the children’s shelter and with families who are poor. She brings with her the mission and charism of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and monetary donations to buy food, clothing, wheelchairs, walkers, and cribs. The highlight of this year’s visit involved a boy named Luis.

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Lisa-Olivieri-ss The African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) provides the education and training to help Catholic women religious, both African and American, serve the greatest needs of the dear neighbor throughout Africa. ASEC was conceived in 1995 and inaugurated in 1999 by four Pennsylvania-based Catholic colleges and universities and their sponsoring congregations. The Sisters of Saint Joseph and Chestnut Hill College are among them. The project’s four-pronged approach includes Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA); Sisters Leadership Development Institute (SLDI); Bigwa School; and Service Learning. As part of the HESA Program, Sister Lisa Olivieri SSJ, an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Technology, has traveled to Africa seven times to teach Sisters there.

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