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Jubilee 2020!

Posted August 17, 2021 in Articles

Thirteen Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland celebrated their Diamond Jubilee in 2020. They are:

Sister M. Anne Cecile (75 years); Sisters Ruth Marie, Margaret O’Brien, Marie Michelle, Helen Marie (70 years); Sisters Rose Mary Hoge, Karen Bohan, Donna Kristoff, Miriam Fidelis, Martha Owen, Colette Livingston, Carmen Hocevar, and Rose Elizabeth (60 years).


Diamond – 75 years

Sister M. Anne Cecile

Sister M. Anne Cecile (Muldoon) poured out her talents and found her joy in a lifetime devoted to education. She entered the Ursuline Sisters from her home parish of St. Patrick on Bridge Avenue. She served as teacher at the following parish schools: St. Jerome, St. Timothy, and St. Catherine, in Cleveland; St. Francis de Sales in Parma; St. Mary in Mentor; St. Charles in Parma; and St. Mary Magdalene in Willowick. At St. Therese School in Garfield Heights, she ministered as teacher and principal, and was principal at St. Paul in Euclid (now St John of the Cross) for six years. After her ministry in parish schools, she served pre-school children at Up with Kids’ Daycare. Currently, she assists the Ursuline Development office with a variety of tasks, including writing birthday postcards to donors and their spouses and making check-in and gratitude calls.

Reflecting on her life as an Ursuline, she is grateful. “I thank God every day for the graces  given me these past 75 years as an Ursuline Sister, most especially for allowing me to teach and to share with children and adults alike the message of Jesus’ love for all. It has been a privilege and a great gift. I thank God, as well, for my family and for the sisters with whom I have lived and shared this life and the example they have been to me these many years. All has been a blessing.”


Diamond – 70 years

Sister Ruth Marie

Sister Ruth Marie (Behrend) entered the Ursulines from Holy Cross Parish (now Our Lady of the Lake) in Euclid. Her commitment and talent as an educator took her to ministry in a number of elementary schools, including: St. William in Euclid—twice (now Sts. Robert and William); St. Clare, Lyndhurst; St Joseph Collinwood, as teacher and principal; St. Ann, Cleveland Heights (now Communion of Saints); St. Mary, Mentor; St. John Bosco as teacher and principal. Her talent with numbers led to her position as treasurer at Villa Angela Academy, and later at VASJ, then to serving as Assistant Treasurer for the Ursuline Congregation for ten years. She also ministered as assistant local house coordinator to the community of sisters living at Merici Hall, the former Ursuline motherhouse. From there she retired, and now resides at Regina Health Center. Looking back, she reflects on all those she has met: “I have been very fortunate to work with wonderful people, both religious and lay.”

Sister Margaret O’Brien

Sister Margaret O’Brien (formerly in religion Sister Ann Matthew) entered the Ursulines from St. Therese Parish in Garfield Heights. She has devoted nearly her entire religious life and ministry as an Ursuline Sister to elementary education, covering nearly its entire scope from second to eighth grade, as well as teacher and later as principal. Sister ministered at: Holy Cross, St. Paul and St.  Robert Bellarmine in Euclid; St. Ann in Cleveland Heights; Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Peace—where she was principal as well as 7th and 8th grade teacher—in Cleveland; principal and teacher in her home parish of St. Therese; assistant principal and math teacher at St. Bernadette, Westlake, where she later became a pastoral minister; and principal at St. Mary in Mentor and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Cleveland. The Diocese of Cleveland recognized her skills as a teacher and thus had her mentor other teachers at six Catholic elementary schools. In all, Sister Margaret has ministered as teacher and mentor for 32 years and as principal for 28 years…and that’s not all! She has ministered in Religious Education, and after “retiring” serves in pastoral ministry to nursing home residents, and as tutor to students who need extra assistance.

Sister Marie Michelle

Sister Marie Michelle (Gouttiere) entered the Ursulines from St. Joseph Parish in Maumee, Ohio. Her ministry in education began with teaching sixth and seventh grade at St. Mary Magdalene School in Willowick. Most of her educational ministry included serving for a total of 39 years teaching French, the Humanities, at Villa Angela Academy, Beaumont High School, along with Education Courses at Ursuline College, where she also served as registrar. From 1989 to 1994 she ministered as office manager for Edward Luttner Associates, a career management firm. She then was director for six years of the Ursuline Institute of Learning. In 2012, Sister volunteered part-time for Hospice of the Western Reserve. Until recently, she also volunteered in the Ursuline Sisters Development Office. Other positions she held over years were local superior, assistant principal, and member of a number of administrative teams. As she reflects over her years as an Ursuline, she states, “I am most grateful to God for the years I taught high school girls. The girls were challenging but positive, looking happily into their future, and intent on following their faith in God as well as their ambition to serve others.”

Sister Helen Marie

Sister Helen Marie (Davidson) entered the Ursulines from Holy Cross in Euclid. Almost her entire 65 year ministry was spent in elementary education, as a primary grade teacher and lat er as a reading specialist. She served at parish schools throughout Cleveland and its eastern suburbs, including St. Mary Collinwood and St. Jerome; St. Robert Bellarmine and St. William, Euclid; St. Clare, Lyndhurst; St. Ann, Cleveland Heights (now Communion of Saints); St. Mary Magdalene, Willowick, and St. Mary in Mentor. She is currently retired and residing at Light of Hearts Villa. For her, “My daily contact with little children who were so eager to learn was a joy. I cannot describe how good I felt each time a child learned to read fluently and with good comprehension. We did a lot of smiling in my classrooms because we all learned together. I thank God for the many years I could spend with children. They were God’s gift to me.”


Diamond 60 years

Sister Rose Mary Hoge

Sister Rose Mary Hoge (formerly in religion Sister Mary John Joseph) has served in a variety of educational ministries. She entered the Ursulines from Immaculate Conception Parish in Willoughby. Most of her teaching career was at Ursuline high schools: Sacred Heart Academy, Villa Angela Academy, and Beaumont High School. She also served in the elementary schools of St. Mary Magdalene, Willowick; St. Joseph, Collinwood; and at the St. Martin De Porres Center in Cleveland. For the last 28 years she has ministered as a librarian. The highlight of her religious life has been “the example, kindness, affirmation, and encouragement of senior sisters.”

Sister Karen Bohan

Sister Karen Bohan (formerly in religion Sister Francis Mary) has devoted most of her religious life to God’s “little ones” in the primary grades at various parish schools. She entered the Ursuline Sisters from St. Jerome Parish in Cleveland, and spent much of her teaching career with primary grade students at elementary schools including: St. Paul (twice), Holy Cross and St. William Schools in Euclid; and St. Mary in Mentor. She also worked with middle school students at St. Richard in North Olmsted and St. Bernadette in Westlake. Her ministries have included serving as assistant principal at St. William, and at St. John Bosco School in Parma Heights. She has been building principal at Urban Community and at Metro Catholic schools in Cleveland. Sister also taught in the Parish School of Religion (PSR) at most of these sites. Sister Karen’s vast experience enabled her to share her wisdom with education students at Ursuline College. Sister currently ministers at Metro Catholic and at House of Champions in Cleveland. Looking over her life as an Ursuline, she reflects, “I am most grateful for all the opportunities I have had in my teaching ministries, learning from our sisters the importance of respecting the children and letting them know how special they are. Sister Annunciata, my second and third grade teacher, was my role model.”

Sister Donna Kristoff

Sister Donna Kristoff (formerly in religion Sister Mary of the Angels) has enriched many with her artistic talent, her devotion to prayer, and her desire for service. Sister entered the Ursulines from St. William Parish in Euclid. Her ministry in education included teaching art at Our Lady of Peace School in Cleveland, Beaumont High School, Villa Angela Academy, and Ursuline College. In addition to art education, she worked for 11 years as graphic designer for the Cleveland Catholic Foundation. She also offered arts and crafts classes at Lexington Bell Community Center in Cleveland for 20 years. Her ministry has included 30 years as Coordinator of the Cleveland Chapter of the International Merton Society. Currently she serves as sacristan for Merici Crossings and free-lance designer upon request. When reflecting on her Ursuline vocation, Sister Donna is not only grateful for the past, she also looks to the future, and to “carrying forward the heritage of the charism of St. Angela into the 21stcentury with the companionship of others called to this mission.”

Sister Miriam Fidelis

Sister Miriam Fidelis (Pinchot) has followed the call to serve God’s people wherever it led her. Sister entered the Ursuline community from St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Euclid. She taught 3rdto 5thgraders in a number of parish schools, including: St. Charles in Parma, Immaculate Conception in Willoughby, St. Mary Magdalene in Willowick; Holy Cross in Euclid, St. Timothy in Garfield Heights, St. Joseph in Avon Lake, and St. Ann in Cleveland Heights. Her ministries beyond the classroom included serving at the St. Martin De Porres Center and the West Side Catholic Center. Her parish service included an internship in pastoral ministry at Immaculate Conception in Cleveland. Sister worked in pastoral ministry at St. Angela Merici in Fairview Park and St. Michael the Archangel in Cleveland. She also ministered to people with disabilities at St. Augustine on West 14thin Cleveland and at Catholic Charities. Her willingness to serve took her for more than nine years to Holy Family Parish in Brownsville, Texas and over the border in Mexico at Colonia y Ciudad de los Niños Orphanage. Her experiences in Texas and Mexico were life changing for her. Sister Miriam Fidelis states, “Being sent on Mission to TX/MX was a highlight, an opportunity for rebirth through service with the Mexican and Mexican-American people, learning their language, culture, and expressions of Faith. In Mexico I met the beautiful children in the Colonia…on the outskirts of Matamoros. Also in Mexico, I served at the Orphanage…teaching English, Religion, and Music, and at times serving as counselor….I have been most grateful for this opportunity and for each mission over the years. Angela’s words are true: ‘You have greater need of serving others than others have being served.’”

Sister Martha Owen

Sister Martha Owen (formerly in religion Sister Cornelia and later Sister Daniel Mary) entered the Ursulines from St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Willowick. Her ministry in education took her to a number of parish elementary schools, including her home parish of St. Mary Magdalene; Christ the King School in East Cleveland; as administrator to Villa Angela Academy and later Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School in Cleveland; Beaumont High School, Cleveland Heights; and twice to Urban Community School, both as teacher and also as Curriculum/Technology/Accreditation Specialist. She is currently residing at Merici Crossings when not tutoring students in Spanish at Beaumont. In addition, she served on the Cleveland Latin American Mission Team in El Salvador during the troubled years from 1974 to 1979. These were the most significant times for Sister Martha: “The highlight of my years as an Ursuline has to be the incredible opportunity I had to serve in El Salvador with my mission partner Sister Dorothy Kazel and work with the holy and courageous Saint Oscar Romero.”

Sister Colette Livingston

Sister Colette Livingston (formerly in religion Sister M. Nativa) joined the Ursulines from St. Philomena Parish. Her experience in ministry has spanned from kindergarten to college and more. She taught in various parish schools, including: Christ the King in East Cleveland; St. Catherine and St. Joseph Collinwood, Cleveland; St. Francis de Sales in Parma;  St. Clare in Lyndhurst. She served at Ursuline College in two roles: as the Besse Library Secretary and as Assistant Registrar. She moved from education to service to the congregation as Ursuline Sisters’ archivist. Since leaving that position, she has found ways to assist her sisters by volunteering as driver, in the Art Space ministry, and at Esperanza Threads. All of her experiences and relationships have been gifts to her: “I am most grateful for the people—students, parents and coworkers—who have inspired me and become my friends via my various ministries. I love hearing from students now as adults.”

Sister Carmen Hocevar

Sister Carmen Hocevar (formerly in religion Sister M. Rosaria) entered the Ursuline Congregation from Christ the King Parish. Her life as a dedicated teacher has included ministering in such parishes as St. Charles and St. Francis de Sales in Parma; Immaculate Conception, Willoughby; St. Jerome, St. Mary Collinwood, and Metro Catholic Schools in Cleveland; St. Paul and Holy Cross Schools in Euclid. Her service to the Church also included 12 years as pastoral minister at Holy Redeemer Parish in Cleveland. Sister Carmen currently serves at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Cleveland. Looking over the years, she states, “For 60 years I have been so blessed to be called to live out my Baptism as an Ursuline.  I am deeply thankful to our faithful God for the graces to serve Him and the people of God. My life has been more than enriched through the many students and people to whom I have ministered. Perhaps I can sum it up best: What a wonderful life!”

Sister Rose Elizabeth

Sister Rose Elizabeth (Terrell) joined the Ursulines from St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Euclid. Much of her religious life was devoted to education in various roles and places, including: teaching at St. Clare in Lyndhurst, St. Paul in Euclid, and Urban Community School in Cleveland. She also was the director of Urban Community School for eight years. She served as Associate Development Director for the Diocese of Cleveland for two years, and as the Ursuline Congregation’s Development Director for 14 years. Included in her years of service were 11 years as a mission team member of the Cleveland Latin American Mission in El Salvador. Her current ministry is as Community Partnership Coordinator at Urban Community School. Her ministry has given her a heart full of gratitude. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve at Urban Community School and El Salvador. The people of El Salvador are resilient, faith filled and very welcoming. I loved meeting them and working with them. They are amazing people!”