Hearing God’s Call: Sister Germaine Staron

Being a nun has been a blessing for Sister Germaine Staron. She first thought of religious life as a child, and her parents’ faith and involvement in church activities was always an inspiration to her, as were stories from the bible – a book she found it hard to put down.

“I decided to enter when I came back from the first year of college. I was just bombarded inside of me,” she says, calling the voice the “Hound of Heaven,” “‘Come, Come, I want you to come.”


If you or someone you know thinks you may want to become a nun, Sister Germaine suggests you pray about the idea and talk to someone in religious life. You can call Sister Norma Raupple at the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, 330-792-7636, or email her at [email protected].

Three Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown Celebrating Jubilee

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown will celebrate Sunday, Aug. 5 as three members of our community mark their jubilees (50-year anniversaries). The Sisters, family and friends will attend Mass at 2 p.m. at St. Luke Parish, 5235 South Ave., Boardman, followed by a celebration in the parish hall. Father Joseph Fata will celebrate Mass.

Sister Pauline Dalpé, OSU, was born in Woonsocket, R.I., on April 7, 1942. Her parents, Marcel and Yvonne Paul Dalpé, now deceased, moved to Struthers when Sister Pauline was a child. It was at St Charles and St. Nicholas School that she first encountered the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.
Sister Pauline went on to graduate from Cardinal Mooney High School in 1961. She earned her baccalaureate in education from Youngstown State University in 1965, a Master of Science in Education/Religious Education from St. John College, Cleveland, in 1975, and a Master of Science in Education/Counseling from YSU in 1991. She also has completed post-graduate work at Walsh College, North Canton, and Miami University, Oxford.
On Sept. 10, 1961, Sister Pauline entered the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown. She was received into the Novitiate Aug. 9, 1962, and made her Final Profession Aug. 6, 1969. Sister Pauline’s ministries have included teaching in elementary education at St. Rose, Girard, Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception Youngstown, Holy Family, Poland, and St. Charles, Boardman. She also has served on the House of Prayer Core Team, in Parish Ministry at St. Charles and St Rose, for the Diocese of Youngstown as Marriage Tribunal Advocate, at Catholic Charities Regional Agency as counselor and as director of The Ursuline Center from 2008-2010, and in Pastoral Counseling since 2010. Sister Pauline’s short Vocation Story video. To view a short video on her counseling ministry, click here.
Sister Patricia McNicholas, OSU, was born in Youngstown on June 20, 1943, to Paul and Mary Frances Dignan McNicholas, who are both deceased. She attended St. Dominic School, Youngstown, and graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School in 1961.
Sister Patricia earned a baccalaureate in education YSU in 1965, a Master of Arts in religious education from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., in 1976, a Master of Science in administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1988, and a Doctorate in Ministry from United Theological Seminary of Dayton in 1992.
Sister Patricia, formerly known as Sister M. Paul, entered the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown Sept. 10, 1961. She was received into the Novitiate Aug. 9, 1962, and made her Final Profession Aug. 6, 1969.
Among her many ministries, Sister Patricia has been an educator at St. Charles,
St. Nicholas, Ursuline High School, Youngstown, Cardinal Mooney High School, and taught at Walsh College and Ursuline College, Cleveland, as an adjunct professor.
As an administrator, Sister Patricia worked in the Department of Religious Education for the Diocese of Youngstown from 1976-1989, serving as its director from ’81-’89. She was the Founding director of the Potter’s Wheel, a program of Beatitude House, which helps disadvantaged women succeed through educational and employment assistance, serving in that capacity from 1997-2001. She has been the Executive Director of Beatitude House since 2001.
With locations in Youngstown, Warren, and Ashtabula, Beatitude House has helped thousands of homeless and low-income women and their children break the cycle of poverty by creating homes, providing education and fostering healthy families.
Sister Patricia served on the Leadership Team of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown from 1976-1980 and again from 1984-1990, and was General Superior of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown from 1990-1996. She has been very active in the community, serving a member of the Mahoning Valley Association of Churches from 1993-2000, as President of Beatitude House Board from 1990-1996, on the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund Board from1986-1992, with the National Conference of Directors of Religious Education from 1981-1989, on the Advisory Committee of the National Directors of Religious Education from 1982-1985, with the Chief Administrators of Catholic Education from 1981-1989, on the board of Park Vista from 2006-2010, on the Mahoning County Continuum of Care since 1996, on the Trumbull County Housing Collaborative since 2003, and on the Eastern Gateway Community College Board since 2010. Sister Patricia received the Athena Award from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber in 2005.
Sister Kathleen Minchin, OSU, was born in Youngstown October 5, 1943. Her parents, Richard and Grace Pratt Minchin, are both deceased. Sister Kathleen attended St. Nicholas School and graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School in 1961.
Sr. Kathleen earned a baccalaureate degree in education from Youngstown State University in 1965, and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology from St. Mary of the Woods, Terre Haute, Ind. in 1992. She also furthered her professional and academic training in the area of spirituality at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb., scripture studies at St. John College, Cleveland, and Walsh College, and in the Clinical Pastoral Education training program at Fairview Hospital, Cleveland.
On Sept. 10, 1961, Sister Kathleen, formerly known as Sister M. Noreen, entered the Ursuline Sisters. She was received into the Novitiate Aug. 9, 1962 and made her final profession Aug. 6, 1969.
Sister Kathleen’s ministries include serving as an educator in diocesan schools from 1976-1979: St. Patrick and Sacred Heart in Youngstown, Holy Family, Poland, St. Rose, Girard, and St. Charles, Boardman. She lived and ministered with the Carmelite Sisters of Cleveland from 1979-1981. She also served on the House of Prayer Core Team for the Diocese of Youngstown from 1971-1976, as Director of the Ursuline Sisters Company of Angela from 1988-1990, and on the Pastoral Care team at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Youngstown from 1981-1993.
In 1993, Sister Kathleen co-founded the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry and has served as its executive director since that time. The Ministry serves primarily low-income children and adults living with HIV/AIDS through a variety of programs, including an adult and pediatric HIV clinic, a food pantry and kitchen, a non-food pantry for household and personal supplies, and child and family support services.

Sister Pauline Dalpe’s Vocation Story

In our continuing series of Vocation Stories, short videos about the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, Sister Pauline Dalpe tells us why she became a nun and why she is proud to be an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown.

Video text:

Sister Pauline Dalpe, an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown, shares her experience in this installment of Vocation Stories.


Sister Pauline Dalpe:

Joining the Ursuline Sisters, here in Youngstown, wow! the opportunities I’ve had. I became a teacher. After that, I was asked if I would do religious education. I was asked if I would work with retreats. They [The Diocese of Youngstown] needed a woman to work at the marriage tribunal, so I said, “Sure!” And when I went back to school, I went for my counseling degree.


So to anyone who’s thinking about a religious vocation, or searching as to, “What do I want to do that’s going to be important to me for my whole life?” – I think religious life does that for you. We have a reason to get up every morning because there are a lot of people to meet during the day. We can sit and hear each other’s story and really be of support to each other. I think that’s the meaning of life. I think that’s where God wants all of us to be.


I’m Sister Pauline Dalpe, and I’m proud to be an Ursuline.


Visit us online at www.theursulines.org and at www.Facebook.com/Ursuline.Sisters.Youngstown

Helping Others Deepen Their Relationship With Christ

Sister Therese Ann Rich, an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown, works in a variety of ministries — all focused on helping others deepen their relationship with Christ.


While growing-up, Sister Therese Ann was surrounded by those who celebrated their faith daily, such as her aunt, a Humility of Mary Sister, and her uncle, an Alexian Brother.


In high school, Sister Therese Ann was banking on a career in accounting. But the Lord had another plan. And after her principal introduced her to two Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, Sister Therese Ann knew her life’s calling was to be a nun.



In this installment of Vocation Stories by the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, Sister Therese Ann shares her experience in her own words:


On her ministries:

It’s funny how God moves you in a variety of ways.


My major ministry is really this: to engage people in a deeper relationship with Christ. I’m a pastoral associate in a parish where I work with people who’ve lost a loved one. I do some Adult Education, I do some Religious Education with families. I’ve been teaching online with the Diocese [of Youngstown]. I’m also the IT person here at the community, so I maintain some websites and a Facebook page. Although I do a variety of things my ministry is very pointed, very specific in terms of our relationship with Christ.


On being inspired for the Sisters to build a labyrinth at their Canfield, Ohio, Motherhouse:

I had a lap labyrinth that I could use where I walked it with my fingers, and as I got to the center, it centered me in my prayer. Then I was able to let go of the anxieties or the concerns and actually begin to sit into the heart of God. The labyrinth is the metaphor for life’s journey. I thought to myself, “Gee, couldn’t we just do something here that would help someone or some group get in touch with who they are in relationship with God.


On being inspired to become an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown:

To be honest with you, I wanted to work in the finance world, but something kept tugging at me and tugging at me. The more I visited here, the more I realized I was more comfortable here and I felt more at home. I haven’t had a boring day. There’s something about hospitality and our concern for the poor – it’s more personal than corporate.


Do you or does someone you know want to be a nun? Here’s what Sister Therese Ann Rich says:

The invitation comes personally. It comes through relationships with people, it came personally through my family, and it came personally through my own prayer life.


If you’ve been thinking about service to the church and your heart’s being tugged, come talk to us. Come talk to a Sister. Come volunteer. By volunteering, you might know who we are.


Golden Jubilee – 50 Years an Ursuline – Sr. Darla

Our Sister Darla Vogelsang is celebrating 50 years as a nun in the Ursulines of Youngstsown.  Sr. Darla entered the Ursulines in September 1960 after having graduated from Ursuline High School.  She entered the novitiate in August 1961, which is the date for which we mark Jubilee.


Sister Darla has had a variety of ministries during her 50 years as an Ursuline:  as a teacher at St. Patrick, Youngstown and teacher and principal at Immaculate Conception elementary schools in Youngstown, as a parish minister at Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart in Youngstown, St. Paul, Canton, and St. Patrick, Hubbard, in service to the Ursulines of Youngstown as a member of the Leadership Team, on the Liturgy Committee and the Retreat Committee.


Most recently Sr. Darla was certified as a Catholic Chaplain.  It is a kind of “encore career.”  She now serves as chaplain for HMHP at St. Elizabeth, Boardman and St.Joseph, Warren.


Sister Darla says that “a 50th anniversary for anyone is a hallmark year.  It is also an opportunity in prayer, gratitude and celebration to look back at the people and the opportunities that have formed me in religious life.  And it’s a celebration of the Ursuline Sisters as well, an opportunity for the community to celebrate the gift of Religious Life in the church.”


Congratulations Sister Darla!  Ad multos annos.


Kudos Sister Dorothy!

Sister Dorothy Kundracik recently received a master’s degree in Theology of the Universe from the Loyola University Extension (LIMEX) program offered through the Diocese of Youngstown at the Ursuline Motherhouse.The degree examines the story of creation – not just from the perspective of humankind, but of God’s hand in designing the entire universe.


“It was a challenge,” Sister Dorothy laughs. “But we’re supposed to be lifelong learners. This gives my mind something to chew on for the rest of my years.”


Sister Dorothy used her new found knowledge to design a cosmic walk of time through the universe for a retreat at The Ursuline Center, something she’d like to offer again.


At age 70, Sister Dorothy is a prime example of being a lifelong learner. She began study for this degree about the time she retired from her first career as an elementary school teacher – where she spent 40 years inspiring youngsters. She also holds a master’s degree in geography.


In fall 2007, Sister Dorothy started a new ministry with senior citizens. She’s currently the manager of the Lordstown site of SCOPE, or Senior Citizens’ Opportunity for Personal Endeavor.


Not Your Typical Nun Story

The story of how Sister Judy Shoff came to be an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown is unique. She was Protestant. She was married with children. But God’s call to Catholicism and Religious life transcended those boundaries.


In her 40s, her family obligations met, Sister Judy answered that call first by volunteering with the Ursuline Sisters, then by joining their community.


In this installment of Vocation Stories, Sister Judy relates in her own words the details of her journey.



Sister Judy Shoff

Most of my friends were Catholic, I was Protestant, and I was always fascinated by the Catholic religion. My friends had the crucifix in their homes, they had the Sign of the Cross they made as they prayed, and this always stayed with me.


Following a New Path

It wasn’t until later years, in fact, I was an adult, I had been married, I had two adult children, three grandchildren, and I was a nurse. I had been working at a hospital and a visitor came in one day and was talking about the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) class and I asked him about that and I said I would be interested in learning about the Catholic religion.


A Blossoming Faith

I continued to have the desire to enter religious life. Of course, I prayed about it. People talked to me about their charism and St. Angela Merici, she’s the founder of the Ursuline Sisters. I really became interested and fascinated by – St. Angela cared about the poor and the underserved.


Finding Meaning in Ministry

What continues to give my life meaning is being with others, being in community, being with others at work – patients and also co-workers. We’re there for each other. Even patients, even though I’m there to minister to them, they really minister to me, also.


Surrounded by Family

In community, we have people of all different gifts, so we can help each other. There’s always somebody that is able to help so we’re really here for each other.


I’m Sister Judy Shoff.


Do you think you have the call to be an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown? Sister Judy offers this advice: “Pray about it, of course, and ask God that you really do feel the calling. Try to meet with Sisters in Religious Communities if you’re able to and hear their stories and their experiences.”




Prayer for Vocations

Gentle God, You call us by name and lead us to life. Through baptism you commission us to proclaim the Good News. Bless and strengthen all men and women, lay and ordained, who serve in the Church. Guide and give wisdom to those discerning their vocation. Enrich our Church with dedicated married and single people, with priests, religious and deacons. Filled with joy and your Holy Spirit may we follow Jesus, our Good Shepherd, now and always. Amen. © 2010NCCV www.nccv–vocations.org

Roaming Around to Find the “Yes!”

April is Autism Awareness Month, and Ursuline Sisters Martha Reed knows well why it’s important.


Sister Martha holds a Master’s Degree in special education and ministers as an instructor at Potential Development, Youngstown, working with kindergarten-age children affected by Autism.


In this installment of Vocation Stories, Sister Martha shares what drew her to her ministry, and to her overall ministry as an Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.

Sister Martha Reed:
Every one of us is God’s chosen ones, so we need to take the time to sit down, respect, and have compassion and understanding for one another – however that may be.


Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind 1 Corinthians
Today I am teaching at Potential Development School of Autism. I found that I can do more with working with young children, and helping with bringing out their goodness and showing their parents how good their children are and how good they are. Also, to improve life for their child in more of a one-on-one situation where they feel safe talking to me, without any type of judgment.


Roaming Around to Find the ‘Yes!’
I’d go out late at night walking, just roaming through the nights like Michael W. Smith’s song – “roaming through this world, trying to find my place in this world.”

One Sunday at mass – I can’t remember which reading it was – but it hit me, and it’s that God does have a plan for my life.


A Plan – and a Gift

What drew me to the Ursuline Sisters is they believe in family, staying strong and connected to family. Not only do I have a family of origin – where I came from – but I have a family of choice. My Sisters are my family. They’re my family. I can go to them in times of need, joyous times, happy times, sad times, whenever. You’re there for one another.


Another thing that drew me to them is the way that my Sisters go out and minister today. We’re not afraid to rub elbows with people that are different from us. We’re not afraid to sit down and listen to someone who just needs a listening ear. It’s a real privilege and honor to be with this group of women. I don’t need to roam anymore.


I’m Sister Martha Reed.

From New York to Youngstown – Sister Betty Schuster’s Vocation Story

Sister Betty Schuster, Assistant Director of Beatitude House in Youngstown, a ministry of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, shares her vocation story, reflecting on her life as an Ursuline Sister.

Called from New York to Youngstown
I’d had friends who said to me, “You know, you should consider religious life.” And I thought they were crazy.


Then I came out to Youngstown to volunteer at Beatitude House, and it was a discernment period for me. That was not my purpose at all in coming out here. I planned to go back to New York and my happy little life on Long Island.


And so here I am today, 19 years later, an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown, Ohio. And I feel I am fulfilled. I think that’s what really was the pointer to me that I should enter the community. That there was a fulfillment in my life that I didn’t even know was missing.

How Sister Betty’s Ministry Is Fulfilling
The women and children, and I must say my heart is mostly with the children whose lives we touch at Beatitude House, whose lives change for the better after their mothers enroll in a program at Beatitude House, that really keeps me going.

The Power of Prayer in Times of Trouble
I am living with cancer and have been fighting it for 4 ½, almost 5 years.


The Ursuline Sisters have supported me through prayer, both communal prayer, individual prayer. There’s one of our older sisters, when I go out to the Motherhouse, she says, “I’m praying for you. I pray for you by name every day.” Knowing that gives you the will to go on.

Religious Life Brings Hope
Religious life, to me, brings about hope. Hope that we can impact change in the church, and hope and knowledge that we can impact the world today.

I’m Sister Betty Schuster.


Beatitude House, a ministry of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, serves women and children of Ashtabula, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties bound in the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Through its programs, services, counseling, education, love and support, Beatitude House helps them break that cycle. To learn more, visit Beatitude House

Be Ready for Big Surprises!

The following quote from the Hobbit describes my Journey as an Ursuline Sister.

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

(The Hobbit: J.R.R. Tolkiein) p.300

I started traveling this road when I was in the 4th grade in St. Dominic’s school in Youngstown. The moment wasn’t dramatic. It came to me one day as I sat in the 4th grade classroom that someday I would become a nun. It was a feeling deep inside of me. Yes. I was positively sure that I would be a nun. My parents didn’t know about this until I was in high school. My mother was very unhappy. My father liked the idea. After much discussion my parents and I reached a compromise. My mother said, if I would go to the Ursulines in Youngstown where our family lived, then I could go tomorrow. I took that as a sign from God that I was doing the right thing. God was really calling me to become a nun and live my life as a religious.

June 1956 I graduated from Ursuline High School in Youngstown. September 9, 1956 I entered the Ursuline Sisters in Youngstown. In 2007,  I celebrated 50 years as an Ursuline Sister.

When I was in high school I knew that I wanted to be a classroom teacher. Perhaps an English teacher. I wasn’t surprised when those of us who entered together started right away going to Youngstown State University for education courses. I thought that was natural. I didn’t realize that teaching is what we did as our Ministry. Ursulines were known to be teachers. Many people at that time put entering a religious community and teaching in the same category. Living religious life is a Way of Life/Teaching is a career choice. If I was married I would be living out the gospel message as a married woman.

Teaching would be my career.

Entering religious life wasn’t too different from living at home. The authority in my life switched from parents to a superior. Instead of two sisters I had 200. My days were divided between prayer, study for college courses and learning what it meant to live as and become an Ursuline Sister in a religious community. Time passed quickly and then it was 1959 and I was taking the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. That year marked the first time that I lived the life of a vowed religious. It was also the year that I began teaching and ministry in the church. This September of 2011 I celebrate 52 years of service to the church.

During the next 30 years I taught everything from 2nd grade through Senior in High School. I received a BS in Ed from Youngstown State, and an M.A. in Education with a specialization in Reading from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Later on I received state certification from Ohio to teach English by taking courses at Youngstown State. While teaching at Ursuline High School I took courses from Ursuline College in Cleveland that helped me to update my faith. I was certified to teach religion in the Youngstown Diocese. It laid the foundation for my work here at St. Hilary as a Pastoral Minister.These words from St. Angela, the founder of our community began to speak to me:

Do Something…Get Moving… Be Confident… Risk new things… Stick with it… Get on your knees…

Then be ready for Big Surprises!

After my mother died in 1982 I found myself getting drawn into parish work at St. Columba Cathedral in Youngstown. Bringing the Eucharist to my mother while she was sick helped me to feel comfortable ministering to the elderly. On Easter Sunday in 1982 she told me that I was her Easter Sunday. The associate pastor at the Cathedral asked me if I would teach some classes to the RCIA. I did and found that I could still build the kingdom but in a different way: working with adults who were the parents of children.



I taught for 30 years; 15 in grade schools and 15 in high school. In 1990 I decided to hang up the role of teaching in a classroom; I went to Loyola University in Chicago on a Sabbatical to prepare for work as a Pastoral Minister. The professors remarked, 30 years of teaching, what a resource for becoming a pastoral minister.

Do Something…Get Moving… Be Confident… Risk new things… Stick with it… Get on your knees…

Then be ready for Big Surprises!

While in Chicago I started to look for a job and to make a long story short through Fr. Koegel who was the pastor of St. Hilary, I came here to Akron. I began my journey here at St. Hilary in August of 1991. I have grown into many roles. I’ve learned things that they don’t teach in college courses or text books.

I began as a volunteer coordinator for parish groups. This grew through the years to being a Spiritual Director for the Joy Renewal; coordinator for baptisms, which includes teaching the parent classes, contact person for Stewardship weekend, coordinating the efforts of the Eucharistic ministers to the Homebound parishioners in 8 nursing homes and residences and in private homes. All of my life experience as well as the opportunities for education has become a resource for the ministries I am involved with at St. Hilary. In 2005, the Lord asked me to take on my own family ministry; my sister Loretta was diagnosed with front lobe dementia. Ministry to families was part of the ministry of St. Angela.



My community, the Ursuline Sisters in Youngstown is comprised of 52 people. If you think of that number as a total then it seems very small. But consider this…at one time our community served the Youngstown Diocese as teachers in the parish schools. Today we still have this ministry; but we’ve expanded into a program for mothers who are struggling to get off welfare, an aids ministry, a prison ministry: yes some are pastoral ministers and directors of religious education. The ministries have brought us into contact with many people who are on many different journeys. Faith and the call to build the kingdom came in the Sacrament of Baptism. Call to all ministry comes from the sacrament of baptism; we are anointed for service. There will always be people who are called to make the building of the kingdom by walking with the Lord as the central focus of their lives. It is a grace.



Matthew says it this way in Chapter 19 vs. 11-12, This teaching does not apply to everyone, but only to those to whom God had given it. For there are different reasons why someone cannot marry; some, because they were born that way; others because someone made them that way; and others do not marry for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. This is the passage where I found myself when I was 25 years in religious life.


When I think of religious life I think of an overgrown plant or bush. Throughout the experiences of Vatican II; cultural experiences, and just plain changes in society; it got pruned. Plants that are cut back are not destroyed but come back being much stronger. They have a richer color. Yes, religious life has changed since the 1950’s; it lost some of it’s old leaves but new ones are growing in its place. You and I; the prayers we pray for vocations are the water which the plant needs. The call is out there; just pray that the people who receive the call to live a vowed life will respond with a yes. Thus they will become a new branch on the plant.

Do Something…Get Moving… Be Confident… Risk new things… Stick with it… Get on your knees…

Then be ready for Big Surprises!

To Be A Nun “A Wonderful Decision”

Sister Mary Ann Coz lives at the Ursuline Motherhouse at 4250 Shields Rd. where she has been engaged in hard work as well as enjoyment in caring for the gardens and wildlife.  Religious Life is a life-long way of life and a permanent commitment.  A woman brings herself as she is with her unique gifts and temperament and throughout her life she responds to many opportunities, changing needs and evolving situations.  Her  relationships along the way also shape her life.  Her life is enriched by being part of a religious community as she continues to respond to God’s love.  Sister Mary Ann tells about how she has experienced meaning and fulfillment as an Ursuline Sister.