We Remember Sister Betty Schuster

The following reflection was written by Sister Mary Alyce Koval, a member of the Leadership Team
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” [Hebrews 11:1]
Sister Betty SchusterSister Betty Schuster’s journey began on Long Island, New York. Throughout her life, she walked with God. She taught physical education classes on Long Island until her life journey brought her to the home of the Ursuline Sisters in Youngstown when she responded to an invitation to become a Companion in Mission at Beatitude House.
She ministered at Holy Family School in Poland, Immaculate Conception School in Youngstown  and then at New Hope Academy, all the while walking with Sister Margaret Scheetz as she worked to establish Beatitude House, another leap of faith into the unknown.  
For the year that she lived with the Ursuline Sisters as a Companion in Mission she became enamored with the chrism of St. Angela Merici. St. Angela’s imagination and courage were the inspiration for Betty to “leave her mother and father” in New York and join The Ursuline Community in Youngstown to walk with us as she continued to walk with God.
Further in her journey with God, she became the first Child Advocate at Beatitude House, working with mothers and their children to help them imagine the unknown and achieve personal success in their lives.  Her role as Associate Director of Beatitude House gave her the more opportunities to share her passion for working with the families who needed support and encouragement.  She walked with God at Beatitude House for 21 years, until July 2013.  At each stop along the way, Betty relied on her relationship with God to lead her to the next step.
In the course of her illness over the past seven years, Betty never wavered in her belief that God was her constant companion and support through the ups and downs of her journey.  Her move to the Motherhouse in July gave her an opportunity to “come home” to the Ursuline Sisters. The final stop in her journey was at Hospice House for six days where she experienced the compassionate and healing Face of God through the staff who ministered to her there.
Over the past few weeks, Betty took her last walk with God.  As they neared the end of their walk together, God invited Betty to the final destination of her journey with the promise, “Come, my faithful servant.  We are closer to My Home than yours.  Come, receive the Crown of Glory prepared for you from the beginning of time.”  Betty went Home on October 16 and now realizes all of the joys that she had hoped for throughout her life.

Celebrating Sister Betty’s Ministry at Beatitude House

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeatitude House, a ministry of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, is honoring one of our sisters who’s ministered there many years. In fact, that’s what led her to become a nun!
Sister Betty Schuster came to Beatitude House from New York shortly after the ministry began more than 20 years ago. Then she was just Betty. As a former health and physical education teacher, she became the first Child Advocate and put her knowledge and experience to work in creating the comprehensive Child Advocacy Program still used today.
Along the way, Sister Betty realized she was called to be a nun, and became an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown. Although ovarian cancer has prevented her from working in full-time ministry since January, her spirit continues to brighten the lives of children involved with Beatitude House.
That’s why the ministry has created the Sister Betty Schuster Outstanding Youth Award. It will be given each year to a child from Beatitude House that has demonstrated significant growth through leadership, achievements, or personal success.

Here is Sister Betty’s Vocation Story!

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.

Beatitude House Twentieth Anniversary

Beatitude House began its  20th Anniversary Celebration with a Mass with the Ursuline Sisters and members of its Board of Directors – current and past – on Sunday January 23, 2011 at the Ursuline Motherhouse.  Fr. Richard Brobst presided at liturgy while Sister Patricia McNicholas recalled the origins of Beatitude House in her reflection.

The story of the beginning of Beatitude House is a lesson in communal discernment for ministry in the lives of Ursuline Sisters today.  Sister Margaret Scheetz – Peg, who died in January 2001, was pursuing an advanced degree in computer education at Kent State University in the late 1980s.  One day she watched a TV show about a homeless woman and her struggles to keep her family together.  That show sparked an idea – could the Ursulines do something for homeless women in Youngstown?

Sr. Margaret shared her idea with Sr. Nancy Dawson, General Superior and Sr. Mary O’Leary.  Both responded enthusiastically and Peg began immediately:  looking for a house and a neighborhood, seeking donations, and seeking workers who could help turn an old house into new apartments for homeless women and their dependent children. 

Throughout the of the process of bringing an idea into reality, Peg consulted with the community and counted on their prayers for success.  Lots of the sisters helped with things like cleaning or gathering donations from friends and family. 

What began as an idea of a single sister turned into 4 apartments for homeless families, and then 8.   Check out the video to get all the details of the numbers of women and children whose lives have been changed by their time at Beatitude House.

This is an example of how nuns get things done.  First, a sister has an idea to work for the people of God.  Second, she shares it with her friends and the leadership of the community.  With their approval and support the sister can work to bring that idea into reality.

Home For The Holidays

Shelia Triplett,  Director of Transitional Housing at Beatitude House, welcomed  six  families to the new apartments in Warren,  House of Blessing.  The new addition at 1370 Tod Ave. includes 6 apartments, a computer/classroom, a children’s playroom and offices for staff.  Beatitude House is committed to Sheliaserving disadvantaged women and children in the Mahoning Valley.  By creating homes,  providing educational opportunities and fostering healthy families, they provide women with the opportunity to transform their lives.

Shelia has been on the staff of Beatitude House since 2007 and most recently  she has the responsibility of working with 29 families who are residents at one of three Beatitude House locations.   Shelia works with staff in overseeing  the multi-faceted program which includes case work, counseling, parenting, budgeting,  and studying.   Shelia brings such a positive but firm support to the women as they strive to build better lives.  Her sense of humor and warm presence is just what the mothers need.

Shelia says “Working at Beatitude House is the most fulfilling professional experience I’ve ever had.  I am blessed to work in a place that gives women and children roots and wings:  roots that provide safe housing and a positive environment and wings to reach higher than they ever dreamed possible,  creating a better life for themselves and their children”

In addition to serving on the staff with four Ursuline Sisters, the Ursuline Community is  privileged to have Shelia’s presence among them as an Ursuline Associate.  She is so positive and open and affirming. As an Associate she participates in community gatherings throughout the year and joins with all Sisters and Associates for special days and events.

Sister Mary Alyce Koval – Education Director- Beatitude House

Sister Mary Alyce Koval has been named to fill the recently created education director at Beatitude House. She brings over 40 years of experience to the position, having served as an elementary teacher and principal in numerous Catholic  schools.

Sister Mary Alyce Koval
Sister Mary Alyce Koval

In talking about the need for education, Sister Mary Alyce said: “I believe education is the most important tool each of us has to open doors to future possibilities.  It can’t be taken away from you, it’s part of you and you will have it forever.”

Sister Mary Alyce’s role at Beatitude House is to coordinate the education programs, to offer advice and career counseling based on the skills and interests of each woman who is part of the programs of Beatitude House and to help them set goals for themselves and achieve those goals.

Sister Mary Alyce will also review and update the curriculum at Potter’s Wheel, an education and career program for women in the Mahoning Valley. These women can work on their GED, computer skills, job and interview skills, and also life skills, such as parenting and budgeting.

Beatitude House Expansion in Warren.

pat Beatitude House hosted an Open House on September 25, 2009 at 1370 Tod Aveneu NW, to present their nearly 1.5 million expansion to the Warren area.  The event began with a brief dedication ceremony and included tours of the building and refreshments. The Beatitude House children’s choir performed at the ceremony.

The expansion includes six apartments, a computer/classroom, a children’s playroom and offices for staff.  With the completion of this project, Beatitude House is able to serve a total of 13 homeless families each year in Warren.

As noted in the Warren Tribune:  Sister Patricia said Beatitude House has been blessed with incredible support from the Warren area, noting Farmer’s National Bank and the Warren -Trumbull Home Consortium were two of  the major funding sources .  She said all the furniture, accessories, appliances and linens for the six new apartments were donated by various businesses, organizations, and churches in Trumbull County, including St. William Church in Champion.

The Beatitude House has facilities in Youngstown, Girard and Warren for its two-year transitional housing program.  Beatitude House is committed to serving disadvantaged women and children in the Mahoning Valley.  By creating homes, providing educational opportunities and fostering healthy families, they provide women with the opportunity to transform their lives.  To learn more about how you can help visit www.beatitudehouse.com or call 330.399.1971.

Nun as Construction Site Coordinator

When Sister Betty Schuster went to college, she pursued a career in education.  After a decade in Catholic Schools , the school in Long Island where she was teaching closed in the early 1990s.  Betty then decided to spend a year in volunteer service in Youngstown, OH.  Part of her volunteer time was spent in Catholic schools.  But she also began to volunteer at Beatitude House, a program for homeless women and their dependent children.

One year of volunteer service turned into two years; and two years have turned into a lifetime.  She entered the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown in 1994 and made her perpetual profession of vows in 2000.

Not only did Sister Betty move from New York to Ohio, she changed careers, and in a dramatic way.  What had begun as a extra volunteer ministry has turned into a full time job.  Sister Betty currently serves the Assistant Director of Beatitude House.

One of her responsibilities as Assistant Director is to oversee the various sites where the families live.  The site in Warren OH has just completed a $1.5 million renovation.  Our Sister Betty served as the Construction Site Coordinator for the project.

“I never thought of myself as working in construction.  But I have always liked really getting involved in a project” said Sr. Betty.  This “really getting involved” has meant meeting weekly with the construction workers and architect, overseeing the progress of the building, and preparing the space for occupancy for seven new families. Imagine having to figure out the cost to level your house in Hoston and get a building back up before the end of the year!

Sr. Betty Schuster on Stilts Inspecting at the newly-renovated House of Blessing in Warren

These are families that have been homeless.  Now in this House of Blessing, the name given to each of the housing sites operated by Beatitude House,  mothers will get the education and support they need to help themselves move from homelessness to permanent housing, and children will live in a stable environment that will nurture their development.

By the way, the dedication of the new space is this Friday, September 25, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.  You can find it at 1370 Tod Ave, NW in Warren OH.  An Open House will continue until 5:00 p.m.