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

Witnessing Christ’s Love

In my email this past week was an invitation to attend a webinar: Invitation to Conversion. I was intrigued by its title and so, I registered to attend this talk via the internet. In our digital age, webinars are one way to equip the disciple to share the message of Jesus.

However, the best way to share the message and prepare the disciple is the personal contact and the personal witness of living our life as disciples of Jesus.

Evangelization and witnessing is often a fearful prospect for many Catholics, yet it is the Christian mandate and one of the highest callings we can pursue. This week’s Gospel Reading can help remove that fear by showing us that witnessing for Jesus is simply living and relating to others in such a way that they comprehend that “the Kingdom of God has come near.” For many in this world that is the beginning of hope; the realization that God and his life is accessible to them. .

Evangelization always works best when it is a joint effort of two or more people. A companion in Christ reduces the stress of relating and talking to someone about Jesus and it more than doubles the creativity and wisdom that can be brought to the process of revealing the Kingdom of God to others. Having another with whom we can pray for people’s conversion is very empowering

As a community whose mission is to bring Christ’s love to those we serve, our presence and our common prayer supports our mission and our focus. Living in community and praying together moves us to service and inviting others to know God’s love for them.

Christ desires to reach the world, beginning with your world and your witness. It’s unreasonable that a witness should have to be sent from half-way around the world, or even from across the city, to bring the Gospel to your neighbors or your acquaintances. That is why he has you there.