An Ursuline Sister? You?

A Volunteer with Ursuline SistersIntern, Volunteer Program Extended
You don’t have to become a nun to be a part of our many ministries in the Mahoning Valley. Our Summer Intern & Volunteer Program for young adults age 18+ was so successful this summer that we’re extending it to the fall.
Sister Norma Raupple, coordinator of the program, observes, “Young adults have a special connection with young children. They are great role models and they offer a positive, energetic presence to our programs.”
College students or recent graduates with a few hours a week to spare and a sincere desire to make a difference in the community are encouraged to apply. Participants gain valuable workplace experience to build their résumés while also enriching their lives, having fun, meeting new people and visiting diverse places.
Here’s what just some of our recent participants say about the program:

  • “I learned so much valuable information and would love others to be able to have the same experience.” Lauren, a summer intern.
  • “I very much enjoyed my volunteer experience and would like to thank everyone who made it possible.” Caitlyn, a summer volunteer.
  • “I really liked how the program was set up this year and I think it’s going in a great direction!” Carly, who’s volunteered for two summers now.
  • “Thank you so much! This was a great experience.” Christina, a summer volunteer.
  • “I had a great time helping out and I’d love to do it again!” Natalie, a summer volunteer.
  • “I had a great time working with the children at Potter’s Wheel and at the Villa. It was wonderful to watch them develop their skills and reach their goals over the course of the summer.” Mary Ann, a summer Companion in Mission

Hours are flexible, Sister Norma notes, and we can customize internships or volunteer opportunities to meet students’ needs.
“The Ursuline Sisters serve in a variety of nonprofit settings in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana Counties with people of all ages and backgrounds,” she continues “Our lives are enriched through our service, and we welcome others to join us and share in our experience.”
The Ursuline Sisters serve in a variety of nonprofit settings in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties with people of all ages and backgrounds, such as Beatitude House, housing for homeless women and children in Youngstown and Warren; Potters’ Wheel, Youngstown, offering education and Hispanic outreach; The Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, at their clinic in Youngstown and at Casa Madre, where they have a program for children; SCOPE of Lordstown, a meeting place for mobile senior citizens; Parkside Health Care Center, a skilled-nursing care facility in Columbiana; Motherhouse Health Care, Canfield, the assisted-care wing for Sisters; Ursuline Preschool and Kindergarten, Canfield; St. Columba Parish, Youngstown; and Habitat for Humanity, Youngstown.
For more information or to apply, contact Sister Norma at 330-792-7636 or Email Sister Norma. Applicants must provide a résumé, three references/letters of recommendation and pass a federal background check.

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.”