Who We Are

Jesus calls us friends: “I do not call you servants anymore, because the servant does not know the Master’s business. I call you friends because I have made known to you everything I have learned from the Father. You did not choose Me. No, I chose you to go out and to bear fruit that will last.”
John 15: 1

The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine (CSA) is a vowed religious congregation committed to God, each other and a life of service to the world. You will find us in prayer settings, healthcare, parish life, ecology, and community outreach ministries, such as food pantries, homeless shelters, and immigrant services. We strive to remain open to where God is calling us to be.

Below we are featuring three of our sisters, as they share in their own words the work they perform in their respective ministries.

 

Sr. Mary Denis Maher

Currently, I serve as the CSA Archivist, a position I have held since 2003. Prior to that, I taught English at Ursuline College for 18 years. My original teaching experience was at St. Augustine Academy in Lakewood, OH, where I taught English and journalism and also moderated the Augustine Shield, the school newspaper. Additionally, I am the author of To Bind Up the Wounds: Catholic Sister Nurses in the US Civil War.

Beyond this, we work to not only preserve these materials, but to promote the legacy of our rich history. We keep the stories of our Sisters alive in many ways. We work with Regina Health Center to give historical tours and presentation to visitors, residents, and new employees during their orientation. We share our information with interested persons, and answer queries as best we can.  These often include scholars, family genealogists, or other interested persons. Every October, in celebration of American Archives Month, we organize an open house featuring different exhibits, each reflecting some aspect of the CSA legacy.

The history of CSA is filled with stories of our Sisters’ overwhelming perseverance, selfless service, and unwavering faith.  By keeping these stories alive, we share these lessons of love with God’s people.

We welcome questions and visitors to our archives. If you would like to schedule a tour, please email mortosky@srsofcharity.org or call 330-659-5100. There is also a wealth of information available on our Archives page, including digital photo galleries and a brief history of our community.

 

Sr. Mary O’Grady

I am in my tenth year serving as Nursing Coordinator for our CSA sisters. I was called to this ministry in 2009 by our CSA leadership team while I was a staff nurse at St. John Medical Center, and I responded to the challenge. It is not a ministry I would have chosen on my own, but I have found it to be a good fit and a privilege.

Together with continuing education, my long hospital nursing experience is essential to meeting the holistic health goal of each sister. My primary function as Nursing Coordinator is acting as a liaison between our sisters and the Regina Health Center (RHC) Administration and nursing staff. I have daily contact with our sisters in both nursing and assisted living units, and I also adopt a supportive role with our active sisters living away from the Motherhouse when appropriate. I help with transportation when sisters first move to RHC.

Additionally, I am involved in each sister’s Plan of Care (POC); I assist in coordinating physician appointments for the sisters, and accompany them to ensure patient understanding. As an advocate, I have the opportunity voice my input in their POC, attend regularly scheduled POC meetings, and offer my support and encouragement as they struggle with treatments and therapies. CSA is committed to supporting each sister as she lives out her years as fully as possible to the end. CSA leadership is daily informed about changes that occur or of any new needs.

I see my ministry as one of presence to our sisters and staff. My goal is to listen and be open every day to needs as they arise, and to accompany each individual as they strive to achieve these goals. There are many difficulties and many joys that come from our working together. I am fortunate and blessed to do this ministry for my own religious community.

 

Sr. Ruth Ann Patrick

My first ministry as a Sister of Charity of St. Augustine was a life changing experience if ever there was one. I ministered as a social worker at St. Vincent Charity Hospital (SVCH). What a turn around it was! Prior to my entering the CSA Community, I worked at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron as a computer operator. When it came time during my religious formation to explore re-entering the workforce, I remember the stirrings in my heart to work with people rather than machines. The ministry experience there taught me so much, from the people I served and the caregivers I had the opportunity to minister with. I will always be grateful for my eighteen years of ministry there.

I retired to Mount Augustine/Regina Health Center (RHC) in 2003 and continued serving my CSA community through various committees. I began working the switchboard in 2007, and what a thrill it was to meet residents and their families and loved ones. I realized I was opening myself up to more experiences with RHC staff such as the Activities Department.

When I said yes to be a part of the four-Sister CSA Local Leader Team in 2009 to develop communal activities of prayer, community life, education and social justice, I was overwhelmed, humbled and in awe. Upon reflection, I have come to realize how much my CSA Sisters have enriched my life every day. I never knew I could pray with my Sisters as they are breathing their last, awaiting the glories of heaven. Again, I say thank you CSA Sisters.

In the Fall of 2019, Sr. Judith Ann asked if I would consider being the CSA Local Leader at Mount Augustine/RHC. I see my role as Local Leader constantly evolving as new and different needs arise. I strive for new avenues to build community life and prayer. In my visits, I encourage my CSA Sisters in nurturing their own leadership qualities and capabilities. I am always humbled by my Sisters’ support and encouragement, and I hope I graciously accept their challenges for growth.

I thoroughly enjoy my various volunteer ministries of cantoring at liturgies, relieving at the switchboard, calling bingo, leading sing-a-longs, etc. My favorite RHC ministry is my time spent at the RHC switchboard and visiting residents and their families/loved ones. I believe I can truly share my God-given gifts and talents to touch people’s lives, giving hope and joy and maybe even a smile. Meeting new residents and their families and listening to their personal stories reminds me so much of my social work ministry days at SVCH of long ago. It makes me realize again that God gave me a gift that can keep on giving as it changes for different situations and times.

I hope to continue to serve my CSA Community here at Mount Augustine/RHC in whatever volunteer ministry or ministries I am asked to perform.