This Sister’s Still Cool, and Popular, Too

And now for our second podcast episode of #StandupSisters…


Pittsburgher Barb Boss was a cool teen-ager hyper-focused on her social life before God gave her a shove into the sisterhood. She’s still cool, and she still attracts a big social circle–for decades, she’s headed an intergenerational education center and daycare with a waiting list. It’s called Elizabeth Seton Center after the foundress of Sister Barb’s order, the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. (Saint Elizabeth Seton was also a socialite with a soft spot for children in need!) But don’t just sit there reading, click below to listen!

Photo by Ryan Haggerty. Audio recording by Epicast Media.

The Tall One: Chosen to be a Nurse

When women entered religious life decades ago, they had little opportunity to choose their careers. So, sometimes they ended up in unexpected places.

For Sister Rosemary Donley, that worked out well.

Someone in the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill tapped Donley to become a nurse. She worked as a nurse, became a teacher of nurses, and she has spoken all over the world about nursing. She holds Duquesne University’s Jacques Laval Endowed Chair in Justice for Vulnerable Populations to educate health professionals about the needs of people who are disabled, poor, and otherwise challenged.

In the accompanying audio recording, Donley tells the story of how her storied career began.

This is part of Standup Sisters, a series of events and podcasts to shine a light on outstanding churchwomen. The idea is to move beyond the typical caricatures of nuns that are seen in Nunsense, Late Night Catechism, and Sister Act. Not that there aren’t truths and humor in those images, but, like all stereotypes, they present a narrow picture.

In the inaugural Standup Sisters event, four Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill shared their stories with an audience of young students and adults at St. Sylvester Church in Brentwood, Pennsylvania, during National Catholic Sisters Week.

The music by Bach in this episode was performed by cellist Jeanne Tupper, of Hot Metal Strings. Photograph by Ryan Haggerty. Funding for Standup Sisters came from National Catholic Sisters Week/Hilton Sisters Project.Standup Sisters JPG

Three more sisters stories from this event will be posted here weekly–as well as a story about sisters–over the next few weeks. So please comment, stop back again, and share.