Sister Jerome’s new challenge

Sister Jerome’s new challenge

It was music to my ears to hear of “Sister Jerome’s Ministry.” It was shocking to have read of her being fired. However, I was thrilled to see the article with her and Sister Nancy Dawson, general superior of the Ursuline Sisters, in The Vindicator, my favorite paper.

I lived in Youngstown for 89 years before moving to Florida with my daughter Joan, so the Youngstown news takes time to arrive here or I would have responded sooner.

I want to thank Sister Nancy and all the Ursuline Sisters of the Ursuline Center in Canfield for assisting and supporting Sister Jerome in getting her “Ministry to the Poor” on its way to blossoming and putting smiles on many faces. It is where she belongs after the unpleasant manner in which she was relieved of her obligations from the world she has known for the past 35 years. There may have been a reason for this type of transition, but nothing justifies sending this educated, hard working, dedicated, untiring woman off into her retirement years with a heavy heart. She is a pillar of the community who contributed so much to so many for many years. Let all of us who can, contribute to her ministry.

To use the word “fired” in conjunction with Sister Jerome’s name is almost laughable. She will never be fired from the hearts of all those who loved her and whom she loved. Never.

I have known Sister Jerome for nearly a century and have loved and admired her since we were in fifth grade at Saint Columba School. What she has meant in my life and the lives of so many under-privileged children cannot be put into words. I, more or less, have lived those years with her through the experiences I had working side by side with her and also with having children and my grandchildren benefit from her wisdom, kindness and generosity. Without her early teaching they may not be the successful young men and women they are today.

Yes, it may been her time to leave, but her heart will continue to lie within the fenced school building she helped to create and make ready for her successor. I am so excited for her because I know she has always been happy working with the poor. I wish I were home in Youngstown to help my lifelong friend, each of us at 96. It would be so rewarding.

I know “Sister Jerome’s Poor” will flourish under her loving guidance.

Margaret M. Cianciolo, Cape Coral, Fla.