The newly elected Leadership Council of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati includes (front row, from left) Sister Louise Lears, SC, councilor; Sister Marge Kloos, SC, councilor; (back row, from left) Sister Mary Bookser, SC, councilor; Sister Joan Elizabeth Cook, SC, president; and Sister Mary Caroline Marchal, SC, councilor.
Sister Joan Elizabeth Cook was re-elected to a four-year term as president of the Congregation. Four councilors also were elected to the Leadership Team: Sisters Mary Bookser, Marge Kloos, Louise Lears and Mary Caroline Marchal. During the July 4 installation, the five leaders committed “to dare to risk a caring response, to support and sustain our Leadership Team, to live the charism and mission of the Sisters of Charity fully and actively, to move intentionally and creatively toward the vulnerabilities of our Earth and our sisters and brothers, to meet our grace each day.” Their four-year term began July 1, 2015.
Profiles for the 2015-2019 Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Leadership Team follow:
Sister Joan Elizabeth Cook, SC
Sister Joan Elizabeth Cook entered the Sisters of Charity from Kensington, Maryland, in 1960. She ministered in secondary education in Colorado, Illinois and Ohio for 19 years. In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati she taught at the former Marian High School and at St. Xavier (Cincinnati), McNicholas (Cincinnati) and Purcell Marian (Cincinnati) high schools. Sister Joan Elizabeth has a Master of Arts in French from Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont (1971) and a Master of Arts in theology from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio (1981). After earning a doctorate in religion from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1989, Sister moved to higher education, ministering as an assistant and associate professor of theology at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, until 1997, and then as associate professor of Sacred Scripture at Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C. until 2005, and as a Professorial Lecturer at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Hear, O Heavens and Listen, O Earth: An Introduction to the Prophets (Liturgical Press, 2005) and served as Old Testament book review editor for the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. She began her service as president of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati on July 1, 2011.
Sister Mary Bookser, SC
Sister Mary Bookser celebrated her golden jubilee in 2012 with 50 years of ministry as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati. She has served the Archdiocese of Cincinnati teaching at Seton High School (Cincinnati), Holy Angels and Lehman High School (Sidney, Ohio), Mount Notre Dame High School (Cincinnati) and the College of Mount St. Joseph (now Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati). Sister Mary has a Ph.D. in women’s studies, literature and spirituality from the Union Institute and University (Cincinnati) as well as master’s degrees from Xavier University (Cincinnati) in theology and guidance and counseling. Sister ministered 11 years teaching religion and music in various Archdiocesan schools and 20 years at the College of Mount St. Joseph, originally working with adult women returning to college and then with the Service Learning Program there. Other work includes eight years as the director of initial formation for the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, as a counselor at Cincinnati State College as well as the former Archdiocesan sponsored Christian Family Center. Sister Mary served one year in the Pastoral Planning Office with the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, and many years as an adjunct in religious studies and theology at the College of Mount St. Joseph and Xavier University. Her term as Leadership councilor began July 1, 2011. Her new term continues until June 30, 2019.
Sister Marguerite (Marge) Kloos, SC
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Sister Marge Kloos has been a member of the Sisters of Charity since 1986. She first met the Community while teaching Native Americans in New Mexico in the early 1980s. Sister Marge has a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Regis University, Denver, Colorado; a Master of Theology Studies from the University of Dayton, Ohio; and a Doctor of Ministry from the United Theological Seminary, Dayton. Sister Marge served as director of communications for the SC Congregation for six years. Other ministry experiences in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have included young adults, beginning as a teacher at Archbishop Alter High School, Kettering, Ohio. At the College of Mount St. Joseph, now Mount St. Joseph University, she served as campus minister, associate professor of religious and pastoral studies as well as dean of arts and humanities. She was instrumental in creating, implementing, and leading cultural immersion learning courses, co-leading courses in Cherokee, North Carolina, at the U.S.-Mexico Border and in Ireland. In addition, Sister Marge directed liturgical music for major campus liturgical events, and served one term as chair of the faculty.
Sister Louise Lears, SC
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Sister Louise Lears celebrated 30 years as a Sister of Charity in 2015. She first met the Congregation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1982, while taking what she thought would be a nine-month break from teaching. Instead of returning to Baltimore, she felt the Spirit calling her to begin the process of formation with the Sisters of Charity. Her early ministries included chaplaincy and mission effectiveness in Sister of Charity sponsored health care facilities in New Mexico and Colorado. Sister Louise’s experience in hospitals, especially with families making difficult decisions about care for the end of life, led her to pursue a doctorate in Medical Ethics from St. Louis University (Missouri). She has since served as staff at the Center for Health Care Ethics at St. Louis University and as adjunct faculty in Medical Ethics and Spirituality of Nonviolence at universities in St. Louis, Baltimore, and Cincinnati. One of the great privileges in her life was the opportunity to be on the pastoral staff of St. Cronan parish in St. Louis from 2005-2008. That experience opened her heart and mind to urban parish ministry rooted in Catholic Social Teaching. Her ministry on the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Leadership Council continues to delight and challenge her!
Sister Mary Caroline Marchal, SC
Sister Mary Caroline Marchal is a native of Sidney, Ohio, entering the Sisters of Charity in 1960. She has served as a teacher, principal, School of Theology dean, ministry coordinator and as a director of religious education in her 55 years as a woman religious. Most recently Sister Mary Caroline’s ministry has included adult faith formation and RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Louisville, Kentucky, her longest ministry, spanning 19 years. “It is such a privilege to be part of parish members’ lives; RCIA is my first love and I treasure each person who has been part of the process,” she once stated. Sister Mary Caroline’s ministries have taken her to the dioceses of Chicago, Illinois, Cincinnati, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the College of Mount St. Joseph (1969); a Master in Religious Education from St. Meinrad, St. Meinrad, Indiana (1977); and a Master in Community Organization from Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois (1987). In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Sister Mary Caroline served at St. Rita School for the Deaf, Little Flower School, Gressle School, and St. Vivian, all in Cincinnati, and St. Brigid in Xenia.
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The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, an apostolic Catholic women’s religious community, exist to carry out the Gospel of Jesus Christ through prayer and service in the world. Sisters, using their professional talents in the fields of education, health care, social services and environmental justice, live and minister in 26 U.S. dioceses and in Guatemala, Mexico and the West Indies. They also sponsor institutions to address education, health care and social service needs, with particular concern for direct service to the poor. Approximately 320 Sisters are joined in mission by 206 Associates (lay men and women). Visit the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati website at www.srcharitycinti.org.