Good Shepherd Profiles
As we are called to be Christ like so many before us have led the way on this path. Below are a few profiles of our brother and sisters tied to our parish that exemplify these values.
SR. CATHERINE SUE CLINE, SCN
Good Shepherd parish’s first and only Religious Vocation
Sr. Cathy is the daughter of parishioners, Mary and the late Ken Cline, the only girl of four children. When she was a young girl Sister Cathy always felt that she would like to be a Maryknoll missionary. She read the Maryknoll magazine all the time. However, she had several allergies that did not permit her to be in the far away villages and cities where the Maryknoll’s do mission work, but she always felt that she wanted to be a nun.
After graduating from West Middlesex High School she was interested in joining the Sisters of St. Joseph order in Erie, but every time she started on the journey North on I-79 her car would break down. This happened several times. While helping out as a Religious Education helper here at our parish, she mentioned this to the 3rd grade teacher who told her that she knew of an order called the Vincentians in Pittsburgh. Sr. Cathy remembers having a dream about what the convent in Pittsburgh looked like. So she went south on Interstate 79, made it to the convent and was greeted by three nuns: Sr. James, Sr. John and Sr. Kenneth. These are the names of Sr. Cathy’s three brothers! And the convent looked exactly the way she had dreamt it would! Sister always said, “God was telling me where to go, but I was just going the wrong way on I-79!
In 1983 when she was 20 years old she joined the Vincentian Sisters of Charity and took her final vows in 1991. The Vincentians were founded in 1633 in Europe by St. Vincent De Paul, a French priest, and a widow, Louise de Marillac to care for the poor. They developed motherhouses in the United States. The first one being near Braddock, PA in 1902. Their Motherhouse was formerly on McKnight Road in Pittsburgh where they also had a center for child care, Vincentian Academy, a high school, and a nursing home on the property all under the care of the nuns.
Her first job was as a physical therapy assistant for children in Alabama for 5 years, where she worked at a facility for handicapped children call Fr. Purcell Memorial Children’s Center. She then returned to Pittsburgh to care for the elderly at the Vincentian’s nursing home. She became a full-time massage therapist and continues that occupation at her private office today. She does retreats and seminars and gives talks on wellness and self-massage and stress reducing techniques.
Sr. Cathy’s hobbies are drumming for stress relief and meditation. She was in a drumming circle at one time. She also writes poetry and enjoys playing Words with Friends.
In 2008 the Vincentian’s merged with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth due to their dwindling numbers and their desire to continue their mission work in western Pennsylvania. After the merge the Vincentian Sisters renamed their motherhouse, St. Louise Convent. The sisters of Charity of Nazareth order was co-founded in the United States in Kentucky in 1812 by Mother Catherine Spaulding and Bishop John Baptist David. Together they founded orphanages, schools, and infirmaries all over the US and abroad in places such as Nepal, India, Africa and Belize.
If you would like to learn more about the the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, you can find them on Facebook here.
SISTER JUDITH GAUSMAN (Edna Gausman)
Good Shepherd’s 1st Religious Ed Coordinator
Sr. Judith was born in Ridgeway, PA. She entered the Villa Maria Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph order on March 25, 1940 and took her final vows August 15, 1945. After several years teaching in Catholic schools in Meadville, Reynoldsville and Houtzdale she came to West Middlesex to be in charge of the Good Shepherd parish children’s religious education instruction.
Other nuns and parishioners helped with the program up until Sr. Judith came to the first official Religious Education Coordinator. She ran the CCD program (the name it was known by then) from 1969 until 1982 under the direction of our founding pastor, Msgr. Salvatore Mitchell. She and a group of nuns formed the Mercer County Catechetical Center for the Diocese of Erie. They taught Religious Education in the county. Her sister, Sr. Anita James Gausman, would come to visit her from time to time and visit our CCD classrooms. Some of our parishioners, such as Isabelle Rea and Judy Miller remember her fondly and helped Sr. Judith as teachers and helpers for the CCD program. Julie Puhl remembers Sister being the inspiration behind the Holy Thursday Soup and Salad suppers.
Sr. Judith was a truly dedicated catechist and her influence was felt throughout the diocese. To quote from an article found in her files: “To spend an afternoon talking to Sister Judith is to come to some understanding of what the experts of CCD mean when they talk about their work being one of total religious dedication from the cradle to the grave.”
Sr. Judith also taught at Kennedy Christian (now Kennedy Catholic) High School from 1979 thru 1983. She then returned to Erie in 1983 to work in the diocesan Finance office. After serving at St. Mary’s and Ridgeway she returned to the Villa Maria Motherhouse in May of 1991 where she remained until her death on September 28, 1991.