Sisters of Charity Federation Archives

Sister Ruth Ann Rody, SC Interviewed by Sister Victoria Marie Forde, SC May 19, 2019




[Bracketed words, not names, are additions by the Sister upon review.]
SVMF: Today is May 19, 2019, and we're here at the Motherhouse, Sister Ruth
Ann Rody and I, Sister Victoria Marie Forde, ready to begin her oral history. So,
Ruth Ann, what is anything that you want to add about your childhood before you
got to the Sisters of Charity, Vincentian Sisters of Charity.
SRAR: Well, I had very wonderful, nourishing parents. They always wanted the
best for us, they were very loving. And my siblings--I have one sister and three
brothers: Christine, who is also a Sister of Charity; my brother, Bill, was the Vice
President of the Union Pacific Railroad and is now retired; my brother, Bob, was
the Stage Production Manager for Cleveland Playhouse Squares Association, he is
also now retired; and my brother, Rusty is the top maintenance man for a tool and
dye company.
SVMF: So are they all older than you are? Are you the youngest?
SRAR: I'm the youngest girl; brother, Rusty is the youngest. My sister is the
oldest, and then there's four years between her and my oldest brother, then two
years between my oldest brother and my second brother, and two years between
my brother and myself, and then five years between myself and my youngest
brother, Rusty.
SVMF: And you always lived in Cleveland?
SRAR: Bedford, born and raised in Bedford, moved from one end of Bedford to
the other.
SVMF: So tell me about your life before you entered the Sisters.

SRAR: Well, I entered twice.
SVMF: Now that's an interesting point.
SRAR: I entered right after eighth grade. I can remember as a kid always wanting
to be a mother and have twelve kids. And then during grade school I used to help
Sister Irene Mraz [Mary Michalene] in the Sacristy and stuff, and we would talk.
Sister Maris Stella [Pramik] was another Sister that I used to hang out with. My
brothers and I would walk to school, and we'd get there in time to go to Mass, and
then after Mass there was time, so we would help the Sisters do different things
afterwards until school started.
SVMF: So did she talk to you about being a Sister, or no?
SRAR: When I was in eighth grade on the weekends I would be at the Rectory and
record the envelopes for them and answer the phone..
SVMF: And Christine's already in the convent?
SRAR: Yes, she entered when I was eight years old. I entered the first time in
1964 with Dorothy Blatnica. We both entered the same day, and I was four years
as an Aspirant. Within that time Lumen Cordium was like the second year that the
school was open, but the school wasn't built yet, so they were building the school,
and March of my freshman year was when the school was done, and we moved up
to the school.
SVMF: So then if you were there four years, you graduated then?
SRAR: I graduated from Lumen Cordium, yes. [1968]
SVMF: As an Aspirant?

SRAR: Yes, for all four years I was an Aspirant.
SVMF: You're in class with all the kids?
SRAR: Yes, we were treated just like the other girls. It's just that when they would
go home, we would go back to the convent.
SVMF: Did you dress differently?
SRAR: Yes, we did until our senior year, I think. It was like a dress, and we wore
black stockings and black shoes, the granny-type shoes. And we had to wear
colors. To go to school we had a dark navy blue. We had a tan-colored one that we
would clean in, and then light gray color. We had like little tammys that we wore
for church. And of course the tammy was always in the opposite end of the
building, so you had to run and get your tammy and then run back to church to
SVMF: Were there a lot of you in your class?
SRAR: There were 32 in the whole Novitiate, but there were different classes.
SVMF: Really, from the eighth grade on?
SRAR: Yes, there were six canonical novices or novices. Then there were four
seniors. Then there were four juniors. This is my freshman year, there were six of
us, my freshman year, and four sophomores.
SVMF: So you all lived together became friends and all that?

SRAR: We had dormitories that we lived in.
SVMF: Once they were novices, then they moved out?
SRAR: It was the old mansion before they tore the mansion down and added the
new section. It was a big dormitory that we lived in. and we had a big, large room
is what it was.
SVMF: What about summertime?
SRAR: We went home for the summers.
SVMF: Oh, did you? But you came back every time.
SRAR: Right. We came back at the end of August or in the middle of August.
SVMF: When you went home, then you could just dress normal?
SRAR: Yes.
SVMF: How interesting. Okay, so then what happened after you graduated?
SRAR: After I graduated, the Community sent the rest of us home. Halfway
through my senior year I should have become a Postulant and then that summer I
should have become a Novice, but instead Mother Joseph [Slavik] came into the
study hall and told us that we were all going to be dismissed and not to come back
in September. They were disbanding the Novitiate at that point.
SVMF: Did she give you any reasons?

SRAR: No, no reason was given. So then Sister Mary Phillip [Maceyko] started the
external Associate program to try to keep those vocations alive. We would meet
once a month for a weekend, and we would have a mini-retreat kind of thing, and
she would have different speakers come in, and we would do different stuff. Then I
don't k now what happened, but then she disbanded that also. So, we were
supposed to leave for a year and then come back to what was originally started, but
I, at that point I was pretty angry with God. I figured if God didn't want me I didn't
want any part of God.
SVMF: That sounds logical. That's a pretty drastic thing.
SRAR: Within that time like I never gave up on prayer, I never gave up because
my heart of hearts was with Jesus, was with Christ. And I couldn't see not
receiving Eucharist. So that's one of the things that kept me going, and my sister
was still in the convent. We would talk and stuff when I would go and see her.
When I graduated from high school I went to Marymount School of Practical
Nursing and was in practical nursing school when my mom was sick, and basically
I was taking care of her and not studying, and so I basically flunked out of nursing
school. But I started working at Brentwood Hospital in Warrensville Heights,
Ohio. It's up by the Thistledown Race Track. It’s a suburb of Cleveland. So I
started working there. I was an aide, and the nurses kept encouraging me to go
back to school. So I started at Cuyahoga Community College the Western campus
and got into the Nursing program and there became a nurse in 1974.
I met my friend, Lenny Piechowsky, and we were dating for a while, and then he
said, "You know I have something to tell you." And I thought, "Oh, Gees, here we
go." And he said, "I really want to become a priest." So he entered the Franciscans,
the Sacred Heart Province, went off to school in Quincy Illinois.
And so the one summer he didn't have a way to get back. They were free to come
home during the summer and basically get jobs and work to pay for their tuition

and stuff. And so I went out to Quincy to pick him up and met Michael Casuto, and
with hanging out with them I met the Wheaton Franciscans. So I was looking at the
Wheaton Franciscans, and I went and spent a weekend with them, which was a real
trip. We [my friend Sue DeSanTIS left after work, so Wheaton is a suburb of
Chicago. And so we got through and the directions they forgot to put down a route
to take, so we ended up in Wisconsin and called them and said, "I think we must
have turned somewhere." So then they told us how to go, and we got in about 1:00
instead of 10:00. But it was a really good weekend and I thought, Okay.
SVMF: So who is "we?"
SRAR: My roommate[Sue DeSantis] and I.
SVMF: She was interested too?
SRAR: No, we were good friends from work.
SVMF: She went with you.
SRAR: Yes, so we went together just so I would have someone to go with. After
the visit I thought that's it, you know. They worked with the poor, and they were all
thing--s knowing Vincent and Louise their charism was the closest thing without
going back to the Vincentians because they didn't want me, so why should I want
them now? At this point Chris was in El Salvador so it had to be the late 70s.
SVMF: We can check.
SRAR: I entered in '78, so it was like between '74 and '78.
SVMF: You mean after you went to visit the Wheaton Franciscans and she's in El
Salvador, so how did you get back to the Vincentians?

SRAR: She came home for a summer visit, and I took Christine, Marjorie
Grudowski and Petronella [Huzichka], the three of them out for lunch. Well, they
were talking about the Community, and how it was changing, and how they were
getting more involved with social issues, you know. And after that luncheon I
thought, you know (had to be' 78 because end of '77 –'78). So for all the reasons I
was going to move to Chicago were right here, you know.
And so Marjorie at that point was the Directress of Novices, Formation Director, I
should say. And so I thought, "Well," so I went out and called Marjorie and started
talking to her, and we had lunch, you know, and I started looking at them, and they
asked their questions, and finally decided to enter.
So my decision for that was like February 16 I believe because I was at Mass, and
I stayed after Mass just to pray because I didn't want to fight the people in the
parking lot. And Father Benji, I don't remember his last name, and said to me, "Oh,
you must be holy." I said, "Oh, I don't think so. Just listen to one of my
confessions, and you'll know I'm not holy." And he said, "Okay, see me." So I
made an arrangement to go see him. So he was asking me, "Why are you holding
back and not going back into religious life?" And I had no reason even though I
was seeing Randy at that point, and the relationship should have gone to marriage
now, and my question was instead of "Yes, when are we going to get married?"
and all that I said, "Oh, I've got to think about this."
And I thought that's not really the question that should have happened, that was
the question I came up with. So once I had that all over with, Father Benji just said,
"I don't understand why you just don't go pursue religious life." And so I was on
480, and there's a section that you're down in like a valley, but it's not just in the
way that they constructed it, and you're coming up, and it's like you're taking off in
a plane, and I said, "So why aren't you pursuing it?" And I can remember that
distinctly, and I know it was February 16, 1978. And then March 29 of 1978 I
entered the Vincentian Sisters in Bedford along with Terry Hines.
SVMF: So you answered your question.

SRAR: Yes, I answered the question and moved on from there.
SVCMF: And said good bye to Randy.
SRAR: Yes, and my dad was I n the hospital when I ran into him. His mom was in
the hospital also. I ran into him in the hallway, and he said, "Didn't know what I
had until you were gone."
SVMF: That was a nice complement.
SRAR: But then I thought, I'm sort of glad he sees that. He stopped where he was,
and it's like he really needs to get a life. It was the right thing to do.
SVMF: So now you've entered. Did you have to do anything over again, or did
they count anything you had done?
SRAR: No, there was ten years between.
SVMF: You had to start from scratch?
SRAR: Yes. Well, and it was a different time period. Marjorie was the Directress
and then. . . .
SVMF: Sister Marjorie?
SRAR: Grudowski. She's the one that started Pineville. So I went through the
Formation process.

SVMF: Were there very many of you together at this time?
SRAR: It was just Terry and myself, and Anita Maroun was received into the
Community March 15, 1978. Terry and I entered ,Teresa and I entered March 29,
1978. So there were the three of us in Formation. We did an InterCommunity
Formation program. That's when we started that.
SVMF: So you were with other communities. There were men and women?
SRAR: Yes. It was very good, we learned a lot. Terry and I were received into the
Community, and were Novices in September.
SVMF: So are you still nurses?
SRAR: I was a nurse.
SVMF: They still let you continue nursing?
SRAR: Until my Canonical year. Then I had to quit for my Canonical year.
SVMF: There weren't that many nurses in the Community?
SRAR: No, there were six.
SVMF: That's a good number.
SRAR: Margaret Eileen [Golden] was a nurse and was working at Marymount
Hospital. I don't know why they asked me, but I became the Community

infirmarian. I know because up to that point I think Sister Mary Alberta
[Vitikatch]. When she was older they asked me to take over.
SVMF: Did you have many in the infirmary?
SRAR: No, there wasn't. I was basically taking care of wellness checks and taking
their blood pressure and that. We never really had anybody bedridden until right
before they died. So it was fairly easy because I was working 3-11 at the hospital,
and during the day I would take care of the Sisters. There were a couple that I
helped assist with their baths.
SVMF: You were working at the hospital also?
SRAR: Yes.
SVMF: As well as, the Community infirmarian. So what hospital are you at?
SRAR: Brentwood Hospital where I was before. They kept my seniority because I
was only gone for 11 months. But I was working 3-11 and taking care of the
Sisters in the morning. Days like 7-3 I'd work as the infirmarian and then 3-11 at
the hospital.
SVMF: Oh, boy, that's a long day.
SRAR: Yes.
SVMF: You're still young.

SRAR: Yes, but it was great. It kept me on my toes. During the day it was
basically taking vital signs, going and talking to them to see what's going on, and if
they were feeling okay.
SVMF: Half social work.
SRAR: Yes.
SVMF: So what happened then when you merged? Were you still doing that until
we merged?
SRAR: No, because I went to Pineville in 1995.
SVMF: So how did that happen?
SRAR: How did we get to Pineville?
SVMF: How did you get there?
SRAR: It was already established by Marjorie. I can't remember what year she
SVMF: We can always fill in the year.
SRAR: Well, Marjorie went down in the 80's. And then Elizabeth [Kochik] went
down. Marjorie went down, and as she had emergency surgery and was diagnosed
with ovarian cancer. She came back, and I took care of her. She was living at, at
this point I was living at Vincent's House, and Marjorie was living with Sister
Barbara Ann [Patruchak] at Marillac House. And it got to the point where Barbara
Ann needed somebody to watch her or take care of her during the day.

And so I would go over and take care of her during the day. Barbara Ann would
come home from school, and I would go to work so that Marjorie wasn't by herself.
Well, Barbara Ann and I took care of her until Marjorie died. So at that point
Elizabeth was down in Pineville and Sister [Mary] Imelda Sekerak just finished
her term as the Community Sister in charge of the Sisters at the Motherhouse. So
she asked to go down to Pineville and help.
SVMF: What's in Pineville?
SRAR: That's what I was trying to say before. In the Sisters Today magazine there
was an ad for anybody that would want to teach full time down in Pineville,
Kentucky, teach the literacy program. It had to be right after '77 that's when they
had the big flood, and the different ministers came together to have the Christian
ministerial meeting. And so they put in advertisement in the magazine for Sisters
to come down and work in the area. Well, Mary Ann Flannery was the superior at
the time, and she found the article, and so she was looking for summer volunteer
places for our Sisters. And so she responded to it. But it was, "Let's see, which
ones went down for the summer."
But they wanted somebody full time, all year. So Marjorie finished her stint as the
Formation Director, so she applied for it, and she went down. So she was the first
one in Pineville and started the literacy program for Bell County. And then
Elizabeth Kochik came back from Salvador and was looking for a ministry so she
went down and lived with Marjorie at that point. And then Marjorie came back and
died from cancer, and Elizabeth was there. Imelda went down, so I can't remember
how old she was when she went down, but she learned how to drive so she could
go down.
SVMF: That's right, in her 50's.
SRAR: Yes, so then Imelda was with Elizabeth. Well then, shortly, had to be '95,
Elizabeth had a recurrence of cancer, and she died. So then Imelda was going to

come back because nobody was there with her' and when I was a kid I read
Christy, the book about a young woman, who was a teacher and went and worked
in the mountains' and I fell in love with the mountains during reading that book'
and I had always wanted to go. And so I asked if I could go, and so I moved.
SVMF: But when you went down it wasn't just literacy was it?
SRAR: No, I went down, and I was working in a nursing home. My first job down
there was night shift in a nursing home.
SVMF: Is Imelda with you then?
SRAR: Yes, I was living with Imelda in the parish house right next to the church. I
was working in a nursing home, and then I got a position in home health nursing in
Bell county. So that's where I started working, and I love home health. It was really
what I wanted with that whole dream of working in the mountains.
SVMF: And with the poor.
SRAR: Yes, it was just really what I wanted to do. So I was there for 15 years.
SVMF: Were you really?
SRAR: Yes.
SVMF: Well, Imelda came back.
SRAR: Yes, Imelda was getting older and losing strength, and she was developing
macular degeneration, and she wanted to be living at the Motherhouse before she

went totally blind, so she could get around. So that's why she moved up, and Sister
Barbara Philippart came down.
SVMF: Yes, she was looking for a place.
SRAR: Yes, she was looking, and we an influx of Hispanics in the area from the
migrant workers, the migrant farmers. And they started a restaurant, and it grew
into three different restaurants, and there was a large Hispanic Community that
weren't being taken care of, and they were all going to the Episcopalians because
the pastor there knew Spanish. And so I kept putting out for anybody who knew
Spanish to come down, and so Barbara came down and did a lot for the Church in
Pineville. When I first went down we were less than 1% Catholic in the area and
by the time I left we were at 1%.
SVMF: That's good.
SRAR: Yes, and they did a lot of work, also. Anyway I came back.
SVMF: I thought Sister Mary Barbara said they wanted your house where you
were living.
SRAR: When we were living in the house right next to the church. They moved
that house to one of the hollers because they wanted a social building. So they built
us a social hall for the church right next to it, so we were renting the First Christian
Church's pastor's home.
SVMF: The rectory?
SRAR: Yes, they don't call it a rectory, their parish house. And so their pastor died,
and they were getting a new pastor, and they needed a place for them to live. So
they asked us to move because they needed it for their house. So we looked

around, and we couldn't find a place to live in Pineville. There were two
apartments that we looked at that were like we were living in a basement. With our
arthritis it just wouldn't work out. It was always damp and wet and cold. But we
looked at other places, but it was time to go. So then we moved back to Cincinnati.
SVMF: You both came to the Motherhouse then?
SRAR: No, I was supposed to live with Nancy Crofton on Cleves Warsaw, and her
father died the day she moved into that apartment, and so she had a difficult time
living in that place because it was always a reminder that her dad died that day that
she moved. We had the apartments on Schwartze, so we moved into the apartments
on Schwartze, and I stayed there until. . . .
SVMF: And you each had your own apartment?
SRAR: Yes, and we had two Franciscans that lived there.
SVMF: What were you doing for your ministry?
SRAR: At that time I was looking for a job, and I had hurt my back in Pineville, so
I knew I couldn't do traditional nursing working in the hospital, that this would not
work, so I went back to school and became a legal nurse consultant. I tried to look
for a job with a lawyer and couldn't find one. I offered services to Legal Aid, but
nothing happened there, so in the meantime the Health Resource Center put out a
letter that they needed somebody to be their office manager, but it was all
volunteer because they didn't have money for the position. So because of our
grants I was able to work there and get money for my position with a Community
grant. The Health Resource Center is an out-patient psychiatric clinic for the
homeless and indigent.
SVMF: That's where you are now.

SRAR: That's where I am presently. And I've been there five, six years. I love it.
It's working with the homeless and trying to help them.
SVMF: And Mary Barbara helps you with the translation sometimes?
SRAR: Yes.
SVMF: And when did you move to the Motherhouse?
SRAR: Well, that's another story. It was three or four years ago. It's when Trish
came back from California, Trish Cruise, and started working with Healthy Moms
and Babes. Nancy moved out, and that apartment was empty for over a year, and
then the two Franciscan sisters retired and moved back to their Motherhouse, so I
was the only one living there. So I went to the administration and asked that since
the three apartments were empty, could we not open it up for emergency shelter for
battered women, and I would be the care taker. And so they talked about it, and at
that point Trish was looking for a place for her homeless mothers. And so the
Community set everything up and gave it to the Healthy Moms and Babes, and I
was fine with Trish.
And I was talking with Trish and offered to be the person there, and she said I
couldn't do that because it changes the status of being a shelter to being a medical
place because I'm a nurse, and that it would change the insurance. So I had to find
a place to live. At that point I contacted Cookie [Crowley], and they only had the
room that I'm presently living in. So that's when I moved to the Motherhouse.
SVMF: Okay, one thing I was thinking is that you went to England sometimes.
SRAR: Father Dane was the pastor at St. Jullian's and St. Anthony's, and he retired
and moved back to England and took care of his mom. And Judith Ann [Ansberry],
Imelda and I and a friend from Pineville went to England, stayed with him, and he
gave us the English tour of England. It was really nice. I also was one of the lucky

ones, this is while we were still Vincentians, who won the Federation retreat in
France where St. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac ministered. We started
out in Pouy, where he was born, and then did that whole retreat, and we ended up
in Paris at the Motherhouse at the Rue de Bac.
SVMF: Who directed that retreat?
SRAR: Sister Louise, she was a Daughter of Charity. It was really wonderful, just
SVMF: I know Judy had one, and I'm still sorry to this day that I didn't sign up for
that one.
SRAR: It was just awesome to walk where Vincent and Louise walked, it was just
amazing. And then Rue de Bac seeing their bodies and their chapels.
SVMF: If you think of anything else, we can always add it.
I usually ask people if they'd like to say anything about….What do you think
about the Community right now, future or the Church?
SRAR: I think it's a time of wonder. It's exciting in the sense that we're living
through historical pieces of where to go and how to get there.
SVMF: Are you talking about both the Community and the Church?
SRAR: Just the different the changes from the first time I entered until now, so
different. Somewhere more positive, it's a Church of hope. I see it as being more
responsive to the People of God. Not so black and white, so condemning, it's more
like when Jesus started the Church, humbly, and with love. It's an exciting time.

SVMF: I'm glad you see it that way. And then we have this big Federation meeting
coming in Chicago, where all the Sisters from all different Charity communities
are going to meet. That's exciting. That's coming up.
SRAR: Being part of the Federation during Formation is really,-- that's when I was
in Formation-- that's when they began it, and it all began. We got involved with it,
I should say. And it's just a real exciting time. Anita and I kept saying while we
were in Formation that people are talking about that there aren't any leaders in the
Community, and people were starting to recycle their leadership. And I said,
"You're not teaching the young people to be leaders." I said, "How do you expect
them to be leaders if you don't teach them." So I was so happy when they had the
Federation Leadership involvement for young Sisters, 65 and under or 60 and
SVMF: And then that other meeting where we had the young people.
SRAR: Well, I guess it's my own little idiosyncrasy. I don't like the term "younger
Sister and older Sister". . . .
SVMF: It's like a distinction.
SRAR: It's new Formation because even the younger Sisters are 50. So it's like at
69, I'm still a younger Sister. I could be a great-grandmother by now.
SVMF: That's so interesting that you think it's exciting. I think that's really hopeful
and optimistic. I do a lot of oral histories, and I didn't hear too many people say,
"It's exciting at this time."
SRAR: Oh yes, I mean it's wide open to adventure. The Gospel is alive and living,
and we have the opportunity to make it more apparent to people.

SVMF: And then in your ministry you're seeing that.
SRAR: Yes, I am.
SVMF: It's very hopeful to hear what your ministry is too.
SRAR: Well, it also gives Sisters who are Motherhouse-bound opportunity because
they give me money towards helping the poor, and so I just now started buying gift
cards from Kroger so that they have food because they always run out of food at
the end of the month because there's more month than money. That way they can
pick out what they want.
We also have started a little pantry for our clients, and we have like spaghetti sauce
and spaghetti, and then I get little cans of chicken in a can or tuna, some kind of
protein so that they have protein because otherwise they are eating carbohydrates.
They need to eat protein, and then canned fruit and vegetables, so that they have
sort of a balanced meal even though it's all processed food. But you can't keep a
fresh ham in the pantry without it smelling!
SVMF: Oh, and the other thing we should mention in your oral history especially
is your baking and your cooking like for the Mardi Gras. It seems that the group is
dependent on you to make those special cookies that take two days to make for
example and some other good meals that you and Mary Alice [Stein] and Judith
[Ann Asberry] have made for our Area.
SRAR: If I had more stamina, I would probably bake and cook more often.
SVMF: But you're doing it, and it creates community. I think that's so important
here, or else we'd all just be in our rooms without community.
SRAR: Well, I entered Community to be community.

SVMF: Yes, I think we all did.
SRAR: I have a difficult time with people who don't like, don't love Community.
It's like, "Why did you enter? Or" why are you still here?"
SVMF: So that's why it's so important to have community, and you've helped
create a lot of it. Thank you.
SRAR: I hope so.
SVMF: Well, if there's anything else you want to add, you can always add it. We
can either tape it or we can write it, or whatever you want if you think of
something, or if something comes to mind. But for now I thank you very, very
much. It was very interesting, an unusual journey that you have had, especially
entering twice.
SRAR: We didn't talk about the merger.
SVMF: Oh, that's right.
SRAR: That was the whole time from entrance until the time we merged there was,
"What are we going to do? How are we going to do it?" For me it was, I guess the
whole thing was exciting because it was like the charism and our mission was so
important that we didn't want it to die. So how were we going to keep it alive?
That's when we went through that whole process.
We did a Community retreat, and it was on the lake at the Cleveland retreat house
right on Lake Erie. And the whole week the lake was really rough, and in fact there
were sometimes three- to five-foot waves. I mean it was really rough, and then the
day that we made our decision and unanimously voted to merge with the Sisters of

Charity, it was like glass. It was so calm. It was like if you didn't believe in the
Spirit, all you had to do was watch the lake. It was just marvelous. You knew it
was of God. For me and a few others, we've talked about it, and it's been the best
thing that we could have done.
SVMF: And at our end, you know, there wasn't any suggestion of anything but,
"Of course." We met you, we had to learn about you for a couple of years I think.
And then vote: "Of course."
SRAR: And then the blessing of our memories was a beautiful ceremony. And then
we were without vows for an hour!
SVMF: You could have left.
SRAR: We could have gone off to town and not had to worry about any stuff. And
then the ceremony coming down was the way we used to do the ceremonies for
Reception and Profession. We had the coming down to the Shrine, and down the
Shrine steps to proclaim.
SVMF: I was there for that, and that was very powerful.
SRAR: It was, yes, yes. And four of the Sisters, they moved to the Motherhouse at
that point. They were free of any of the history was with them. They began a new
life and really became new people. So it was a wonderful experience.
SVMF: For us too. We appreciate it; it was a gift for us. Well, thank you again.
That was very powerful, a wonderful oral history. And if you think of anything
else, just let me know, and we'll add it. I think you've really given us a lot of
information, a lot of what you feel which is interesting. It's not just facts. Thank
you very much.

SRAR: You're welcome.
SVMF: Is there anything you would like to add before we finish?
SRAR: I truly believe in Divine Providence because God always gets me where I
am supposed to be when I'm supposed to be there. That's how I've felt on all the
jobs I've been and met the people I'm supposed to meet, and helped them along the
way. And they helped me along the way.
SVMF: Do you want to add that Myers Briggs thing on the flexibility?
SRAR: You were talking about that you have to wait to get this oral history
transcribed. On the Myers Briggs I'm an ENFP, so I'm high in not having to have
things finished. That's why I can make a quilt that takes 12 years! I took a
flexibility test on rigid or flexible, and I'm off the grid on flexibility, and the
psychiatrist that was administering the test said that he's never met anybody so
flexible on the test, that I was off the grid.
SVMF: Ah, that's great. That's a blessing for all of us. Well, again, if you think of
anything else, we just push the button.

Dublin Core


Sister Ruth Ann Rody, SC Interviewed by Sister Victoria Marie Forde, SC May 19, 2019


Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati; Monasticism and religious orders for women -- Catholic Church -- History; Nursing--United States--History


An interview with Sister Ruth Ann Rody by Sister Victoria Marie Forde. Sister Ruth Ann discusses her attempt to enter religious life with the VIncentian Sisters of Charity of Bedford, Ohio during the renewal period following Vatican II as well as her work in nursing, primarily in home health care. The Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Bedford, Ohio were a Catholic congregation of Women Religious. Founded on September 4, 1928, when five Sisters arrived from Pittsburgh in response to an invitation from Cleveland’s Archbishop Joseph Schrembs, the Sisters who arrived were originally members of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Pittsburgh (founded in 1902). They received the full support of the community to embark on this new spiritual journey in Bedford. The Community did not officially become an autonomous congregation until February 19, 1939. On that day, 44 Sisters took vows as Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Bedford, Ohio. The Archbishop requested that this diocesan community focus on ministering to Cleveland’s Slovak community. This was eventually achieved through ministerial works in a variety of parishes in the Cleveland and Youngstown dioceses, primarily in the fields of elementary education, health care, and domestic service. At its height, the community had 150 members in 1965 and, at that time, were involved in over 20 schools, hospitals, and community organizations. In 2004, the community identified a shared Charism (vision of mission), Vincentian spirituality, and ministry focus with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati; on June 27th of that year, they merged officially and the remaining Vincentian Sisters, including Sister Ruth Ann, became Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. This recording is a part of the oral history series housed at the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Archives.


Rody, Sister Ruth Ann, SC; Forde, Sister Victoria Marie, SC


Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Archives


Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Archives Oral History Series




Laverty, Jackene (Transcriber)


Online access is provided for research purposes only. For rights, reproduction, and use requests or more information, please contact the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Archivist.






Oral History


Sister Ruth Ann Rody, SC Interviewed by Sister Victoria Marie Forde, SC May 19, 2019



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Forde, Sister Victoria Marie, SC


Rody, Sister Ruth Ann, SC


Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland (Ohio)

Original Format



56 Minutes 41 Seconds


Rody, Sister Ruth Ann, SC; Forde, Sister Victoria Marie, SC, “Sister Ruth Ann Rody, SC Interviewed by Sister Victoria Marie Forde, SC May 19, 2019,” Sisters of Charity Federation Archives, accessed April 24, 2024,


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