Beatitude House began its 20th Anniversary Celebration with a Mass with the Ursuline Sisters and members of its Board of Directors – current and past – on Sunday January 23, 2011 at the Ursuline Motherhouse. Fr. Richard Brobst presided at liturgy while Sister Patricia McNicholas recalled the origins of Beatitude House in her reflection.
The story of the beginning of Beatitude House is a lesson in communal discernment for ministry in the lives of Ursuline Sisters today. Sister Margaret Scheetz – Peg, who died in January 2001, was pursuing an advanced degree in computer education at Kent State University in the late 1980s. One day she watched a TV show about a homeless woman and her struggles to keep her family together. That show sparked an idea – could the Ursulines do something for homeless women in Youngstown?
Sr. Margaret shared her idea with Sr. Nancy Dawson, General Superior and Sr. Mary O’Leary. Both responded enthusiastically and Peg began immediately: looking for a house and a neighborhood, seeking donations, and seeking workers who could help turn an old house into new apartments for homeless women and their dependent children.
Throughout the of the process of bringing an idea into reality, Peg consulted with the community and counted on their prayers for success. Lots of the sisters helped with things like cleaning or gathering donations from friends and family.
What began as an idea of a single sister turned into 4 apartments for homeless families, and then 8. Check out the video to get all the details of the numbers of women and children whose lives have been changed by their time at Beatitude House.
This is an example of how nuns get things done. First, a sister has an idea to work for the people of God. Second, she shares it with her friends and the leadership of the community. With their approval and support the sister can work to bring that idea into reality.