To mark National Social Work Month, we present the vocation story of Sister Diane Toth, a member of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown and a social worker.
After working for many years as a teacher, Sister Diane went back to college to become a social worker, a job she finds fulfilling as she shares time with older adults at two area nursing home/rehabilitation facilities.
In this interview, Sister Diane also shares how her desire to serve God brought her to the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.
It’s those ordinary moments, those ordinary times that you discover God that make life worth living.A Ready Ear and Open Heart
I work with older people, older adults, and have learned over the years how lonely and isolated they are. Even though they might have a family, they’re still there many, many hours alone. So as a social worker I go and visit and find out – just taking time to listen to them, because I find many people are busy and the nurses don’t have the time.
A Life’s Calling
It happened when I was in the 8th grade. I was standing on a street corner waiting again for my mother to pick me up after a meeting. She was never on time (chuckle), so I had time to think. I was standing in front of the church and one of the Sisters started crossing the street to go home. Out of the clear blue, a thought popped into my head, “Boy, I’d like to be like her.”
It kind of startled me because I hadn’t been thinking about nuns at all. The next moment I had another thought, “Why can’t I be?” And so, from that moment on, the thought bothered me. I couldn’t dismiss it. Then when I went one time to visit the novices, I felt like I was a missing piece of the puzzle.
Choosing the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown
They just seemed open to listening to me and they seemed to understand what I was saying – my desire to serve, my desire to follow God in a special way. They were just so comfortable, and hospitable.