Ministry Highlight


Sister Amy Zychal, IHM

Teacher, principal, development director, case worker, Congregational Leadership, medical patient, administrative assistant if you’re counting, this is my seventh career! You might think I’m wishy-washy, but in reality, except for teaching, all changes were made in response to a need. My education, life experiences, family background and sense of humor have allowed me to be flexible and available to accept new and unexpected challenges. I have been richly blessed.

After a major health incident and recovery in 2014, I realized by late summer that I needed to be able to serve in some capacity. The school scene was not an option. At the same time, a wonderful IHM woman, Sister Dolores Filicko, who had served as Administrative Assistant for FOP was thinking about retiring. My learning curve for this ministry was a steep one! I am not by nature a “techie” and had much to learn. Sister Dolores was the perfect tutor.

Now starting my seventh month in this ministry, I have gained many new skills and thoroughly enjoy the adventure! And adventure is the right word... on paper. I answer the telephone at the Friends of the Poor administrative office at the IHM Center; compose, type, mail “Thank you” letters for Sister Ann Walsh; manage the database; communicate with donors and potential donors, and FOP Board members about important issues. Off paper, every day is an adventure because I could never list all the “and whatever else comes up” includes. Friends of the Poor is a whirlwind of activity, it is never dull, and ultimately, those most in need are helped. I fully embrace the mission of Friends of the Poor to ease the burden of poverty and enhance the quality of life for all who live in low to moderate income communities.

I love what I do – the people, the people, the people – that I work with and serve.

Sister Judith Ann Ziegler, IHM

For the past ten years it has been the smile and voice of Sister Judy Ziegler that has greeted guests and vendors alike at the IHM Business Office at the IHM Center. Sister Judy is not only responsible each day for directing dozens of visitors and callers to the proper business office staff members but also for countless “behind the scenes” jobs such as digitizing accounts payable and accounts receivable documents. She also logs into the computer all the “monthly house accounts” of IHM local communities. In addition, she “logs them out,” packs, and mails the budget reports for the local communities each month. She is detail-oriented and an expert in organization of the filing of documents and invoices.

Sister Judy finds her work in the business office both enjoyable and fascinating. She’s happy to have a position of service to the sisters and one that contributes to the life of the congregation.

The part of Sister Judy’s job that she likes best? Her co-workers. She said, “We support each other and help each other. They are kind, thoughtful, and caring.”

In addition to her work in the business office, Sister Judy volunteers every Saturday at Heartworks. She has been with Heartworks since its beginning days at the Marian Convent. At the end of the business day at Heartworks, she closes out the cash register, and creates the financial report.

Sister Judy is a Baltimore native who came to know the IHM Sisters when she attended St. Agnes School where she was taught by Sister Jane Meehan in first grade and Sister Jeanne Albrittain in sixth grade. She entered the IHM Congregation in 1972 and celebrated her silver jubilee in 2000. Her mother and father are age ninety and have been married for sixty-four years. They reside at the Charlestown Retirement Community in Baltimore. Sister Judy enjoys frequent visits to Baltimore to visit her parents and her sister, Mary Jo.

Sister Mary Rassley, IHM

Fifteen years ago, Sister Mary Rassley began her ministry at the Marian Convent as coordinator of transportation. She spent each day arranging the transportation to doctor and hospital visits for more than a hundred residents at the Marian Convent and later at Our Lady of Peace Residence. She worked with the nursing staff to coordinate appointments with sisters, companions, drivers, and cars. When she turned eighty years old she left this position and embarked on a few new adventures. Among them is teaching art appreciation to small groups of OLP residents. She also volunteers two days a week and on holidays at Hospice of the Sacred Heart in-patient in Dunmore. She volunteers at Heartworks where she heads up the “E-bay Division” of Heartworks and she monitors and maintains the website. She posts, sells, packages, and mails sold items. Among the items sold are collectables, vintage items, out-of-print prayer and song books, and items that have been donated to Heartworks. Many have asked Sister Mary to sell their items on E-bay. She responds that she does this service only for Heartworks!

At Our Lady of Peace Residence Sister Mary sorts the mail and sees that it is distributed to the sisters and offices. When she leaves her work site, she goes to South Scranton where for a night each week she teaches ESL at the former Nativity Convent. When she’s not teaching ESL, she’s at the Marywood gym working out. In her free time Sister Mary enjoys reading— mostly non-fiction and history books.

She is quick to say that she enjoys everything she does and that she feels it is a privilege that the congregation “lets me do it."

Pictured above is Sister Mary Rassley and the late Sister Greta Collins

Sister Judy O’Brien, IHM


I have been in Boston for twelve years now. (I can hardly believe it!) Crissy is going to be twenty-four and Ely turns twenty-two next week. They are both out of school and working. Crissy is living in New York City and Ely is still home with me. As part of the Administrative Team at Cathedral High School, I oversee
the instructional practices of the faculty, mentor new teachers, participate in long-term planning and coach students for success. This year I am also teaching a Freshman Religion course which I am loving. My students are really interested in religious life and ask questions daily. Most of my free time is spent with my Mom who is eighty-eight years young this year and with my family. Life for me is filled with wonderful surprises and lots of love.