Sister Bernadette Young

We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved

Sister Bernadette Young

who departed this life on January 20, 2013

in the sixty-seven year of her religious life

Age: 86 years, 5 months, 22 days

Resurrection Service: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.

Funeral arrangements: Viewing in the Community Room at Providence Heights on Tuesday, January 22 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and on Wednesday, January 23 from noon-3 p.m. Wake Service in the Community Room on Tuesday, January 22 at 7 p.m. Mass of Resurrection on Wednesday, January 23 at 3:30 p.m. in the Mother of Divine Providence Chapel at Provindence Heights.

"Who shall find a woman of Providence...she is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel." (Adapted from the Book of Proverbs)

Woman of Providence, Sister Bernadette Young, was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio, on July 28, 1926. She was the daughter of John and Mary Kappler Young, and sister of Sister Muriel Young and the late Mary Fister and Joanne Zucal. She was baptized in the church of their parish, Sacred Heart, and later attended the parish school.

Sister Bernadette's whole life was influenced by Divine Providence. She was taught by the Sisters of Divine Providence in grade school and at St. Joseph High School in Dover. In 1946, she followed her sister, Sister Muriel, into the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence. She became a teacher and taught young people in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Archdiocese of Boston. She established and directed the guidance department at Bishop Guilfoyle High School in Altoona. Every ministry she performed was enhanced by her education: bachelor of science in education from Duquesne University; master of science in guidance and counseling from the University of Dayton; and, Ph.D. in foundations of education from the University of Pittsburgh. In between, Sister Bernadette interned in the field of college administration at Marillac College in St. Louis.

In the early 1960s, Sister Mary John, as she was known then, was summoned to the office of the provincial director, who told her that she was to be the registrar of the college. Sister Mary John could only respond, "What college?" This was the beginning of her La Roche years, where she made Providence very visible when she served as registrar, admissions director, director of financial aid, and residence counselor, all at the same time. She regarded it as a privilege to serve the people of God, especially the members of the La Roche community, bringing many people "out of the cold and into a life of success" (her very own words).

After La Roche, Sister Bernadette began her Ph.D. work at the University of Pittsburgh. In the later seventies, until 2006, she worked in campus ministry at the Oratory in Oakland, for students at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Chatham College. She did it all for the love of God and the love of God's people—truly a woman of Providence her entire life. Her work ranged from RCIA programs, in which she guided many people into the Catholic Church, to preparing "study bags" (snacks) and "midnight breakfast" for the students during exam time. Bernadette believed that she made Providence visible by being available and listening.

And, indeed, she did just that. At the La Roche commencement in May 2012, Sister Bernadette Young was given the La Roche College Woman of Providence award because her life of service was a compelling example of God’s Providence made visible.

Birthday: July 28

Written by Sister Mary Traupman

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette printed a short obituary. and a longer memorial article on January 22.

If you would like to make a gift to the Sisters of Divine Providence in memory of Sister Bernadette, visit our donation page