Sister Josephine Barbiere
Jan 8, 2024
Like many a woman religious, Sister Josephine has had a varied life in ministry. While teaching in elementary school, Sister Josephine earned a degree in French at Middlebury College. She subsequently taught French at St. Angela Hall Academy and Bishop Kearney HS. Middlebury awarded her a one month scholarship to study in France during which time she was able to visit Le Puy.
Meanwhile she had been appointed Principal at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School. On her return from France, she began this new ministry, one in which she served for thirteen years. From Our Lady of Perpetual help she moved to a principalship at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Queens Village. She remained there as principal for nineteen years. After 50 years in the educational ministry which she loved, it was time to retire. But Sister Josephine was not interested in retiring.
During her nineteen years as principal the parish had evolved through many changes. She knew the people well and they knew her as a sign of stability. There were few of the former ethnic Italian, Irish and German parishioners. They had been replaced by people from India, Vietnam, Haiti, the Philippines and others. She saw a ministry among them. Sister Josephine remained as a Pastoral Associate and among her many responsibilities she began a ministry in bereavement counseling. With the help of volunteers, she initiated much needed programs and began a ministry. In addition, she also helps with liturgies and the day-to-day routines of parish life.
Sister Josephine looks forward to staying in ministry as long as she can. That’s what her life has been. When the time comes she is confident there will be others who can take her place.