Celebrating Our Jubilarians – S. Josetta Chu
Born in Beijing, China, Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Josetta Marie Chu was the second oldest of seven children. Following high school, Sister studied accounting and statistics at a business college in Taiwan. At the age of 22, she made the decision to become a nurse and came to the United States after receiving a full scholarship to Cincinnati’s Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing.
It was there at nursing school that Sister Josetta Marie first met the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. “They treated each other so courteous and were so happy all the time,” she once said. After graduating from nursing school, on Sept. 8, 1960, Sister Josetta Marie entered the Community.
Sister earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati) in 1964, and spent the next seven years in the field at St. Joseph Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico (1964-’67); Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colorado (1967-’68); Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton, Ohio (1968-’69); and Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility, Mount St. Joseph (1969-’71).
Sister Josetta Marie served as the coordinator of student health services at the College of Mount St. Joseph for the next three years before receiving a master’s degree in art therapy from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Sister also earned a master’s degree in psychiatric mental health nursing from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She ministered at the following hospitals for 20 years as a psychiatric nurse/art therapist: Prince George Hospital, Cheverly, Maryland; Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring, Maryland; Providence Hospital, Washington, D.C.; and Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.
From 1996 until 2003, Sister Josetta Marie studied at the Ohashi Institute in New York City, New York, where students integrate centuries-old wisdom with modern daily life. In 1998 Sister completed a degree in acupressure from the Ohashiatsu program.
Sister studied traditional Chinese painting for many years at the Smithsonian Institute with the famous Chinese art professor Chang-I and his student Louise Freed. She concentrated on traditional Chinese painting in black and white. “I try to preserve the Chinese traditions,” she said. “Chinese art is so peaceful.”
In November 2007 Sister Josetta Marie exhibited her paintings at the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse as a way to introduce briefly the characteristics of Chinese painting to art lovers and to generate contributions for the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Retirement Fund.
In 2013 Sister wrote “Exercises from East to West, Head to Toe,” a booklet of exercises gleaned from her background, cultural upbringing and years of nursing experience. Sister Josetta Marie’s hope was that the booklet served as a welcome invitation to engage the whole self in exercises that are designed to be healthful and healing.
Sister Josetta Marie is currently retired and living at Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility.