"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

“Be diligent in serving
the poor. Love the poor,
honor them, my children,
as you would honor
Christ Himself.”

St. Louise de Marillac

 

S. Josetta Marie Chu

Sister Josetta Marie Chu died Oct. 6, 2023, at the age of 91 in Mother Margaret Hall, the nursing facility for the Sisters of Charity, Cincinnati, Ohio. Sister Josetta Marie was born on Jan. 4, 1932, to Y.K. Chu and Susan Lin Chu in Hupeh, China. She was the second oldest of seven children, five girls and two boys. She was a Sister of Charity for 63 years.

Sister Josetta grew up in Beijing, China, during the time when the Japanese invaded China and her family was forced to move to the country’s southwest. After World War II her father went to Taiwan as the first group of official personnel from the Republic of China to receive the island back from Japan. Sister Josetta completed high school in Taiwan and also graduated from a business college in statistics there. She and her whole family had become converts to the Catholic faith and through the influence of the Jesuit priests she was encouraged to look to studying nursing in the United States. She accepted a scholarship from the Good Samaritan College of Nursing in Cincinnati; there she met the Sisters of Charity. “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 entered the Sisters of Charity Community.

Sister Josetta’s ministries spanned more than 45 years and included nursing, nursing education, art, art therapy and acupressure. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, in 1964. Sister began as a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital, Albuquerque, New Mexico, that same year followed by Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colorado (1967-’68) and Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton, Ohio (1968-’69). Sister Josetta came home to Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility to care for Sister-patients through 1971. The next three years she worked with college students at the College of Mount St. Joseph, serving as the coordinator of student health and receiving a Bachelor of Art degree from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1974.

Sister Josetta then headed to Washington, D.C. where she spent the next three years as a full-time student at George Washington University, earning a master’s in art therapy as well as interning in psychiatry at Prince George Hospital, Cheverly, Maryland. Experiencing some overlap in programs, she also began studying psychiatric nursing in a new program introduced at The Catholic University of America, finishing there in 1982. She continued on as an employee of Provident Hospital of Psychiatry, Washington, D.C., and Provident Hospital Center, Washington, D.C., until 1997 using her art therapy and knowledge of Eastern medicine, especially acupressure, with the patients. She found her years in Washington, D.C. to be rewarding. Sister nurtured her artistic passions, studying traditional Chinese painting at the Smithsonian Institute with the famous Chinese art professor Chang-I.

In her retirement years, Sister Josetta moved to the Motherhouse where she enjoyed helping her Sisters, sharing her hobbies, interests and gifts with them, especially her art, nursing and acupressure techniques. She enjoyed teaching in the College of Mount St. Joseph’s LifeLearn program for adults. For her own relaxation, Sister Josetta read, sang and painted to improve her physical, mental and spiritual growth. She loved the challenge of learning new things that could benefit others. Meeting new people was a special joy for her.

A highlight for Sister Josetta was the opportunity to accompany her friend Sister Louise Akers to the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing and to learn of world-wide issues affecting women. She was thrilled to reconnect with the natural beauty of China as well as share her knowledge of acupressure and Chi Gong with fellow travelers.

Sister Joan Deiters remembered, “Josie pursued the art of Chinese painting as well as her psychiatric nursing career. She gave me one of her paintings for my therapy office in Poughkeepsie, New York. It hung on the wall facing my chair, so I could take in the beauty, the peace, the artistry of that painting every day. Thank you, Josie, for that gift and for your life that you lived in abundance. Thank you also for the life that you brought us as a member of our East Coast small group.”

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