Cleveland native Sister Jennifer Berridge, CSJ professed final, perpetual vows as a sister of the
Congregation of St. Joseph during a Sept. 16 liturgy in the chapel at the congregation’s center in Wheeling, West Virginia.
As a Sister of St. Joseph, her vows signify her lifelong commitment to chastity, poverty and obedience, and her dedication to God, to unifying love and to serving the needs of those most in need in the world. Bishop Mark Brennan of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, presided at the liturgy.
Sister Berridge is the daughter of John and Kathy Berridge.
She first made a connection with the Sisters of St. Joseph at her parish, the Church of the Resurrection, in Solon. The sisters’ warm, welcoming spirit and genuine care, love and support for her family that drew her to them, she said. As she became increasingly involved in the parish, Sister Berridge said she began to appreciate the value of committing herself to a religious community as a way to contribute positively and more fully to her community. “I know I can do more as a member of a congregation than I can on my own,” she said.
She was officially welcomed by the Congregation of St. Joseph as a candidate for vowed membership in 2016, and shortly thereafter moved to Wheeling, West Virginia to live in community with the CSJ sisters there. After two years of prayerful discernment as a candidate, Jennifer entered the novitiate in 2018 and two years later, professed first vows with the Congregation in 2020.
Sister Berridge attended Kent State University and later Sanford Brown Institute for Medical Technology where she trained in cardiovascular technology. She is a registered vascular technologist.
Currently, Sister Berridge provides case management services at Catholic Charities West Virginia in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.
In 2021, as part of a collaborative partnership with WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital, and after receiving a grant from Catholic Charities USA, Sister Berridge helped launch a program that assists people who are at high risk of readmission transition from hospital to home. The highly innovative, hospital-based initiative focuses on chronic disease management, home safety, nutrition, support networks and food security. If left unaddressed, any one of these can lead to hospital readmissions. The program has been so successful in reducing hospital readmissions that Sister Berridge is helping to launch similar initiatives at two other hospitals in Huntington.
In her message of gratitude, Sister Berridge said she is aware she did not get to this point in her life by herself. "There were many trusted supporters along the way, and I am forever grateful for all of you,” she said. “Thank you for your steadfast friendship and prayers.”