Sister SusanMerrie English

I began to hear a calling to justice (defined as being in right relationship) when I was a child.  Without knowing or understanding why, I found myself defending the poor and the hurting, first in my heart and later in my actions.  When I was married, my husband and I adopted three special needs children after having three children of our own.  As a teacher I gravitated toward students with disadvantages.  I was searching to understand people more deeply and learn how to be in right relationship with myself, others and God.

In my thirties, I continued to hear the call of justice and I began searching for ways to open my heart and mind to deeper understanding.  I left public school teaching to teach in a women’s prison.  Ministering to the broken hearted, I began to realize, even more, how deeply unjust the world was.  It was here that I heard a calling to deeper faith.

After my children were grown and after completing a doctorate in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, I entered the Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh in 2001.  I wanted live in a community of like-minded women working together to improve condition for others in the world.  The Rule of Benedict is all about how people can live together in right relationship, in justice, as they listen to each other and to the calling of the Master.

I continue to hear that persistent calling, the calling to just relationship, the calling to transform and expand my own mind in faith. I respond to that call through my participation in social justice activities, through my private practice in leadership and life coaching, and by serving as co-director of the Duquesne University Professional Coach Certification Program. More simply put, I continually respond to the call through prayer and ministry, saying:  “Here I am, Lord.”  (Samuel 3:4)


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