New Leadership

Written on: April 12, 2018

Pictured above from left to right: Sisters Anne Marie Beirne, Barbara Schiavoni, Denise Roche, Eileen White and Bridget Mary Connor.

We are pleased to announce the election of Sister Denise Roche, GNSH as President of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart for the next leadership term. The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart selected an additional four women to lead the Congregation for the next five years. Joining Sister Denise Roche, are Sister Eileen White, Sister Barbara Schiavoni, Sister Anne Marie Beirne and Sister Bridget Mary Connor. Thank you, Sisters for responding yes to the call to leadership of the Congregation.

Sister Denise along with the other council members will be officially installed on July 1, 2018. Their five year term will last through 2023.

We are extremely grateful to the Sisters completing their term of Leadership:  Sister Julia C. Lanigan (President), Sister Diane Bardol, Sister Ceil Cosgrove, Sister Dawn Gear and Sister Mary Elizabeth Looby. Your steady leadership through these past five years has been exemplary and has brought the Congregation to a place of new beginning. Thank you!


Sister Anne Marie Beirne grew up in Jackson Heights, New York and attended Blessed Sacrament Parish School. She graduated from D’Youville College and received an M.S. at Scranton University and an M.S.W. from Fordham University. She has served in ministry in education and social work, including more than 20 years as a counselor at Mercy Medical Center, Rockville Center. Currently, she is Supervisor, Senior Case Management of Catholic Charities in Freeport and Coordinator of Marguerite’s Pantry at Our Lady of Fatima parish in East Elmhurst.


Sister Bridget Connor, Ed.D., A Philadelphia native and graduate of Bishop McDevitt High School, is currently a Baltimore resident and a professor at the School of Education at Notre Dame of Maryland University, Sister Bridget teaches graduate courses in Learning and the Brain and Space, Research, Space and Earth Science and Leadership. Her publications include articles in The International Journal of Learning and the International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum and recent books, The Brain and Educational Connections and Personality and Prayer: A Reflective Journal. Sister Bridget will be relocating to Philadelphia in June to begin service on the Grey Nuns’ Leadership Council.


Sister Denise Roche  a prominent presence in Buffalo, served as president of D’Youville College for 37 years, from 1979 until 2016. She holds a B.A., an M.A. and a Ph.D in Sociology. Before assuming presidency of the college, she was an instructor in Sociology, Chair of the Sociology Department, Assistant Professor and Associate Dean. Sister Denise has been affiliated with many different community service organizations in the Buffalo area. Currently, she is a member of the Buffalo Public Schools Foundation Board, D’Youville Community Advisory Board, POLARIS, Inc. and the WNY Consortium of Higher Education. She is the recipient of many awards from academic, civic and religious organizations. Currently, Sister Denise serves as Chair of the Board of Commissioners of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA).


Sister Barbara Schiavoni grew up in Williamsville, NY. She received a B.A. in Psychology at SUNY, Binghamton, an M.S.W. at SUNY, Buffalo and an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry at Christ the King Seminary, Diocese of Buffalo. Sister Barbara ministered at the Drueding Center, Project Rainbow in Philadelphia, at Catholic Charities of Buffalo and as Pastoral Associate at St. Andre Bessette Parish in Malone, New York. Currently she is the Associate Director for the Department of Lifelong Faith Formation, Diocese of Buffalo.     


Sister Eileen White,although born in Philadelphia, Sister Eileen spent her early years in Boone, North Carolina. Returning to Philadelphia, she met the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart as a student at Cardinal Dougherty High School. Sister Eileen, a prolific writer, is a contributing columnist to From a Faith Perspective in the Bucks County Courier Times. Currently, Sister Eileen serves in ministry as Residential Coordinator at Dawn’s Place, a Philadelphia sanctuary for victims of commercial sex trafficking.


If you are interested in learning more about our General Chapter and viewing some photos, please click here.


4 thoughts on “New Leadership

  1. Roselee Maddaloni says:

    God bless Sister Denise and all the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart as they move forward!

  2. Nora mongan says:

    Hi i was just wondering about prayer meeting do you have a a day u do meeting thanks and godbless yee

  3. Ken Stuczynski '91 says:

    Congratulations to Sr. Denise and everyone!

  4. Kate E. McDermott - Mahon says:

    Congratulations to all the members of.the new leadership team. You are in good hands and may God.continue to bless you in all your endeavors on behalf of the email Grey Nuns of.the Sacred Heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Grey Nuns