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Partners in Mission

Posted 7/31/2019

During August we pay tribute to two more employees who minister alongside the Ursuline Sisters.

The Ursuline Sisters of Toledo and the Ursuline Center are blessed to have a host of dedicated employees who minister alongside us in our daily activities. Each month, two such employees will be highlighted on our website.

Tom Barnhiser is serving in his 10th year as Maintenance Director of the Ursuline Center. Tom learned about the position from his mother who saw an ad in the Blade. Tom contacted Sister Donna Frey, who his family has known for many years from when his sister was a nun. Thus began his career journey with the Ursuline Sisters.

“I enjoy the residents and doing/fixing things for them, no matter how small they are,” Tom says. “The staff has been very helpful. I enjoy having lunch with the residents and office staff, also. I hear and learn some very interesting things.”

Highlights from his time at the Ursuline Center range from having big projects completed to simple “thank you’s.”

Tom is a parishioner at St. Patrick Church in Grand Rapids. He enjoys listening to different kinds of music, playing the drums, learning to play the guitar, and reading. He also enjoys having his kids and grandchildren around when time warrants. “So much energy!” he says.


Michelle Scazzero, Communications Director, began her relationship with the Ursuline Sisters 24 years ago when she served in Communications at St. Ursula Academy. After her two daughters were born, Michelle worked for the Ursuline Convent from home, then transitioned to working in the office five years ago.

The Ursuline Sisters’ Mission Statement of “being available for any work of charity” is just one reason why Michelle has a fondness for the Sisters and Associates. “I am blessed to work with such kind, generous and loving people,” she says.

Michelle enjoys working on a wide range of projects, ranging from the monthly newsletter to special projects for the Sisters.”

Michelle and her husband, Joe, have two daughters, Ann Marie who is a senior at Michigan State University, and Sara who is a sophomore at Moody Bible Institute. Michelle and Joe also have two spoiled cats. The family attends Bedford Alliance Church. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys long walks, scrapbooking, and watching college football in the fall.