Sister Mary Jane Beatty entered religious life from St. Alphonsus parish in Wheeling, W.Va. It was her seventh-grade teacher, Sister Francine Barsh, whose example of joy and kindness helped her realize that becoming a Sister was what she wanted to do with her life.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from La Roche College, a master’s degree in counseling from Duquesne University, and a post-master’s certificate in marriage and family therapy from the University of Pittsburgh. In the early part of her ministry, she was a teacher, having taught at St. Sylvester in Brentwood (1964–65), St. Margaret in Greentree (1965–70; 73–75), Nativity in South Park (1970–73), St. Rose of Lima in Altoona (principal, 1975–82), and Providence Heights Alpha School in Allison Park (1982–83). Sister Mary Jane also served as provincial councillor on the Provincial Leadership Team in Pittsburgh (1997–01).
Since 1989, she has ministered as a marriage and family therapist at Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry, in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. She counsels individuals, couples, and families, as well as interns from local colleges and universities. Since 2002, she has served as executive director of Divine Providence Foundation.
Anchorpoint Counseling has an interdenominational mix of counselors and staff, and Sister Mary Jane’s presence as a Sister of Divine Providence adds a special dimension to the ministry staff. She brings a Catholic perspective to the agency, as well as an understanding of religious life. She finds that her Catholic clients appreciate her presence, and that men and women of other faiths are intrigued and curious about her and her life as a religious. When appropriate, she helps clients to understand what it means to be in religious life today. She says, “One reason clients come to Anchorpoint is to have their faith and spiritual life be part of the counseling they receive, which allows me to invite them to grow in their faith, no matter the denomination, and to expand their understanding of who God is to them. For those clients who are spiritually hungry, I let them know that our Community is praying for them.”
Self-described as loyal, dedicated, and fun-loving, Sister Mary Jane enjoys painting with watercolors, is an avid family history buff, and enjoys working on computers.