Honoring Barbara Ann Boss for the 2020 Hall of Fame
and John T. Cicco Lifetime Achievement Award
Sister of Charity Barbara Ann Boss was inducted into the Seton LaSalle High School Hall of Fame on November 6, 2020, at the Hall of Fame and John T. Cicco Lifetime Achievement Celebration and Induction Ceremony, an annual event that honors the legacies of Seton LaSalle, Elizabeth Seton, and South Hills Catholic High Schools. Sister Barbara Ann was among the Alumni and Faculty recognized for having passionately lived out God’s purpose for their lives through exemplary contributions to their respective school, local, and global communities. Sister Brigid Marie Grandey, a former administrator at Seton LaSalle High School, introduced Sister Barbara Ann’s acceptance speech and gave a moving tribute to Sister Barbara Ann’s dedication to serving God and vulnerable persons during her 60 years of religious life. You may view the video of the virtual ceremony in its entirety and read Sister Barbara Ann’s acceptance speech here.
(Sister Brigid Marie’s introduction begins at 18 minutes into the video. It is immediately followed by Sister Barbara Ann’s gracious and stirring acceptance speech.)
Acceptance Speech of Sister Barbara Ann Boss
2020 Hall of Fame and John T. Cicco Lifetime Achievement Celebration and Induction Ceremony,
honoring the legacies of Seton LaSalle, Elizabeth Seton, and South Hills Catholic High Schools.
November 6, 2020
I want to thank Seton-LaSalle High School for this honor and to those who nominated me. I am humbled. I have to say that the friends I grew up with who attended both Elizabeth Seton High School and South Hills Catholic would be shocked and speechless. I was not one of the more studious students during those years. Having fun came before studying. And my brother would tell you that I was one of the more difficult of the Boss children. This award is dedicated to all those people that God has sent into my life.
My parents, who were people of deep faith, instilled the values of a strong work ethic and a giving spirit into all ten children. When I announced to the family that I felt I was being called to be a Sister of Charity, my parents were in unbelief. In fact my mother would not let my sisters touch any of my clothes because she was sure I would be coming home. Sixty years latter, here I am.
When I entered the Sisters of Charity, the sisters took those values of a deep faith in God, a strong work ethic, and a giving spirit, and expanded them. The Sisters of Charity remind me of the story of the “Little Train that Could.” They give you a challenge and they don’t accept the reply “I can’t”. They provide you with the educational opportunities, and build the skills you need to keep saying “Yes I Can. Yes I can.”
The argument of “I can’t” doesn’t work with the Sisters of Charity because they are noted for quality. During my 25 years of teaching, I was sent to Duquesne for a Master’s Degree in Education. Then when the community stopped wearing the habit and I started to do hair for the other sisters, they sent me to beauty school for a teacher’s license in cosmetology. When I was assigned to Seton Center, my argument was I had no administration skills. So, I was sent to Notre Dame for a Masters in Administration.
In addition to my family and the Sisters of Charity are the wonderful friends that God sent into my life. They encouraged me to be better and believe in myself. These are the people who are responsible for the success of Elizabeth Seton Center. At Seton Center, we care for the most vulnerable members of society: the very young and the elderly (or as we refer to them–the “young at heart”). In the past 35 years, the Center has grown into two Adult Day Service sites (one in Pittsburgh and one in Greensburg), two Senior Centers in Brookline and Overbrook, and an Early Childhood Education Center in Brookline with an enrollment of 206 children between the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years old. Our success at Seton Center is due to our dedicated and caring staff members who carry out the spirit of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
None of us are who we are because of ourselves; we become who we are because of God’s grace and the people He sends into our lives. This award goes to all those whom God has sent into my life.