Sister Pacelli Staskiel, OSF, grew up in Mount Carmel in the 1930s as Geraldine Staskiel, the daughter of Stephen and Margaret Staskiel, and attended the town’s public schools, graduating from Mount Carmel High School. She went on to West Chester State Teachers College to study English and social studies. She also appeared in a number of stage productions at the university.
During her senior year at West Chester she considered entering a religious order. Upon graduation in 1949, she did some substitute teaching, and then entered the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters in 1950. She eventually received the name “Pacelli,” Latin for “Little Peace.” As a postulant and a young sister, she continued teaching, either at the elementary or secondary levels, while pursuing a master’s degree at Villanova University. She later earned a doctorate through Duquesne University.
In 1960, Alvernia College President Sister Zygmunta asked Sister Pacelli to join the English Department faculty at the new college. In the forty-nine years since Sister Pacelli joined the Alvernia College faculty, she has touched many of the school’s programs — and students — as instructor, director, and dean, receiving the title of Dean Emerita and Professor of English and Communication Emerita for her work and dedication to the college and its students. Her book, Designed to Serve: The Place and Persons of Francis Hall (published in 2008) is a companion book to Threads: A Tapestry of Alvernia College (published in 2002).