Sister Ellen holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Detroit; a Master of Divinity degree from SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary; and a master’s degree in clinical social work from New York University. She also earned spiritual direction certification.
She served in parish pastoral ministry and religious education at Immaculate Conception, Auburn, Ind.; and in Detroit at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Christ the King, St. Mary of Redford High School and Grand River Vicariate Emmaus House of Prayer.
She ministered as IHM vocation, candidate and novice director and on the Religious Formation Conference National Board. She served as a clinical social worker in a Chicago women’s shelter and at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in the residential treatment programs. When Sister Ellen returned to Michigan, she ministered as an outpatient therapist at Blue Water Mental Health Clinic, Fort Gratiot.
She moved to the Saginaw Diocese, where Bishop Kenneth Untener appointed her to serve on a team pastoring four parishes and was later appointed pastoral administrator of St. Christopher, Bridgeport, Mich., followed by pastoral administrator of St. Frances X. Cabrini Parish in Vassar, Mich., her ministry just prior to election to IHM leadership.