Sister Melanie Kambic, CDP

Sister of Divine Providence to receive military honor 

By Paula Green 

         According to the National World War II Museum, nearly 350,000 American women served in uniform, both at home and abroad, during World War II.  For these women, it was a significant opportunity to help the war effort and make a difference.  A local woman took part in this chapter of U.S. history.  Sister Melanie Kambic, CDP, 98, served in the Army Nurse Corps during WWII.  In recognition of her military service, she will be honored during a special ceremony held on Veterans Day.  

        On Nov. 11, State Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Lawrenceville, will present Sister Melanie with a citation from the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives.  The “Patriotic Social” will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. at Providence Heights on Babcock Blvd., in Allison Park. 

       Sister Melanie was raised in a small Croatiacommunity in Rankin.  When she was 16 years old, she and one of her friends were set to enter a religious order.  The friend changed her mind, and so did Sister Melanie.  Instead, she enrolled in the Braddock Hospital School of Nursing.  Upon her graduation in 1944, Sister Melanie joined the Army Nurse Corps.  She knew the Army was in desperate need of nurses, so she answered the call.  She spent three years in the Armed Forces. 

       In addition to her military service, Sister Melanie devoted much of her time in the classroom. She earned Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duquesne Universitymaster’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Maryland and her certification as a nurse practitioner from the University of Pittsburgh.  Sister Melanie spent numerous years teaching and supervising at various hospitals.  Although she was working diligently in her nursing career, she still had the calling to serve the Lord.  As she noted, “The hound of heaven pursued me!” 

       In 1954, Sister Melanie entered religious life at the age of 33.  It was the late Rev. William Cheetham at Saint Anslem Church in Swissvale who influenced her to follow her vocation.  She is a member of the Sisters of Divine Providence (CDP). 

        Even though she officially retired in 1994, it didn’t stop her from being involved.  Sister Melanie took several classes at La Roche University and became a member of the Providence Heights “peanut butter and jelly brigade.”  This group of sisters makes sandwiches for the homeless through Operation Safety Net.  Sister Melanie also helps with the collection of clothing and appliances for St. Thomas Catholic Church in Burnsville, West Virginia.  Her favorite motto is “leave wherever you are better than you found it.” 

      This year, Sister Melanie celebrates her 65th Jubilee.  Northern Connection magazine congratulates her on this remarkable milestone.  We honor Sister Melanie for her years of military service.