Mary Queen and Mother Center Celebrates 30 Years

Read about the CSJ's involvement in Mary Queen and Mother Center in the St. Louis Review. (12/2/11)

Thirty years ago this week (November 7) Mary, Queen and Mother Center began providing skilled care for the aged in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. And the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) have been there every step of the way.

Fourteen religious communities (including the CSJs), Cardinal Ritter Institute and the archdiocese collaborated to build a community for people who lacked the resources to get the skilled care they needed.

"Mary, Queen and Mother was one of the first examples of religious communities coming together to dream a dream and make it happen," says Sister Suzanne Wesley, CEO of Cardinal Ritter Senior Services (CRSS).  "Each community gave whatever they could--some gave expertise and consultation, some gave their sisters as personnel and others interest free loans and gifts and all gave hours and hours of time to move the dream into a reality."

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet gave to Mary, Queen and Mother in many ways. Sister Mary Catherine O'Gorman was the first president of the CACE Board (Corporate Action for Care of the Elderly). Sister Jeanne McGovern was the first administrator of Mary, Queen and Mother. Sister Mariann de Buck was the first human resources director. Sister John Kenneth wrote many of the manuals and helped set up the nursing department.  Sister Rita Mc Govern brought her nursing skills and Sister Sharon Jones brought her pastoral care and activity skills. The CSJs also contributed an interest free loan and countless hours of guidance to get the project off and running.

Today the collaboration continues.  Sister Suzanne Giblin is the director of pastoral care at Mary, Queen and Mother Center. Sisters Nancy Folkl and Kathleen O'Malley work at Cardinal Ritter Senior Services and Sister Kate Regan volunteers in pastoral care at one of the assisted living facilities of CRSS.  Sister Jane Hassett continues to serve on the CACE Board.

Sister Suzanne is proud to be a part of the community that has had so many sisters and associates serve at Mary, Queen and Mother over the past 30 years, whether it be as board members, employees or volunteers.

"Caring for the dear neighbor has produced care for hundreds and hundreds of low income senior adults and work for hundreds and hundreds of employees," she says.  "A seed, collaboration, a pioneer spirit and 30 years of service to senior adults in need--a blessing indeed!"

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