FOR PILLAR PLACE AWARD
"I accept this award on behalf of all the persons who represented their community on IHA. I thank in particular my own congregation, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, NY who were founded to minister to the poor immigrant population of New York city in 1876. Their presence in the work of IHA makes concrete that vision in today's world.
I quote from the Benedictine Monks of Weston, VT.
"There is an energy in us that makes things happen when the paths of other persons touch ours, we have to be there and let it happen."
15 years ago Ginny Williams and Mary Louise Denny of the Sisters of Loretto, 2 visionaries with an empty building put out the call and the following responded:
Carol Ann Callahan‑Mercy
Mary Pius Fagan‑Sparkill
Pat Guiding‑Religious of the Sacred Heart
Millie Gross‑Precious Blood, Ruma
Donna Gunn‑Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
Margaret Jackson‑Franciscan Sister of Mary
Monica Marie Laws‑Ferguson Franciscan
Mary Nolan, BVM
Frances Padberg‑Notre Dame
Rosie Russell‑Precious Blood, O'Fallon
Damien Wetzel, DC
There was also "a man" in the mix, Tim Barry and the St. Louis Equity Fund. His admiration of the "nuns" and his commitment to providing adequate housing for the underserved continue to this day.
There was so much energy in those initial conversations and oh baby did things happen! The rest is history..
It must not become only history. We need each of you and more to continue this work that grows greater in our day as the gap between the rich and poor grows not narrower but wider.
I invite each person to hear in the deepest recesses of your being, the words of the prophet Habakkuk:
"The vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, it will surely come. It will not be late."
Please let us continue to act on that vision."