|Sr. Teresa Fitzgerald
Sr. Teresa Fitzgerald always knew she had a calling to work with children, and she did so, first as a Catholic schoolteacher and later as an administrator. Then, that calling took her in a new direction.
One of her colleagues, who was working with imprisoned mothers with infants, asked if “other nuns would be interested in dealing with older children, giving them a home and offering them the chance to stay in touch with their mothers.” Fitzgerald decided to seize this new opportunity.
She went on to start “Hour Children”—named for “the typical hour allowed for visits with incarcerated women”—which houses 70 children. The program offers thrift shops, a day care center, a food pantry, and job training. The residents and nearly all the staff are former convicts.
Fitzgerald has made it her goal to help people who society often casts off as those who brought this upon themselves. “For some, there weren’t any choices, it was just a life experience that they were channeled into for whatever reason–economic or personal or addictive issues. But I was amazed and touched by their goodness and their openness…I met very few people who blamed someone. And their resiliency, their hopes and dreams are big,” she says.
Fitzgerald recognizes that there are many factors that lead people to make the choices they do. She realizes that everyone makes mistakes, giving her the reputation of “the nun who gives second chances.”
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Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.