Catholic Charities highlights work of religious for National Catholic Sisters Week

byMark Labbe Pilot Staff

Sister Esther Garcia, SA has worked with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston since 1979. Pilot photo/courtesy Catholic Charities

BOSTON -- In celebration of this year's National Catholic Sisters Week, March 8-14, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston highlighted the work of four women religious who have given dedicated service to the work of Catholic Charities.

Sister Esther Garcia, SA, has been working in childcare with Catholic Charities since 1979, when she served lower Roxbury and the South End at the former childcare center at Emmanuel House.

Her work with children continued after the childcare center moved to its current location in Catholic Charities Greater Boston Haitian Multi Service Center Yawkey Child Care Center in Dorchester in 2006. Sister Esther's current title is program director of child care.

"Children are the core of our future. The amazement and wonder on their faces when they discover something new--that's what's important to me," she said in profile posted on Catholic Charities' website.

Sister Esther will be celebrating her 50th Jubilee this year in September.

As program director for the Nazareth Residence, Sister Mary Farren, RGS, has been providing support and services to women and children for the past 16 years.

After joining the Good Shepherd Sisters at the age of 19, Sister Mary spent 22 years in different areas of New York City, taking on roles of increasing responsibility. During that time, she earned both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in public administration.

At Nazareth Residence, which provides shelter, education, interim care, and supportive services to women and children, Sister Mary keeps a collaborative and positive tone in her work.

Unsure of what to do with her life after graduating high school, Sister Laurie MacDonald, SA, worked at various jobs until realizing she wanted to be a sister with the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement.

Since becoming a sister, Sister Laurie had worked in Canada, Vermont, and New York, before settling in Boston.

Today, she serves as the assistant program director for Catholic Charities in Dorchester where she has found her true calling -- working with children in need.

Sister Maryadele Robinson, has been the director of the Laboure Center since 1988. Although she plans to step down from that role this year, her nearly 30 year tenure has contributed to the help that thousands of youth and families serviced by the center received.

Besides running the day-to-day operations at the Laboure Center, Sister Maryadele also councils grandparents in the Recovering Connections Program, which provides support to families of those suffering from an opioid addiction.

National Catholic Sisters Week was formed in 2014 as an extension of National Women's Month.

This year, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh delivered a proclamation saying that the city of Boston would be celebrating National Catholic Sisters Week.

"I extend my heartfelt thanks to all Catholic sisters who have dedicated their lives to care for others," he wrote.