By Jennifer Williams
Religious Sister of Mercy Paula Marie Phelan may have celebrated her 100th birthday some two months ago, but she is a woman still very much on the go.
Sister Paula Marie was one of more than 20 sisters at The Villa, a retirement home for religious sisters on Bellona Avenue, who participated in a 1K around the property Sept. 17 to raise money for Marian House, which provides rehabilitative services and housing to homeless women and their children.
Some sisters came in wheel chairs, others using walkers, but they wanted to come together to support a charity in which they believe.
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“We wanted to involve our senior sisters who have served in so many ways throughout the years and wanted them to feel they could continue to serve in ministry,” said Religious Sister of Mercy Frances DeMarco, who serves on the board at Marian House and helped organize the event.
She said she and fellow board member and Religious Sister of Mercy Katherine “Kate” Marie Bell came up with the idea for the 1K to include the sisters at the Villa, to gain additional support for Marian House and to serve as somewhat of a prelude to the sixth-annual Marian House 5K Race to Embrace Independence, which will be held Sept. 27 at Lake Montebello in Baltimore City.
Staff members of the Villa, religious sisters, Sisters of Mercy associates and friends of the sisters sponsored the sisters in their 1K. Mercy High School in Baltimore also held a bake sale for the sisters, raising $200. During the 1K, each sister had a buddy to assist them.
“The event is a great way for the sisters to be involved with the Marian House Women and our event,” said Katie Allston, executive director of Marian House. “We appreciate their support and their efforts to assist us in raising funds to support our program.”
Sister Frances said Marian House helps women facing issues such as addiction, incarceration, and more by providing them with resources and helping them to become more independent.
“We give them the tools they need to empower them and help them move out of that dependence,” she said. “We help them with employment and interviews. It’s a wonderful ministry.”