Sister Theresa Makes an Impact in Tulsa
Sister Theresa helps the poor, vulnerable and those in need in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in many ways.
Every Saturday morning, she goes to downtown Tulsa to take food, clothing and supplies to the poor on the streets. By 6:45 a.m., there is a long line of people in need waiting for them. A group of 12 volunteers from different churches coordinate the donations; everyone brings what they can gather. They typically serve an average of 120 people per visit. Recipients are of all races and ages and include those who have nowhere to sleep or shower; those with menial jobs who cannot afford much; those who have lost jobs; and those who are sick.
Sister Theresa also volunteers as a case worker for Catholic Charities of Tulsa. In this role, she interviews clients who are requesting help to determine their needs. She gathers their background information, how many in their family are in need and their ages, and then refers them to the appropriate services from Catholic Charities or to other social service agencies in the Tulsa area. Clients can be in need of anything from food and basic supplies to education, job placement, housing, healthcare and/or emergency crisis assistance.
In addition to her direct ministries to the poor, Sister Theresa also participates in singing groups at two hospice care centers in Tulsa, Porta Caeli (“Gate of Heaven”) and Clarehouse Hospice.
She also recently spent three months in the Dominican Republic, working with the SSM Foundation. She visited the poorest neighborhoods in and around Santiago and provided food, clothing and supplies to those in need; she assisted building a home for a poor family; and she provided medicines to the rural poor through the Foundation’s Rural Health Program.
Sister Theresa has served the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in a wide variety of ministries over the years, including as a Registered Nurse, Novice Director, Associate Director of the Renewal Center of the Diocese of Tulsa, Parish Ministry in Colorado, SSM Associate Director, Certified Chaplain at St. John Health System, Vocation Director and prior to her retirement in early 2018, she served as Vice President and Chief Mission Integration Officer at St. John Health System. She also directed many Ignatian retreats in addition to her ministry over many years in the past, and plans to continue in doing so in the future.
Thank you, Sister Theresa, for all your ministries to help bring fuller life to others!