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Sister Rosemary Connelly Honored for 50 Years of Leadership

October 02, 2019

Sister Rosemary Connelly of Chicago, Illinois,(on left) has dramatically changed lives of people with developmental disabilities. More than 1,400 people celebrated with her on Aug. 25 including Sister Sue Sanders, LT leader, (middle) and Lois Gates, assistant executive director and chief development officer of Misericordia (on right). Sister Margaret Mary Hinz was also present from the West Midwest Leadership Team.

When she became executive director of Misericordia in 1969, the residents with disabilities, many of whom had Downs syndrome, were clean and fed but often kept in their beds. She took the initiative to change their lives. In the mid-70s she moved Misericordia to a North Side campus which now accommodates over 600 residents. Rosemary created a center and a home that includes a variety of stimulating activities and programs. Residents are offered recreation, art, job programs, a bakery, a coffee shop, and an art studio.

Sister Rosemary is best described within the event program for the day. It reads: Sister Rosemary has made thousands of friends throughout time. She has marched with dignitaries and met with presidents, politicians, sports figures and celebrities. She challenges them all to become a part of the Misericordia family and help its residents live the best of their lives. 

She has been the recipient of many awards and honors over the years…yet she is quick to thanks to those who have helped along the way, but make no mistake – the lives of so many have been blessed because of her vision and guidance. 

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