Saint Francis Manchester (formerly Saint Francis Home) is the beneficiary of our Second Collection on November 13th. Your generosity supports this Mission of the Diocese of Richmond and gives low income adults a safe place to live and thrive.
Learn more at saintfrancisrva.org
Mary’s life was plagued with extraordinary burdens and loss. At just 14 years old, when most teens do not have a care in the world, Mary tended to her aging mother and developmentally delayed brother. By age 17, Mary became a mother to Claudette, who she raised by herself because her partner died before meeting their child. Mary found love again and delivered another little girl, Alvinette. However, Alvinette’s father unexpectedly passed away, too.
A single mother in her twenties, Mary moved with her daughters to New York. She found jobs, but the hours were long and the work demanding, from cutting cauliflower in the fields with a machete to working in a duck-processing plant. Years passed, and once again Mary found herself caring for her mother and brother, along with her own children. Despite it all, Mary pushed on and married the true love of her life, Joseph. In her thirties, she found a new passion in the restaurant business and worked her way up from washing dishes to training as a sous chef. However, the years of tough, physical labor and arthritis had taken a toll. Mary lost her leg, as well as her dream of becoming a chef.
More hardships followed, including Claudette’s sudden death and Joseph’s passing. Afterward, Mary moved from one unpleasant situation to another, each offering her little care, comfort or safety. When she finally arrived at Saint Francis, understandably she was guarded and untrusting. Slowly, she responded to the caring staff and community, and eventually her beautiful personality returned. For Mary—whose resilience, grit and determination carried her through hardships and loss—Saint Francis offered stability and a fresh start. After a lifetime of caring for others, finally, her burdens were lifted. Today, Mary continues to enjoy the care and comfort she so deserves.