Impact Stories

//Impact Stories
  • Elderly sisters walking

Impact Stories

Read some stories submitted by communities who were previous recipients of SOAR! grants to see the practical and, in some cases, life-saving impact of the allocation of the funds with which our generous donors support our mission.

Sister Andre Marie Fujier, OP

Bringing joy to the world through music Sister Andre Marie Fujier is a Dominican Sister of Mission San Jose. She professed her first vows in 1956, and has spent more than 55 years as a music teacher. In a recent interview with SOAR! staff, Sister Andre Marie notes that she first thought about being a [[…]

Follow Up with Sister Maria Elena Whitney, SJS

After 70 plus years as a professed member of the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, Sister Maria Whitney (previously featured in 2016) continues to be an inspiration, bringing happiness and joy wherever she goes. Her sense of humor and her ability to tell a story make her a sought after member of the community. [[…]

A Visit with Sister Theodosia Lukiw

Sister Theodosia Lukiw has been a member of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, a Ukrainian Catholic religious order located in the outskirts of Philadelphia, for 73 years. SOAR! shared some of her story in a blog post a few years ago, and we decided to catch up with her. “Sister [[…]

Sister Marie de Paul Carter, SSJ

Sister Marie de Paul Carter professed her final vows as a Sister of St. Joseph of Buffalo in 1965. She describes herself as “a dedicated teacher among dedicated teachers.” Her ministry of special education to young children allowed her to play a significant role in their development. Her rich experience in education includes The St. [[…]

Sister Ruth Marie Soens

Sister Ruth Marie Soens was born Dolores Soens on July 9, 1937 in Kenosha, WI. She is the youngest of six children: three boys and three girls. One of the girls – Ruth Marie – died at age 5 of scarlet fever, before Dolores was born. In 1957, Dolores took her vows with the Sisters [[…]

COVID-19 Rapid Response grants give Sisters a fresh start

As vaccines begin to roll out across the globe, people are looking to a fresh start.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear to the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart in Towson, Maryland that many of their Sisters did not have access to electronic devices that support Zoom or other online communication activities. They [[…]

Rapid Response Grants: The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, it changed almost every aspect of daily life at Camilla Hall, the convent home and health care center for the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Malvern, PA. Staff and residents wore masks. Visitors and volunteers were no longer allowed to enter the building. As signs [[…]

Sister Beatriz’s Story

“I can speak for all the elder Sisters when I say that the new mini-van we have drives so smoothly and isn’t bumpy at all and most importantly we don’t have to worry about breaking down on the freeway!”

Driving Sister Rosemary

“The help our community received from SOAR! to purchase a handicap accessible van has helped me deal with being dependent.”

SOAR! donors keep Sisters warm

Last fall, the Sisters of the Monastery of the Visitation in Toledo, Ohio reached out to SOAR! with an urgent request. The boilers for the monastery, which controlled the heating system, were beyond repair. They needed a replacement before the cold winter set in.   Thanks to our donors, SOAR! was able to provide a $25,000 [[…]

New wheels for the Good Shepherd Sisters

A van means the Sisters can get to medical appointments more easily and stay engaged in life.

Thank you notes

Every summer after SOAR! awards grants, we receive stacks of thank you notes in the mail from grateful religious communities. Here are just a few.

Benedictine Sisters at Benet Hill Monastery

On an ordinary day in April, the Benedictine Sisters at Benet Hill Monastery in Colorado Springs, Colorado, woke to discover their home had been broken into the night before.

Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate

The Sisters needed a new oil tank quickly – snow was in the forecast and temperatures were in the single digits.

Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh

In order to keep her and other Sisters safe at home, the congregation realized they needed an exterior door-locking system – and soon.

  • Sister Eileen Houlihan

SOAR! grants helps IHM Sisters lend an ear

“It was awful not to be able to hear, but now that’s over with,” Sister Eileen Houlihan said.

  • Sisters work on a jigsaw puzzle.

Home at the Assisi House

Laughter echoed in the newly-renovated gathering room at the Assisi House, and the smell of cinnamon lingered in the air. On a recent Wednesday in March, Sisters at the retirement convent for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, were making “Irish potatoes” — a traditional Philadelphia confection. Wearing plastic gloves, the Sisters carefully rolled the coconut [[…]

  • Sister stands up with Smart Stand

SOAR! grant gives Sisters a lift

Thanks to a 2015 grant from SOAR!, the Benedictine Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery in St. Paul, Minnesota were able to purchase equipment to help aging Sisters stand safely and securely. Ten Sisters live in the healthcare center at the Monastery and some require assistance getting out of bed or standing up from a chair. The new Smart [[…]

  • Fr. Francis

New showers answer need at Abbey

Thanks to a grant from SOAR!, St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, were finally able to fix a leak and restore two handicap showers.

  • St. Julienne stands in front of magnet door systems

Grant Opens Doors for Franciscan Sisters

  The doors at the Franciscan Villa in Syracuse, New York, were heavy. The hefty doors were difficult to open and close, especially for Sisters using a cane, walker or wheelchair. And while every detail at the new home region house for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities was designed to build [[…]

  • Sister Peg and the new elevator

Elevators Are Important: Sister Peg’s Story

For four nights and three days, 85 year-old Sister Margaret (Peg) Geary was trapped inside a broken-down elevator.

  • Sister in front of a glass sliding door

Appreciation from the Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey

This is an excerpt from a letter to SOAR! from Sister Katie McNamara, O.C.S.O., from the Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey in Wrentham, Massachusetts – a monastic community of some 50 Trappistine nuns.

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