Leaven Blog

Sister Bridget Gets a Miracle

by Jill Ragar Esfeld

It was moving day for the Keeler Women’s Center, a program of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount Saint Scholastica.

Director Sister Bridget Dickason was wearing a t-shirt with bold letters across the front that read “I Don’t Believe in Miracles.”

What? A Benedictine Sister who doesn’t believe in miracles?

But then, beneath that it said “I Depend on Them.”

Indeed, Sister Bridget needed a miracle that day.

The Women’s Center was saying goodbye to its location in the Catholic Charities facility on Central Avenue and moving to the lower level of City View at St. Margaret’s, 759 Vermont Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas.

Boxes were packed with books and materials; furniture and equipment were labeled for placement in their new home; and Catholic Charities trucks were on hand to provide transportation.

But everything had to be carried and loaded into those trucks, and there was some large furniture that would have to be maneuvered down two flights of stairs.

The mission of Keeler Women’s Centeris to empower women — but on moving day, what Sister Bridget really needed was some man power.

And that seemed like it would require a miracle — after all, most of the center’s volunteers are women.

God didn’t disappoint. Sister Bridget got her miracle in the form of nine energetic juniors from Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, Missouri, who crossed the state line to help the women’s center move. 

The boys earned their service hours, and then some, working hard all morning under the direction of Sister Bridget, Sister Suzanne Fitzmauriceand volunteer Connie Anderson. 

They hauled heavy boxes, crates and bins and moved countless tables, shelves, chairs and couches.

The youthful energy was starting to wane around noon, so the moving crew took a break for lunch furnished by Artego Pizza.

That’s when Sister Bridget got her second miracle of the day – Canadian bacon with pineapple pizza.

Re-energized with pizza and cookies, the crew headed to St. Margaret’s and spent the afternoon unloading.

The hard work and service of the Rockhurst team put the Sisters in position to meet their schedule of unpacking and setting up the center so that classes could resume on July 1st.

The new facility is big, beautiful and welcoming, with lilac walls, white trim and plenty of space for the Benedictine sisters to live their community charism of hospitality.

Its entrance, marked by a bright pink awning, is behind City View, just off Coy Street, with plenty of parking in an adjacent lot on Coy.

Here the Benedictine Sisters will continue their ministry of empowering all women, especially those in the urban core, through education, advocacy, personal and spiritual development.

More than 100 volunteers donate their time to make this mission possible, serving approximately 300 women each month.

The Keeler Women’s Center will have a grand opening of their new facility on Monday, July 15, 2019 from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.

All are welcome to come and tour the center, experience Benedictine hospitality first hand, and learn more about all the Keeler Women’s Center has to offer. Look for coverage of the event in an upcoming issue of The Leaven.

About the author

Jill Esfeld

Jill Ragar Esfeld received a degree in Writing from Missouri State University and started her profession as a magazine feature writer, but quickly transitioned to technical/instructional writing where she had a successful career spanning more than 20 years. She returned to feature writing when she began freelancing for The Leaven in 2004. Her articles have won several awards from the Catholic Press Association. Jill grew up in Christ the King parish in Kansas City, Missouri; and has been a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas, for 35 years.

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