Community Relations Intern
Emily Robinson, a senior at St. Catherine University, is serving as the Community Relations Intern at Sarah’s for the 2021-2022 academic year. Double majoring in English and Women’s Studies, Emily is involved on campus in a variety of capacities including the honors program, admissions, and the office of Community Work and Learning. She hopes to work in higher education someday, focusing on women and social justice. Emily’s previous work as the Editor-in-Chief of The Wheel, St. Kate’s student newspaper, introduced her to social media marketing and campaigns; she will be continuing this work at Sarah’s.
CSJ Consociate Candidate
Sarah’s Affordable Housing Assistant
I believe housing is an essential need much like food and water. Why I say this? As a single mother with two children returning to Minnesota I lived in subsidized housing. The benefit of stable housing is the basic building block to what comes next in life. I was able to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and minor studies in Human Relations and Woman’s Studies from St Cloud State University. Education opened the door to a variety of affordable housing jobs from advocacy to maintaining compliance for owners and the State of Minnesota. I am currently a graduate student at St. John’s School of Theology at St. John’s University in Collegeville. When I am not at work or in the classroom, I enjoy “getting out there” visiting cultures where I experience interacting with people and/or nature to better understand stories at a deeper level that is unlike my own personal story.
St. Joseph Worker
Casey grew up in Roanoke, Virginia and studied art and geography at the University of Richmond. Her artwork includes maps and landscapes that explore themes of pilgrimage, migration, displacement, and community (learn more here: https://caseymurano.com/). In college, she was part of many incredible communities including an interfaith pilgrimage program that walked part of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Between graduation and the St. Joseph Worker Program, she was a summer servant at Bethlehem Farm in West Virginia where she helped with gardening, home repair projects, and cooking. She hopes to bring these experiences of intentional community to Sarah’s and as an artist is very excited to plan some art parties, lead walking group, cook together, and help residents connect with job, housing, and education resources!
Mary Pat Fitzpatrick
Zoom Yoga Instructor
Mary Pat started teaching yoga for Mind Body Solutions in 2007, and has since has felt enormous gratitude for being part of this community that helps transform trauma, loss and disability into hope and potential. MP was thrilled to be introduced to Sarah’s in 2013 and has since been sharing yoga with the women who teach her about cultivating joy, humility, kindness, and compassion in her teaching and in her life.
Ignatian Volunteer: Case Work Assistant
Nancy was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She moved to St. Paul to attend school at the College of Visual Arts where she earned her BFA. She loved the Twin Cities so much she chose to remain here. She raised her two sons while working in the design industry in sales for two local retail companies. Nancy retired from her professional career in June of 2018 and enjoys traveling, painting, reading and spending time with her four grandchildren. She is a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) where she has volunteered working with seniors at a day center. Through IVC she now finds herself at Sarah’s spending time with women and helping several to find jobs, write resumes, do online schoolwork, and accomplish their other goals.
Citizenship Mentor & Companion for Rides and Groceries
Mary was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She went to college at the University of Notre Dame, and from there joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Brooklyn, NY. Her professional background is in social work and non-profit administration, but for the last seven years she has been working as a Video Producer at Quiet Island Films in St. Paul. She enjoys teaching Citizenship to women from around the globe. She has three daughters and a dog named Mr. Bean. In her free time, she enjoys crossword puzzles and tap dancing. She is grateful to be part of the Sarah’s community.
CSJ Consociate: Healing Volunteer & Companion for Rides and Groceries
Peg specializes in ‘holistic’ physical therapy, and is an integrative physical therapist and educator, combining transpersonal psychology and energy medicine in her healing approach to health and well-being. Massage, craniosacral and emergency healing inform her work. The result of a session is relaxation, enhanced breathing and a sense of wellness. Peg is a lifelong Minnesotan, mostly Minneapolis. Currently at Sarah’s, because of COVID-19, Peg has been helping more with companionship to residents by phone and running errands for needs of residents staying home. Peg is also on Sarah’s Director’s Advisory Group.
Companion for Rides & Appointment Support
After helping found End-O-Line Railroad Park in southwest Minnesota, working seasonally for a number of Minnesota State Parks, a four and one-half year stint at the Minnesota Restaurant, Hotel and Resort Associations and decades at Explore Minnesota, Colleen Tollefson was inspired to found Jobs & Journeys LLC. Colleen connects adventurous folks with seasonal full-and part time hospitality jobs in great Minnesota and Wisconsin area destinations. Volunteering has been an ongoing part of Colleen’s life, including Loaves and Fishes; Saint Joseph Worker and Sarah’s Oasis with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet; American Red Cross; Campaign Volunteer; and Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota. Most importantly, she is a mom to three great adult children and the perfect dog.
CSJ Consociate: Sarah’s Creative Arts Coordinator & Letter Correspondent during COVID-19
Sue Reaney has been teaching jewelry-making and other crafts to the women at Sarah’s for over three years. She is very passionate about Sarah’s, its mission and the women she has come to know and love. Sue is the mother of Kat and grandmother of Anita. She is a former school psychologist and special education teacher and lives happily at Episcopal Homes. Because of COVID and not being able to come on-site to do crafts, Sue is happily writing to each individual resident to share optimistic tidings and words of encouragement and care.
I have been a volunteer at Sarah’s since November, 2012, starting as an Ignation Volunteer. I am older than any of the women here at Sarah’s including staff members; so, I feel very grandmotherly most of the time–but not a bossy grandmother I hope! My role is to be present for the residents, and provide assistance with the upkeep of our beautiful home. You will find me watering plants, baking cookies, organizing closets, having tea with the women, and engaging in other tasks that the staff may need completed. When I have an opportunity to visit with the women, we share the memories of our youth. They were surprised that I milked cows while I was a teen-ager. They were more surprised that a young girl would milk cows in America. At Sarah’s we take care of each other. They are so hospitable. I love them very much, and I love volunteering at Sarah’s!
Companion for Rides and Groceries
Sheila lives in St. Paul and has worked as a family medicine physician for 27 years. She is most proud of being a single mom who raised two beautiful children. She is very aware of how much the support of our friends and community matter, especially when sometimes we feel like outsiders. She is looking for a community to be a part of, and to offer some of the support that others gave her when she needed it. Sheila loves learning about different cultures and eating and cooking new foods. She enjoys walking, hiking, yoga, and light weight lifting. She also loves to read.
Volunteer & Donor
Jessica, the owner of Flirt Boutique, has been providing undergarments for residents since 2019. She began by collecting gently used bras from customers at her shop and has now created a way for customers to donate purchased undergarments. Jessica visits Sarah’s monthly to bring bras and underwear and perform fittings for the residents.