by Sister Rachel Anne Callahan, CSC
For her pioneering work to support individuals who serve as caregivers to loved ones with dementia or other forms of cognitive or physical diminishment, Holy Cross Sister Kathleen Weber received the Community Leader of the Year award from the Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County, Maryland. She was recognized for her many contributions to the local community at the organization’s annual gala event on November 30.
For two decades, Sister Kathleen has devoted herself to caring for caregivers. In the early 90s, when caregiver support was a novel idea, she began her ministry with the Medical Adult Day Center at Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring, Maryland. Following her mission and vision, she secured startup funding for the Holy Cross Caregiver Resource Center. She recognized that individuals who care for and support aging family members need assistance and the opportunity to gather with others who endure this physically and emotionally draining experience.
In addition to establishing the resource center’s library of printed and video materials for caregivers, Sister Kathleen also developed weekly caregiver support groups and creates a monthly newsletter for caregivers. She also applies annually for a Ministry With the Poor fund grant, which provides a scholarship to a person in need of adult day care who could not otherwise afford the service.
Sister Kathleen has also been honored by the Alzheimer’s Association for her work and remains the heart of the Medical Adult Day Center. Her seemingly endless capacity for compassionate listening and empathy has provided healing and support for countless individuals.