Connect with:
Friday / September 29.
HomeCommunityMount Saint Vincent and Sister Michael Celebrate Milestones

Mount Saint Vincent and Sister Michael Celebrate Milestones

Mount Saint Vincent first opened in 1883, founded by the Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas. Initially, it was an orphanage that at one point housed 300 children. Over the years, its services have changed and it now provides a community preschool, foster home, and pediatric behavioral health center. Through that transition, the mission has remained the same: help abused, neglected and the behavioral health of children in the community.

Mount Saint Vincent celebrates its 140th anniversary in June, 2023, Sister Michael Delores Allegri marked three big milestones herself a year ago. Her 80th birthday, her 60th jubilee with the Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, and fostering her 100th child. Sister Michael has been fostering children with Mount Saint Vincent since 1999. 

“First of all, I never thought that this was going to happen. Because when you’re young, you think 40 is really old,” Sister Michael said when asked about her 60th jubilee, which represents the anniversary of when she professed her vows. “I remember as a young sister thinking, ‘I probably won’t be around for the next six years.’ Time just means a lot of different things at different points.” 

Sister Michael has loved many things about her years of service, but she feels that fostering has been the most meaningful to her.   

“I’ve loved everything I’ve done, as I was doing it,” she said. “I was a teacher, a principal, I was a buildings and grounds manager, I’ve done a lot of different things. And I’ve loved every bit of that. But I think the thing that has been the most challenging and life-changing has been fostering.” 

When Sister Michael was a child, her Girl Scouts troop would visit St. Anthony’s Home for Infants in Kansas City, Missouri to play with the younger children. 

“I thought, ‘This is the life. [This is] going to be my job.’ I was going to own my own orphanage,” she said. “All I had to do is play with kids all day. I didn’t know anything about budgets or any of that. But that’s what I wanted to do.” 

Although the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth served orphanages when she entered, Sister Michael’s path veered toward becoming a principal for middle and high school. But she eventually made it back to her life goal to foster children.  In a way, her childhood dream came true—she was able to give children love and support when they were in her care. She recalled a story of a child who was almost one year old, who went stiff as a board when anyone tried to hug him. But one day everything changed. 

“I picked him up and he reached over and gave me a hug. That was the first time he reached out,” she said.

Sister Michael said the job of a foster parent is to reunify a family by either getting a “sick family well” or moving the child to adoption. She is still in contact with some of the children she fostered and regularly speaks with them on their birthdays. Sometimes they’ll invite her to lunch. 

“When you see the kids later, and you know, they’re happy and they’re healthy, then you know you’ve done the right thing.”

Fostering isn’t for everyone but there are other ways to help, such as donating slightly used clothes. There also is an Amazon Wishlist to help children in foster care. Mount Saint Vincent is hosting a community party on June 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate its 140th anniversary. For more information click here

No comments

Leave a Reply