Compassion, Love and Care: Meet Mother Margaret Hall’s new director of Spiritual Life Services
By S. Georgia Kitt
In welcoming the new director of Spiritual Life Services to the Motherhouse campus we learn that Debbie Knight brings a familiarity with the Sisters of Charity, from her teen years at Seton High School to her parish of St. Dominic and finally to Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, where she was employed in pastoral care and mission for the past 20 years. She is the mother of five adult children, all who live in Cincinnati, grandmother of seven, and her 90-year-old mother still lives in the house Debbie grew up in and is doing very well.
Over the years Debbie was encouraged by her experience with the Emmaus Ministry in her parish, working closely with program directors Sisters Rosaleen Simpleman and Bernadette Schmitt. It was through their confidence in her that she sought graduate work at Mount St. Joseph University and followed her dream to become a chaplain. She is honored to be here on the Motherhouse campus, walking in the footsteps of all the Sisters who have lived and ministered here and those who are currently residing where it all began.
Constrained a bit in her early weeks by the protocols that must be in place due to the coronavirus, Debbie is beginning to meet the Sisters living in Mother Margaret Hall, visiting with them individually. She has become aware of the tremendous compassion, love and care that all the staff has for the Sisters and that the Sisters have for the helpful, caring staff. She and her care team are reminding the Sister residents that they are loved and cared for as they listen and companion them. The Sisters’ loss of a familiar routine and their inability to visit friends and family has been a challenge. The care team is encouraged by the individual Sisters’ resourcefulness throughout these days of ‘virus isolation’ and are aware of the deep yearning for receiving the Eucharist regularly again.
The Spiritual Life Services care team consists of: Debbie as director, assisted by S. Elaine Merkel, OSF, S. Pat Malarkey, SC, and Paula Gray. So far Debbie is happy to report that the Mother Margaret Hall chapel has been re-opened to the residents of all floors and one-on-one outdoor visiting opportunities with Sisters on and off campus have been a recent effort coordinated by Spiritual Life to help reconnect MMH Sisters with others. We welcome Debbie and thank her for her presence. We look forward to opportunities ahead to meet Debbie, share in Spiritual Life programs and participate in the active life of our Mother Margaret Hall Sisters.