Sisters Phyllis Schleicher and Mary Hoffman Honored

Through prayer, presence and programs Sisters Phyllis Schleicher and Mary Hoffman have ministered to the people in McKean and Potter counties for almost 20 years as part of Catholic Rural Ministry (CRM) of the Bradford Deanery, an outreach sponsored by the Diocese of Erie. During that time they have also volunteered with the PA Department of Aging as part of the Ombudsman Program—a program designed to support and empower consumers by resolving individual complaints involving long-term care service while working to improve and enhance the long-term living system for the residents and their families.

Recently the personnel from Potter County Human Services gathered to celebrate Sisters Phyllis and Mary for 15 years of dedicated service to this program. “This luncheon is to honor your years of dedicated service to others,” explained Barbara Busch, Lead Ombudsman for Potter County. Included among the guests was Jan Brown, Ombudsman Specialist for the PA Department of Aging who spoke of the dedication Sisters Phyllis and Mary have shown to this volunteer work: “I would like to thank Sister Phyllis and Sister Mary. Through generous giving of time, empathetic listening and compassionate help they have planted seeds of love in countless lives . . . you both have shown that you are here to serve, not to be served. Well done, faithful servants.”

In addition to the many affirmations and kind words, both sisters received a special plaque to mark their volunteer service. “It’s been an honor for us to advocate for those who can’t and support those who can,” said Sister Phyllis. “As Benedictine Sisters we believe the life and dignity of every person is to be reverenced and this program has provided a unique opportunity for us to do just that.”

The luncheon gathering was held at Kaytee’s Restaurant in Coudersport. Sisters Marian Wehler, OSB and Tine Geiger, RSM of CRM in the Oil City Deanery attended the event along with several Potter County volunteers.

Photos contributed by Sister Marian Wehler.