After 52 years, Sister Rosemary Connelly has stepped down as head of Misericordia Home
Connelly said she is set to become the chairman of the newly created Misericordia Foundation.
She took over at Misericordia Home not long after Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon.
Some 52 years later, Sister Rosemary Connelly has stepped down as the North Side charity’s executive director.
“It’s been a wonderful journey, and I’ll continue as long as I can because I feel I do continue to have something to offer,” said Connelly, 90.
Connelly is now chair of the newly created Misericordia Foundation. She said she is still figuring out what her new job will entail, but it will likely involve public relations work.
“It’s an easy role to play because the people who are part of the Misericordia family are some of the nicest people you would find anywhere in the world,” she said.
Misericordia, a Catholic charity, offers a variety of programs for a total of about 600 children and adults living with a range of developmental disabilities.
“Since 1969, you have served as a steadfast witness to our faith, growing Misercordia’s ministry and mission as a destination for children and adults with disabilities, where they can live active and rich lives in an embracing, grace-filled community,” Cardinal Blase Cupich wrote in a Nov. 11 letter to Connelly.
“Through this ministry, you have celebrated and lifted up the dignity and beauty of each life. In the process, you have modeled not only acceptance and a commitment to educate and nourish each of God’s children, but a true love for all and the joy found in service.”
The Rev. Jack Clair, who has held various roles since arriving at Misercordia Home in 2000, is now the facility’s president and executive director. The most immediate challenge is trying to hire more staff, Clair said. Misericordia is down about 80 people since the start of the pandemic, he said.
The organizational changes come as Misercordia, 6300 N. Ridge, gets set to celebrate its 100th anniversary.