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Sister Susan Fazzini

Now more than ever a Benedictine presence is needed in the world, and I am both humbled and challenged that I have been called by God to do my part to pray and work in the spirit of St. Benedict. My Community of Sisters has been with me every step of the way, praying, encouraging, supporting every turn in my spiritual journey. 

My ministries have included teaching in elementary and secondary education, and campus ministry at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. My present ministry is in rural Greene County, Pennsylvania where God surprises and blesses me daily!

Sister Audrey Quinn and I began the Greene County Mission in 1989.  While living and working there we met Carl and Jeanne Sieg and their daughter Joey-Sieg Tom.  When Jeanne passed away, Carl and Joey purchased a house to establish a permanent Benedictine presence in Greene County in memory of Jeanne.  Their generous gift allowed us to continue our ministry of outreach in Greene County, especially our most treasured ministry of providing a safe and loving home for over 160 foster children.  While no longer active as foster parents, we continue to
welcome our former children as they come to visit their childhood home.  “You can never sell this home, this is where my life started” one recently remarked!

Our home also houses the largest shoe collection in Greene County as we work year round to collect brand new tennis shoes for our Heart and Sole project. Heart and Sole provides school age children with a brand new pair of shoes to begin the school year.  With the help of a number of Catholic Schools throughout the Diocese of Pittsburgh as well as local civic groups we have the resources to distribute over 450 brand new pairs of shoes each August.

Since 1990, I have worked in the field of Addictions and Mental Health Counseling. Working with people for whom life is an uphill battle has given me a deep appreciation for all of the blessings in my life. I continue to serve on numerous boards in various capacities always with the goal of impacting people’s lives in a positive manner and to enable each one to live to their fullest potential.

Presently I work as an Addictions Counselor in a men’s maximum-security prison. No two days are alike; the work is challenging and filled with so many opportunities to bring the essence of the Rule of Benedict to so many people. If you would like to see my work in action you can watch the documentary entitled “Change of Habit” done by Michael Bartley of WQED:  http://www.wqed.org/tv/watch/?id=872&series

When I entered this Benedictine Community in 1976, I had no idea the incredible challenges and adventures that would be placed in my path.  Daily I am grateful to my family and to my Sisters who have influenced my life, deepened my spirituality and encouraged me to always listen to the word of God in my life.  

 

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