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Hope Blossoms 2024: Press Release

April 17, 2024



Washington, D.C. – Washington native and noted Catholic nonprofit leader Sister Mary Bader, D.C., will be honored for her 18 years of servant-leadership at St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth and Families at the agency’s Hope Blossoms fundraiser on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. Sister Mary served as St. Ann’s CEO from 2005 through 2023, when she was called by the Daughters of Charity (her religious community) to serve in a new leadership role as a member of the order’s Provincial Council in St. Louis, MO.

“We are so glad for this chance to honor Sister Mary, in person, for all she has done for this mission and this region,” says Sister Nancy Downing, CND, who began serving as St. Ann’s new CEO in January 2024. Sister Nancy along with Emcee Michael Steele, and Co-Chairs Pam and Dennis Lucey, will present Sister Mary with the Mary McGrory Advocacy Award, named after the Pulitzer-winning Washington columnist who supported St. Ann’s Center for over five decades as a volunteer and mission advocate.

His Eminence Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, will offer the invocation. “Sister Mary has enabled countless families in our region to heal, thrive, and grow toward bright new futures,” Cardinal Gregory said upon Sister Mary’s 2023 transition to her new role. “Sister Mary - thank you.”

Throughout her 18 years as CEO, Sister Mary Bader always preferred to focus not on her office,
but rather on St. Ann’s mission – founded in 1860 by three Daughters of Charity and chartered in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln; but for one night this May, “We get to celebrate Sister Mary’s job well done, and celebrate the future she has helped prepare us for,” says new CEO Sister Nancy Downing.


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St. Ann’s Center is one of the longest continuously-serving social service agencies in the Washington, D.C. area. Founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1860, today St. Ann’s Center helps mothers and children overcome crisis and achieve lasting independence and stability by providing a safe and supportive home, child care, education and employment assistance, and clinical social work services within a Catholic community that welcomes all.

Contact: Mike McCormick at [email protected]; 301-559-5500
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