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Honoring Past, Present, and Future

March 2, 2023

This blog is part of a monthly reflection series from St. Ann's Center CEO, Sister Mary Bader. 
Find more of these reflections by visiting the archive: Sister Mary's Minute.

Hello from St. Ann’s Center! Can you believe March is here already? The Lenten season has begun, the first cherry blossoms have flowered, and the Washington Nationals will soon open their season.

Remarkably, this week also spanned Black History Month and Women’s History Month – two occasions with special relevance for St. Ann’s Center. We remember and celebrate the legacies of those who came before us, while simultaneously recognizing and celebrating the young women writing their own stories today at St. Ann’s.

Even if I tried, I could never fit all the Women’s History-makers who have impacted St. Ann’s Center in a single message! Still, I’d like to share briefly about one pioneering woman whose legacy continues to influence St. Ann’s and the families residing with us.

Mary McGrory (1918 – 2004) was a trailblazing journalist at the Washington Star – and later, The Washington Post – at a time when few women worked in newspapers. Mary wrote over 8,000 columns in her brilliant career, and in 1975 became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for commentary. 

Mary was also a dedicated friend to St. Ann’s, serving as our “First Official Volunteer.” She maintained this role for over fifty years, volunteering weekly to help children with schoolwork and organize field trips and other fun outings for them. Mary also hosted her famous “St. Ann’s Christmas Parties,” which she sometimes got U.S. Presidents to attend!

Near the end of her life, Mary’s generosity helped to fund the Mary Gloria Room at St. Ann’s Center, which opened in 2000 and continues to serve as a reading and play space for our families. The room is named after the children’s nickname for Mary, since they could never pronounce “McGrory.”

We continue to honor Mary’s influence through the Mary McGrory Advocacy Award, which St. Ann’s presents each year to recognize “individuals whose work brings attention to the needs of the community’s voiceless.” We will next bestow Mary’s award to a deserving awardee this coming May 10, 2023, at our annual Hope Blossoms event.

It would be my honor if you would join us for this year’s event, where you can learn more about Mary, her continuing influence on St. Ann’s, and her ongoing relationship to the history-makers currently serving in our community. 

Headshot - Sister Mary Bader and autumn treesThank you for being a change-maker at St. Ann’s. Like Mary McGrory, you are caring for and empowering young families as they move from crisis to stability and  independence.

We are so looking forward to all that you will help them achieve.

Sister Mary Bader, CEO

Join Us on May 10 for Hope Blossoms!

Please join us for Hope Blossoms!

Sister Mary Bader and Jan & John Magnolia cordially invite you to join us for Hope Blossoms, our annual cocktail reception and awards ceremony, benefiting St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth and Families.

Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Place: Columbia Country Club

For tickets and sponsorship information, please click here:

About St. Ann's Center

Photo of St. Ann's Center's logo, blue on white background.Mission Statement: St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth and Families strengthens and supports families on their journey toward stability. Inspired by Catholic social teaching and Gospel values, St. Ann's Center provides a nurturing community where families heal from the past, overcome barriers, and take hold of their future.

St. Ann's Center is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to lifting vulnerable children, mothers and families out of poverty and homelessness. Our innovative housing and support programs build upon a family's inherent strengths by providing the tools for life-long independence and self-sufficiency. St. Ann's serves families of all backgrounds and faith identities.

To learn more about St. Ann's Center, please click here: