Hennessy, Sister Christine
Sister Christine Hennessy is a social worker at Catholic Charities, Project Irish Outreach, based at the Aisling Irish Center in Yonkers. Project Irish Outreach has been part of Catholic Charities since 1991. With the aid of a grant from the Irish government, its purpose is to provide a variety of resources and services to meet the needs of those who come for assistance.
A native of New York City, Hennessy attended Mercy College and Fordham, where she earned a master’s in education. She is a licensed master social worker.
Hennessy’s parents hailed from counties Galway and Cork, and she has made several trips to her ancestral homeland. “Along with my Catholic faith, my Irish heritage is one of the strong foundations of my life, and it has made me what I am today. As a child of Irish immigrants, my family life was very connected to the family still in Ireland as well as those who came to America at the same time as my parents,” says Hennessy.
“As soon as I was able, I joined my mother in writing to my grandmother. I learned to spell the difficult Irish address in Galway before many other easier words. Although I did not visit Ireland and meet my aunts, uncles and numerous first cousins until I was 30 years old, I felt as if I had known them for years.
“As a Sister of Mercy, I also feel very connected to Ireland through our foundress, Catherine McAuley, who started our community on Baggot Street in Dublin in1832. Her teachings built on the foundation I was given by my parents at home.
“I feel blessed to be in touch with Irish immigrants and their families each day. I continue to be grateful for my Irish heritage, which sustains me and brings me much joy and gladness.”
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