Sister Rene Procopio: The "Mother Teresa" of Mooncrest
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Sister Rene Procopio: The "Mother Teresa" of Mooncrest

When I think of service to others, I am reminded of Saint Teresa of Calcutta. And when I think of dedicated service to the Mooncrest community, Sister Rene Procopio of the Felician Sisters of North America, comes to mind.

Sister Rene Procopio: The "Mother Teresa" of Mooncrest
Danielle Wicklund

God works in mysterious ways. He brings people in your life to serve as role models and inspirations. When I think of service to others, I am reminded of Saint Teresa of Calcutta. And when I think of dedicated service to the Mooncrest community, Sister Rene Procopio of the Felician Sisters of North America, comes to mind.

For my confirmation in 2011, I started a service project for the St. Margaret Mary Parish CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine), a religious education program of the Catholic Church. Sister Jeanine Morozowich introduced me to Sister Rene, Director of the Mooncrest After School Program.

This was supposed to be a one time event, but it has continued for the last 6 years. I was inspired when I saw the happy smiles on the kid's faces and heard the sincerity in their thank yous. Sister Rene taught me the meaning of service. I also remembered she would always remind and encourage me to be a "NUN" someday.

In the picture above, Sister Rene was showing me a picture of Blessed Mary Angela Truskowska, the Founder of the Felician Sisters.

What makes Sister Rene so well loved and very much appreciated in the community? I just got back from a meeting where the Moon Township Board of Supervisors honored her with proclamations highlighting her many years of dedication and service to the Mooncrest Community and the Mooncrest After School Programs.

July 5, 2017 was declared as "Sister Rene Procopio Day" in Moon Township. PA legislators State Representative Mark Mustio, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Councilman Sam DeMarco, and many others, have recognized Sister Rene for her outstanding contribution to the community.

She is a native of Mt. Carmel, PA, and an alumni of the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School (OLSH). In 1970 she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Education at the La Roche College and obtained her Master's Degree in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She was also inducted as a distinguished member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars - RMU Chapter.

This "Angel on Earth" has dedicated 55 years of her life to the Felician Sisters of North America and has passionately served and to this day, continues to serve others. Her love of children coupled with her love for teaching resulted in the creation of an after school program and safe haven in 2002 while revitalizing the Mooncrest neighborhood.

It has become a place where kids are not only taught and nurtured so they can develop positive self image, but is now also a place where they experience workshops coached by artists from Sweetwater Center for the Arts.

The Mooncrest community center also has a basketball court and outdoor areas where many RMU sports teams, notably the basketball team and players, participate in adding value and enhancing the importance of sports as it applies to the everyday lives of the children. Dr. Christopher Howard, the RMU President, is very supportive of the Mooncrest program and has encouraged RMU students to become volunteers. He visited the center and tweeted about how much he enjoyed the engaged interactions with the kids and staff.

Thank you Sister Rene for teaching me the real meaning of serving others and living a life of purpose. Your dedication in helping and making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate members of the community reminds me of Mother Teresa, the Saint Teresa of Calcutta. You will always be the "Mother Teresa" of Mooncrest.

For the last 6 years, I have been very fortunate to have known and worked with Sister Rene and other Felician Sisters: Sister Clarence, Sister Thaddeus, and Mrs. Nancy Lawry during the Holiday gift giving activities. I feel so blessed to have been a part of the Mooncrest community program, and it is my hope that in my own little way, I can continue this service and encourage others to do the same.

I am thankful and grateful to my RMU CCM group headed by Gary Slifkey and also to Fr. Frank Kurimsky and CCM members for helping me and successfully sponsoring a Christmas gift drive last year. We put happy smiles on the faces of 63 kids when they received their Christmas presents.

Please keep Sister Rene in your thoughts and prayers during this challenging time as she battles a medical condition which has affected her speech.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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