As spiritual coordinator at The Boston Home in Dorchester, Mass., Sr. Bridget Haase feeds the spirits of adults with multiple sclerosis and other degenerative neurological diseases the way she once fed starving children in the Sudan. “Illness can change possibly the way you live, but it’s not the end of your living,” she says. “There is much more to us than our bodies. It’s the power of the spirit.”
Sr. Bridget joined the Ursulines at age 17 after graduating from Ursuline Academy in New Orleans. She began her teaching career in St. Louis, where she taught 40 first-graders her first year. Her love of teaching and desire to serve the poor soon took her to Appalachia, where she spent five years teaching economically impoverished children in a building that was little more than a shack.
During her more than 50 years of Ursuline life, Sr. Bridget has served countless children in many countries as teacher, famine work and spiritual guide. In the 1980s, she fed starving children in famine-plagued Sudan, Africa—one of her greatest challenges, she says today. “I always live with the children I fed on my shoulder,” Sr. Bridget says. “I ask God to keep them on my shoulder and keep my life in perspective.”
A born storyteller, Sr. Bridget honed her gift throughout her travels, collecting stories of hope and faith. Returning to the states in the late ‘90s, Sr. Bridget began ministering in the Ursulines’ northeast province and sharing her life lessons and stories of faith in books as well as one on one. Since 1998, she’s shared her faith, spirit and stories with the nearly 100 residents of The Boston Home, many of whom are almost completely paralyzed from illness. “You cannot define another human being by their physical limitations,” she says. “I have seen such courage here, and hope, laughter and faith.”
to see a two-minute NBC report on Sr. Bridget’s ministry.