Sister Karen Cunningham
Sister Karen Cunningham is ministering with the Little Sisters of the Poor as a Development Assistant. The Little Sisters of the Poor have cared for the elderly poor in Pittsburgh, PA, since 1872. Sister Karen’s work supports their ministry at Saints Peter and Paul Home.
“At their home, I witness the beauty, joy, and blessings of the elderly. I value serving the poor and help the Little Sisters stay financially solvent so they are able to continue their mission. I like interacting with the residents, listening to their stories, and encouraging those with financial resources to share with the less fortunate, modeling my actions after Saint Vincent de Paul,” said Sister Karen.
Sister Karen felt a strong connection with Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and was motivated by the phrase, “The Charity of Christ Urges Us.” She longed to experience the joy and simplicity of life shared by the Sisters of Charity.
As a result of responding “yes” to God’s call, Sister Karen is a vowed religious, embracing a life of prayer and community that nourishes and sustains her enthusiasm and energy for ministry.
“I am grateful to walk the path of many holy, dedicated and genuinely loving women of the Church,” said Sister Karen.
According to Sister Karen, living as a Sister of Charity has helped her grow to see Christ in the sacraments, other people, in the poor and suffering, in nature, and in many other aspects.
“Being a Sister of Charity means living the vocation to which God has invited me. By sharing prayer and material resources, supporting justice causes, and connecting with other sisters, I find meaning in what is entrusted to me as charism, as well as integration of my life as a Sister of Charity and as a minister with God’s people,” said Sister Karen.
Sister Karen, who is often described as warm, kind, and easy to approach, said the charism of Charity affects her ministry daily. Through her work with the Little Sisters of the Poor, she offers compassion to those whom she ministers.
“The love of Christ makes me more inclined to see Christ in others and urges me to care for the poor and vulnerable. The Little Sisters of the Poor say they enjoy working with me and appreciate my dedication to their mission of caring for the elderly poor,” said Sister Karen.