Melissa Fogarty Perez

Melissa Fogarty Perez, Coordinator for Sisters of Charity at skilled nursing facilities

By Charlotte Raftery, SC

How did I come to be in ministry with the Sisters at Mary the Queen, and now with the Sisters in Schervier and St. Patrick’s Home? You might say God called me when I saw the advertisement for the job at Mary the Queen, and Sister Kathleen McHugh hired me. The call came again when we were told about the closing, and I heard an inner voice saying, “Fogarty, that’s all right; there is somebody up there.” For the Sisters sake, we had to “control” feelings. I went home and cried for two days… “What am I going to do?” Again, an inner voice came, “it will be o.k. God is with me.” Just “hang out…” For three weeks… just had a sense… then Sharon Dosin, Director of Human Resources, told me about the newly-created position.

I just love being with the Sisters. It is very meaningful. It is something I am meant to do.  Little by little I had been being pointed in this direction. I put myself in their place; imagine myself in their shoes and how I would want to be treated. It means taking an extra moment just to pay attention to the little things that tell you something; having the flexibility to be able to “back off” until Sister is comfortable with the plan. Their trust means a lot of intimacy. They know who they can trust. I always look to each to see the real reaction. I have earned the trust and respect of the staff, helping out when they are shorthanded, not considering it a “favor.”

I have gradually grown into the role over two years — I just love the work. It is meaningful, something I am meant to do. I have learned a lot about myself, am honored that the Sisters trust me — they would “follow me to the moon.” Someday this will be “us.”  We do not know the future.