March 26, 2020

Dear Friends of Saint Catherine Center and Saint Catherine Academy,

As an organization with a mission to lift up all regardless of abilities, these have been very humbling times for all of us. Initially, it seemed that we would be able to continue to serve our students and young people with some modest restrictions. Then came the realization that this was not going to be possible and we made the very difficult decision to close the Center to provide for the health and safety of our students and adult participants, many of whom are medically fragile and our staff and their families.

We recognize the extraordinary burden that this places on our families and our limitations to ease that burden. But motivated by faith and committed to the incredible community at St. Catherine’s, we have rallied!

What have we put into action?

  • We are providing education and program resources daily to our families to help bridge the time and maintain important skills through daily communication.
  • We have offered the personal touch of phone contact to get better assessment of needs.
  • We have recorded and shared stories with some key staff; we have shared music therapy videos through YouTube and we have offered art projects that are simple and home-based.
  • We have created a new section on our website which offers all of these resources in one place.
  • We have made a commitment to our staff that there will be no layoffs or furloughs through April and we will review on a month-to-month basis.
  • We are caring for each other; praying for each other; supporting our learning community in ways we never thought of before.

All of this is possible because we have been so generously supported by you; we have been good shepherds of our resources and we have built a community that values each and every person in our broad circle. To that we say thank you for being with us; thank you for staying with us. We will continue to ask ourselves each day, “What can I do today to help?” As a reminder, here are the young people we support.

With gratitude,

Helen C. Burland
Executive Director