In short, she’s incredible. For more, here’s the text of her introduction as it was read in full:
Jean Hale embodies and inspires the life of a Catholic woman – full of love, service and faith. She is affectionately known as Mother Hale around the community and at her parish Our Lady Queen of Peace, where her many years of service in many ways have come to define her and her parish.
In 1990, the SHARE Food Network was just getting started – and the fledgling program needed volunteer and community support to take off. Thankfully, Mother Hale heard about this new program, which used volunteers to provide low-cost, nutritious groceries to families for a fraction of the cost. She wanted to bring it to her parish.
As she tells it, she went to her priest, Fr. Ansgar Laczko, and suggested that the parish become a host site for the food network. He was very excited about the idea right off the bat. And then he said, “I think you’ll do a great job as coordinator.”
Twenty years later, the SHARE Food Network distributes nearly 10,000 food packages monthly, serving thousands of families. But it was largely thanks to the early momentum and excitement built at Our Lady Queen of Peace, led by Mother Hale. She organized an army of volunteers, 30 to 50 people each month that picked up, packaged, and delivered food packages to as many as 300 families a month. Frequently, the Hale family car was loaded down with food as she delivered to ill neighbors and church members who could not leave their home.
Her involvement in SHARE is only one outreach of a life filled with generosity and compassion. She and her husband Wilfred, married for 60 years, have seven children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. All of them have been to SHARE at some point in their lives.
It is my pleasure and honor to recognize a volunteer whose life has been a profession of her love of Christ and has matched her dedication to equality and love through action in the same manner of Dr. Martin Luther King. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is proud to present Mother Jean Hale with the Faith Does Justice Award.
View more media from the MLK Day Celebration on Facebook: The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., has posted photos of Mother Hale and Catholic Charities President and CEO Ed Orzechowski.