Sister Rosemary Connelly Selected as a Chicagoan of the Year

Sister Rosemary Connelly has been recognized for her exceptional work:

Connelly, now 83, has been running Misericordia with a kind smile and an iron will ever since. Under her leadership, the nonprofit that began as a small nursing home on the Southwest Side now has nearly 1,000 staffers to serve the 600 children and adults who live on its 31-acre site in Rogers Park.

Connelly points out that until 1975 disabled people received only custodial care through the state, with no educational or therapeutic programs. Misericordia offers speech, occupational, and physical therapies, as well as yoga and dance classes. There’s an aquatic and fitness center, and residents work at a bakery and restaurant. “Our philosophy is based on the belief that our children and adults have a right to a good life, and they deserve to be engaged in that life,” explains Connelly, looking out over the campus. “Here they know they’re loved and challenged and respected.”

Check out the inspiring video: