Susan Kenney CoL
I am blessed to have grown up in a small Wisconsin town surrounded by a loving family and neighbors. I attended Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa, and upon graduating began two years as an extension volunteer in Pueblo, Colo. It was at this time that I met the Sisters of Loretto, who established a mission parish in our neighborhood, and Bishop Charles Buswell, who was attending Vatican II. These persons were a great influence in my plans for the rest of my life.
I entered the Sisters of Loretto in 1968 and also worked at Denver Catholic Charities. After completing my novitiate year I returned to Denver, where I had been working in the field of social work. I obtained a master’s in social work from Denver University and returned to Catholic Charities as team leader on an Outreach Team in Northwest Denver. I followed this with time on the Loretto staff.
At the time of welfare reform in the 1990s, I worked for systemic change at the Denver Department of Social Services to empower women moving from welfare to work with increased opportunities for education, mental health services and job training. This experience gave way to forming a small non-profit with Loretto Co-Member Jean East called Project WISE (originally funded through the Mission Fund of the Sisters of Loretto). The goal of Project WISE was the empowerment of women with low incomes through opportunities for individual change and using one’s voice for community leadership and advocacy. At this juncture of my life I transferred to Co-Membership.
Most recently I worked with the Denver University Graduate School of Social Work as a liaison with graduate students completing their internships in various agencies in Denver. I now am spending time on the Forum of the Loretto Community, participating in continuing to build community in the Denver area and offering periodic child care for the children of young friends. I look forward to new mission opportunities and am continually blessed with family and the Loretto Community.