Sister Presley honored for service to area
On Sunday afternoon, a farewell reception was held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Caruthersville to thank Sister Darlene Presley for her service to the church and the community.
In 2005, Presley arrived in Caruthersville as part of the Glenmary Sister community. This group, as part of the Catholic Church, is made up of those who have made their way through an organized process to choose a life dedicated to God in thought, word and action, working to serve the poor through complete selflessness. The group works throughout the South and the Appalachia’s providing for communities both spiritually and physically through prayer and service.
While others have come and gone, Presley has continued to serve the community for the past 12 years. During this time, she has made many friends and has become well known for her kind heart and many acts of service to the area. She has been with the City of Caruthersville through disasters and hard times, as part of the Citizens Emergency Response Team and as an emergency shelter staff member. She has helped to lead the charge to purchase equipment and supplies to distribute to those in need. During the winter of 2014, she made sure those in need had space heaters and warm blankets.
Throughout her time here, she has worked with the Interfaith Ministerial Alliance assisting with anything needed, working to not only help those in need, but to teach them about budgets and family priorities.
Presley established an outlet for mothers and soon to be mothers, providing them with clothing for themselves and their children at low cost, even having baby furniture donated for those who needed it.
Along the way she has coordinated, hosted and oversaw summer youth groups of both adult leaders and teenagers in both manual labor while assisting county residents as they improved their homes to providing activities for community children such as Vacation Bible School.
Presley has worked tirelessly to provide for the physical, financial, emotional and spiritual needs of the community without hesitation.
Because of her outstanding service to those around her, she has been called to serve as President of the Home Missionary Order of Glenmary Sisters. During the special presentation on Sunday, Mayor Mike McGraw presented her with a key, stating it was “to all our hearts in the City”. During this time he declared July 6 as Sister Darlene Presley Day and deemed it a time of reaching out to one another with expressions of love and kindness.
Fire Chief Charlie Jones shared his appreciation of Presley and the great work she has accomplished in the community. Afterwards, Pastor Kenny Lee was introduced as “Kenny Rogers” singing a special version of “The Gambler” which filled the crowd with laughter. He went on to share of Presley’s dedication, commitment and humbleness. Councilwoman Barbara Rodgers then made her way to the front. She spoke of Presley’s work in establishing Mother’s House in Hayti to benefit mothers by giving them a hand up by providing low cost clothing and items. Others spoke on her behalf, before a special resolution from State Representative Andrew McDaniel was delivered, singing the praises of this hard working, dedicated and humble woman.
Sister Darlene made her way to the community in 2005, and in her 12 short years as a resident, impacted more than many do in a lifetime. To say the least, she is a great blessing and asset to the area and will be greatly missed. However, it is without doubt that she will continue to do mighty things for everyone around her.