A Nun on a Mission

Sister Maureen Knows Kids’ Grief Support Changes Lives

Sister Maureen Newman has been involved in the Providence Ministry for over 50 years and currently works as a Provincial Counselor at Providence Hospice in Seattle. Her journey with children began shortly after graduating from Seattle University with a degree in education. After briefly teaching at St. Michael in Olympia and St. Joseph in Vancouver, she began teaching at St. Therese in South Seattle. Sister Maureen remained at St. Therese for 24 years, teaching fourth grade and eventually becoming Assistant Principal.

While working at St. Therese, Sister Maureen was also involved in programs within the King County Jail system. Through her involvement in these programs, she was able to see firsthand the effects of traumatic loss on a child’s future. Time and time again, she would encounter inmates who had lost a parent or guardian at a young age. Without proper care, many of these individuals would lose their way and have various run-ins with the law. After seeing this recurring trend, Sister Maureen was truly inspired to work with grieving kids. By providing the victims of traumatic loss with the proper support services and counseling, she believes it is possible to break the cycle and help grieving children find a brighter future.

Although the Sisters of Providence have provided amazing support services since our partnership began in 1991, Sister Maureen sees a need for improvement. The biggest issue in providing grief services for children is simply the lack of facilities around the country that can support all of those who have experienced loss. In addition to improving the scope of services provided, she stresses the enormous need for people to be educated on the signs of a child who is in pain and needs support. The biggest step in changing a grieving child’s future is recognizing that the child needs help and finding people to help provide that support.

In order to address some of these key concerns, SCF is continuing our work with a number of proven programs for grieving children. Through the Art With Heart program, children can express themselves creatively through art to work through the difficult journey of traumatic loss. In addition, SCF works to promote ongoing awareness of grief support resources so that parents have a place to turn when in need. It is our goal to provide the necessary help to ensure that no child is faced with the task of grieving a traumatic loss on his or her own.

Safe Crossings Foundation feels incredibly lucky to have Sister Maureen as part of the team at Providence Hospice. Her dedication to helping grieving children in the Seattle area is truly inspiring. We look forward to witnessing her continued and beneficial work at Providence, as well as the many children whose lives are changed by her work and our continued partnership.