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A Legacy of Caring

In Loving Memory of Sister Mairead O’Reardon, F.M.I.C.

This year Fayette Cares suffered a deep loss, the passing of our founder Sister Mairead O’Reardon.  She was a much-beloved woman of faith whose passionate belief in Social Justice and respect for all was inspiring.  

In the 80’s Sister Mairead came to serve our community during a time when Fayette County was the poorest in the Nation.  In a dirt floor barn on a rural Tennessee highway she united people of all races, religions, socio-economic levels, and backgrounds, in order to serve the poor.  At Fayette Cares you would find open minds, honest words, and willing hearts.   “There was no place for divisiveness,” said former Fayette Cares Executive Director Nancy Ward, “we put aside all differences and came together with nothing but love for fellow man.”   It wasn’t just good work she was doing when she helped create Fayette Cares, it was God’s work.  

Sister Mairead’s caring made it possible for thousands to find refuge and restoration, never imagining that the services she helped  create would continue for more than three decades, be recognized with awards, and  deemed essential during a global pandemic.  

Her legacy of caring lives on in the daily work of Fayette Cares, which continues to galvanize the community to provide hope for the most vulnerable among us.  “When you met Sister Mairead you were immediately changed,” said former Fayette Cares Board Chairman Joe Shelton, “there is a special place in heaven for her.”            

Surely she smiles down on us.

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