30 November 2007

Buffalo's Own...

Sister Karen Klimczak, SSJ

In 1985, Sister Karen Klimczak founded HOPE House on Sycamore Street in the City of Buffalo. This project was started to provide transitional housing to inmates being released from correctional facilities. During Sr. Karen’s work in the prison ministry, she felt that there were not enough services available for these men upon their release. In 1987, Father Joseph A. Bissonette was murdered in his rectory at St. Bartholomew’s church at 335 Grider Street, also in the city of Buffalo. Sr. Karen relocated HOPE House to this location and renamed it Bissonette House as a way of paying homage to the slain Fr. Bissonette. It is at this location that Bissonette House continues to operate. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Bissonette House and also the 22nd year of Sr. Karen’s work with recently released parolees.

Sr. Karen’s reach throughout the City of Buffalo and Erie County is second to none as she started the “Nonviolence Begins With Me” and “I Leave PeacePrints” campaigns with attractive yard signage in the hopes that these campaigns would spread her desire for nonviolence throughout the region. This campaign is still very much active today through these yard signs, community events in honor of Sr. Karen and the unveiling of billboards throughout the city that bear these sayings.


A great, but tragic, story if you don't know it. Do your Google research.

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