A gift of hope

Posted by Spalding Hurst

November 29, 2017

Gerry and Susan Hope met on a blind date. Susan was the co-captain of the basketball team at Presentation Academy in Louisville, Kentucky at the time and Gerry was a student at Saint X High School. Looking back now on their 50 years of marriage, they recall their blessings…family, friends, and so many life experiences. Woven through it all, are relationships with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

That’s why they decided to ask guests attending a party for their 50th wedding anniversary to make a donation to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, or another favorite charity, Hosparus of Louisville, in lieu of personal gifts.

“You know our last name is ‘Hope,’” explains Susan. “If you look around our house, you’ll see how many ‘hope’ things we have… if we didn’t do something special for gifts, we realized that we would probably have another 100 ‘hope’ things being given to us because that’s a favorite gift of everybody’s.”

Instead, to celebrate this special anniversary, they decided to give the gift of hope in a way that would support two charities that have had an impact in their lives, knowing that their support would help others in similar ways.

“SCNs were the forefront of our elementary education,” explains Gerry. He attended grade school at St. Patrick and St. Gabriel in Louisville. Susan attended St. Gabriel and Presentation Academy. After graduating from college, the two stayed in Louisville. Gerry worked at Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital with the Sisters of Charity for 37 years as a pharmacist and part-time at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Susan worked at Nazareth Home.

The family is filled with SCN connections too. One of Susan’s aunts was Martha Joseph Lenahan, SCN, and her oldest sister was Mary Lee Knopf, SCN. “We were very close to Sister Mary Lee, and we had so much respect and admiration for what she was able to accomplish in her relatively short time on this earth.”

“To say that our lives have been intertwined with the Sisters of Charity is more than obvious,” says Gerry. “What they gave us over the years in relation to education and job opportunities is undeniable. More importantly, they helped give us a strong foundation in our Catholic faith, as well as our moral and spiritual standards. Our faith and life journeys would not be the same without the instruction and direction of the many wonderful SCN women who have accompanied us.”

Friends and family donated nearly $700 to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in honor of Gerry and Susan’s wedding anniversary. “We have been blessed all of our lives,” explains Gerry. “As they (the Sisters) have given to so many people, maybe we can give a few too.”

1 Comment

  1. Ann Riehl Burrice (Pres '65)

    Such a beautiful story of two wonderful, faith-filled people! So happy to have them in my life and call them friends.


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