Farewell to our St. Patrick Center Founder
The St. Patrick Center family is saddened by the loss of our founder, Edith Cunnane, who passed away Friday, January 3, 2020 at the age of 76.
On a bitterly cold day in the early 1980s, Edith asked a group of people why they were outside. One man responded, “Lady, where do you think I would be welcome today?” This was the inspiration that surged Edith forward with a new mission that gave a voice and face to people experiencing homelessness.
In partnership with the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Catholic Charities of St. Louis and Monsignor Robert Slattery, Edith founded St. Patrick Center in 1983 inside the former St. Patrick School at 6th and Biddle Streets. For the next ten years, she served as the agency’s first Executive Director, working tirelessly to increase services to people who were the most vulnerable.
Under Edith’s direction, St. Patrick Center opened the Shamrock Club, the nation’s first day treatment program for people experiencing behavioral health issues. She also launched the Casserole Program and McMurphy’s Grill, and expanded programming to include housing assistance, employment services and life skills training.
In all, Edith dedicated 37 years to St. Patrick Center. In her words from St. Patrick Center’s 25th anniversary celebration: “I feel so privileged to be associated with St. Patrick Center and feel I was really just an instrument of what God wanted done in this community.”
We ask for your prayers and kind thoughts for Edith, her husband of 52 years, Jim, and their family, including daughter Cori Cunnane Stebelman and son Jim Cunnane, Jr., who currently serve on the
St. Patrick Center Board of Directors, and six grandchildren.
Funeral mass will be Friday, Jan. 10, 2020 at 10am at Incarnate Word Parish, 13416 Olive Blvd., Chesterfield, MO. Celebration of Life immediately following at Old Warson Country Club, 9841 Old Warson Rd., St. Louis, MO. No flowers, please. Memorials to St. Patrick Center.
“We salute Edith Cunnane for her ceaseless commitment and service to St. Patrick Center,” said Bob Olwig, board president. “Her leadership and intensity created a safe place with programs and resources for people in our community who struggled the most.”
View Edith’s obituary here.
January 7, 2020