The Great Irish Fair presents this award in memory of Kathleen Slattery and her dedicated service to Catholic Charities and to the wonderful service that Catholic Charities delivers to the poor, the troubled and the needy of New York City.
Sister Caroline Tweedy, R.S.M., chief development officer for Mercy Home for Children, is receiving the Kathleen Slattery Woman of the Year Award.
As a Sister of Mercy for the last 30 years, she has dedicated her life to her order’s core values of spirituality, community, service and social justice in a spirit of mercy.
Born in Brooklyn, her roots run deep in Red Hook, where her grandparents settled when they came to the U.S. in the early 1920s. Her grandfather was a longshoreman and her grandmother cleaned office buildings. They hailed from Killmallock, County Limerick and Derry.
Her parents, Elsie and Gerard Tweedy, raised Sister Caroline and her younger brother Gerard in a traditional Irish Catholic home.
She attended Visitation B.V.M. School, Red Hook; and then St. Therese of Lisieux School, East Flatbush, and Catherine McAuley H.S., East Flatbush, both run by the Sisters of Mercy at that time. She later taught at Catherine McAuley H.S., 1982-88.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Brooklyn College, and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Fordham University, along with certificates in non-profit management and mentoring and supervision.
In 1989, she joined the staff of Mercy Home for Children, a social service ministry of the Mercy Sisters for people with developmental challenges. She held various positions before being named as chief development officer.
Also close to her heart is the Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center, Fort Greene, which provides various programs to meet the needs of neighborhood children and families, especially immigrants. She has served on the board of director since 1996, and has sat as board chair since 2005.
At St. Therese of Lisieux she served on the parish council and coordinated the girls’ Catholic Youth Organization programs, 1979-1983.
A resident of Marine Park, she remains active in her childhood parish of Visitation B.V.M., where she serves as a lector and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.