After 30 years of service to Immaculate Conception, Mary Louise West, director of School-age Childcare and After Care, will be retiring this week.
In 1992, Msgr. Anthony Missimi (who served IC from 1992-2008) approached Mary Louise and asked if she could start an After Care program in the Parish Education Center (a former retirement home). At the time, Mary Louise had spent 9 years working in the preschool for North Broadway United Methodist Church and relished the opportunity to help these children any way she could.
“I saw it as an opportunity to guide them and shape them into good men and women,” she said.
Upon retirement, Mary Louise hopes to cook, play cards and volunteer at local nursing homes. She also expects to have more time with her 15 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Among the many things she’ll miss, Mary Louise said it will be the interactions with the children.
“I’m glad they (the parents) felt comfortable to leave their children with me. I appreciated that trust. God blessed me with wanting and being able to communicate with kids.”