Bishop Blesses New Foster Mother, Honors Volunteers

Thursday, 05 May 2011

Ancilla Systems Inc. Administrator Toni Mola, Nazareth Home Foster Mother/Director Jean Bowman, The Most Rev. Dale J. Melczek, bishop, Diocese of Gary; and PHJC Provincial Sister Nora Hahn spend time together at the recent open house for Nazareth Home.

EAST CHICAGO | When newly-named Nazareth Home Foster Mother/Director Jean Bowman welcomed open house guests April 19, she received a blessing from a very special guest The Most Rev. Dale J. Melczek, bishop of the Diocese of Gary.

Nazareth Home, a foster home in East Chicago for medically compromised children, is a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

The open house was an opportunity to officially welcome Bowman and recognize the volunteer "cuddlers" who provide infants and children up to 6 with hundreds of hours of unconditional love and cuddling, play and home care services.

"The bishop's presence certainly added to the celebration," said Ancilla Systems Inc. Administrator Toni Mola. "We honored Jean Bowman and thanked our volunteers for their invaluable service to the children of the foster home."

Bowman, trained in the care of abused children and formerly associated with an agency for severe and specialized cases, has cared for many foster children. She will reside at Nazareth Home with her daughter, Aurelia, 9, whom she adopted at six weeks of age.

Working with the Indiana Department of Child Services, the licensed foster home was founded in 1993 to care for children medically at-risk and facing extraordinary life challenges due to abandonment or removal from families that can no longer care for them.

Bowman replaces Sister Barbara Kuper, PHJC, who served for 18 years as foster mother/director before beginning a sabbatical.

Cuddlers and other volunteers play a vital role as a link to the community in coordinating support services such as fundraising and public relations. For volunteer opportunities or more information, call (219) 947-8500 or visit:

This article was originally published in The Northwest Indiana Times.