Following a recent ESL tutoring session, Sister Trudy walked back home after helping a friend find his way to the nearest bus stop.
Trudy Foster, SCN, enjoys being in the mix of people. In a soup kitchen or a Greyhound bus, what she enjoys most, is the people.
Sister Trudy was born in Memphis, Tennessee, where she has spent the majority of her life. She has served as principal at several Memphis schools. In 2001, she opened Little Flower School, an SCN endorsed ministry.
Since 2005, Sister Trudy has regularly volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen in Memphis. She and other parish members volunteer about once a week, making sandwiches and creating friendships. And that is her favorite part. “The neat thing is, you develop relationships with the guests,” she said.
She said the relationship “starts at the soup kitchen and goes out.” It goes out to the man whom she met at the soup kitchen and later drove to get his food stamps. It goes out to the Muslim guest who died and when she attended his funeral, met another man who needed furniture for his new apartment. The sandwiches and soup are really just the beginning.
She counts the Greyhound bus as one of the best places to meet people. Every three months, Sister Trudy takes the bus to the quarterly meetings of St. Vincent Health System in Little Rock where she serves on their board. She said the three hours from Memphis to Little Rock is a great opportunity to meet interesting people and really connect. It’s people in situations you only see on television, she said. “It makes you appreciate what you have when you talk with people in poverty, real poverty.”
She also connects with those nearby. She regularly tutors her neighbors, a mother and her children, who have just moved to Memphis and speak only Spanish. She is using books borrowed from Maria Vincent Brocato, SCN, to teach the family English. After a recent tutoring session, she helped a friend of the family find his way to the nearest bus stop.
Her life, and ministry, however, is soon to change. In January, Sister Trudy will begin a new ministry as a Motherhouse Coordinator at Nazareth. A decision she came to after attending the day of discernment lead by Sister Maria Vincent at Nazareth. She said “Everything seemed opened to let me go to the day of discernment.” The time spent with the group was rewarding and led to her decision. “With the group, I felt a big feeling of creativity,” she said.
In her free time, Sister Trudy enjoys exercising. She works out at a church health center near a Methodist Hospital. She, of course, also likes getting to know the diverse people who also attend the gym. She hopes to continue her exercise at Nazareth.
She enjoys reading and recently, was inspired by reading John Sivalon’s book, God’s Mission and Postmodern Culture: The Gift of Uncertainty. She was also influenced by a retreat given by Michael Crosby.
She said “I’m going to miss Memphis.” But she is excited about this new ministry, “Nazareth is a powerhouse of prayer. We will explore things. Community is very important to me.”
For more on Sister Trudy, click here: http://scnfamily.tumblr.com/post/111494862876