Mother Teresa was a famous nun -- but not far behind her in good works is Sister Noreen Sharp. After dedicating her life to serving others, she is retiring after more than 40 years of ministry to begin another journey in spiritual growth.
Sister Noreen Sharp is retiring after more than 40 years of ministry. She has served as the compliance officer and quality and risk manager at Catholic Charities for the last four years.
As a child she never dreamed that her life would end up this way. Sister Sharp grew up in Detroit, Mich., and got her undergraduate degree at Wayne State University. During her studies she became a Catholic nun with the Sisters of Saint Dominic, Adrian Michigan. Sister Sharp taught high school in California before attending the University of California at Hastings to become an attorney.
A Career of Service
In 1978, Sister Sharp began practicing law and has always focused on helping the poor and marginalized. “Being a lawyer has given me an entrance point into many places in positions,” says Sister Sharp. “The ministries I have been involved with have been varied and invigorating.”
She's helped many clients ranging from domestic violence and child abuse survivors to the homeless. Her legacy are programs that continue to help others, such as...
- A housing program for people with series mental illness.
- A Maricopa County Superior Court program that helps people living in poverty or without a lawyer get to court. This program has served more than 3 million people.
Through her years of ministry, Catholic Charities was always on her radar. “When I came on board in 2011, my first task was to help with the application for accreditation with COA (Council on Accreditation),” says Sister Sharp. “COA is a national accreditation agency that certifies nonprofits that are superb in every aspect of operation. Programs, administration, facilities—everything is inspected and scored.”
She's also helped with quality control to make sure all clients are served with the best care.
As she gets ready to leave the workforce, Sister Sharp says, “My fondest memories are the clients and the passion of the program staff.”
Retirement won’t leave Sister Sharp with much idle time. She plans to volunteer with the foster care review board and Circle the City. She is also attending a scripture class. She plans to learn more about Christ and His teachings while exploring nature. As an avid hiker, who has journeyed through the Grand Canyon 20 times, she hopes to continue travel and finding beautiful nature spots throughout Arizona.
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