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Continuing the legacy of Mother Marianne Cope

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - On October 21st, Mother Marianne Cope, a nun who grew up in West Utica, will be canonized a Saint in the Vatican. Cope dedicated her entire life to serving others and was the founder of St. Elizabeth Medical Center, the first hospital in the Mohawk Valley.

Many local people look forward to Mother Marianne Cope's honor this weekend, having followed in her ways of caring for the sick and those in need.

"It's a thrill, not every day do we have our own saint," said Bob Scholefield, Chief Operating Officer at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. "She started the medical center which provided an opportunity for those without the resources to receive healthcare and the sisters did it on their own."

He says since 1866 the St.Elizabeth Medical Center has continued to carry on the local sister's devotion to caring for the sick and helping those in need, a legacy that wasn't just see in healthcare, but her everyday life. To continue on her ways of helping others, St.Joseph - St. Patrick Church opened up a soup kitchen in her name.

"The soup kitchen is part of her legacy at St.Joseph's and St. Patrick's Church, she went to school here, it was part of her parish, as a child she grew up here and after she left when we merged our churches together we really took her on as Mother Marianne," said Vicki Montalbano, Director of Mother Marianne's West Side Kitchen.

The soup kitchen has been open on Utica's Columbia and Varick Streets for 4 years now, serving over 140,000 meals. Like St.Elizabeth Medical Center staff, kitchen director Vicki Montalbano is thrilled to have one of their own, becoming a Saint.

"It's a wonderful feeling, it's so uplifting, and I think it's such a wonderful thing for all of us here involved in it in this parish, but for all of Utica and the Mohawk Valley to know that we're walking on the same ground and we all can achieve something this high," said Montalbano.

In addition to Mother Marianne Cope, Kateri Tekakwitha will also be canonized this weekend.
The event is being broadcast on EWTN at 3:30 am.
It's channel 39 on Time Warner cable or in HD you can find it on channel 893.

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