The following bio was published in February 2022.
Sr. Katie Norris ‘65 is a member of the Daughters of Charity, whose mission is, “Given to God, in community, for the service of those who live in poverty.” She has worked diligently through the years at the local, national, and international level for nonprofits, universities, and legislative committees. Her compassion and devotion have left a lasting impact on the communities in which she’s served.
Early on, Sr. Katie traveled throughout the country, working mostly with children and families in a social work capacity. From teaching Spanish-speaking children enough English to prepare them for first grade in Dallas, Texas, to serving as housemother for children with emotional disturbances outside of Detroit, Michigan and Mobile, Alabama, she felt like she was prepared for anything. Following a stint at Catholic Charities in Covington, Kentucky, where she set up a counseling program for a group of schools in the area, she enrolled in graduate school at Fordham University in New York City, graduating with a Masters in Social Work. She then started a branch office of Catholic Charities in Effingham, Illinois, where she was a “one-nun-show” and did all of the administrative duties in addition to counseling.
Sr. Katie was missioned to the St. Vincent de Paul Center on Chicago’s north side, where she worked for 20 years. The Center’s mission is to strengthen, empower and give voice to those in need through education and comprehensive programs to build vibrant communities in Chicago, with the goal of ending the cycle of poverty. After five years in a social work role for the daycare program, she was named the administrator of the center, managing a staff of 125 people. Under her leadership, the Center thrived. She spearheaded the initiative to rebuild, leading to the construction of a state-of-the-art 144,000 sq. ft center that provides daycare for 450 children of the working poor; increased the number of clients served to over 2,000 infants to elderly each year; merged with the Marillac House on the Westside in 2003 to coordinate efforts to more creatively and efficiently serve an even greater number of Chicago’s poor; and served on Governor George H. Ryan’s 33 member taskforce on Access to Universal Preschool; to name a few of her accomplishments.
In 2006, Sr. Katie left her role at the Center to serve as a member of the Leadership Council of the Daughters of Charity East Central Province in Evansville, Indiana. She has since served at DePaul University as the director of Catholic Campus Ministry; director for Daybreak, a homeless shelter in Macon, Georgia; and is currently serving as the leader for the Province of St. Louise in St. Louis, Missouri, a delegation of Daughters of Charity who work together to achieve their shared mission and address community issues.
Sr. Katie has received numerous awards for her service and dedication, including the Mary Potter Humanitarian Award from Little Company of Mary Hospital; the Brigid Award, presented to her by Concern Worldwide; the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin As Those Who Serve Award; and our prestigious Catherine McAuley Leadership Award.