The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls hosted their annual Employee Appreciation Dinner Jan. 24, at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls. Many of the 140 employees and their spouses or guests were present for the occasion.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Saint Francis Award to Terry Bernardy, food service director at St. Francis Convent. The Franciscan Sisters’ Values Committee sponsors this annual award, given to an employee who lives and ministers the values of Saint Francis of Assisi and that of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.
“The individuals nominated are to be shining examples of how to live out the Franciscan values of respect, open communication, hospitality and compassion,” said Sister Mary Pat Burger, executive director of ministries and services. “Although we all strive to live by the values, some people go that extra mile, provide the extra care and compassion and make the values a part of their every day interactions with each other.”
Bernardy began his work in dietary in 1979 at St. Otto’s Care Center, Little Falls. An employee at St. Francis since 2007, Bernardy has a four- year hotel restaurant institutional degree from Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, and a dietary managers degree from Auburn University, Ala.
Nominations said, “Terry is always pleasant, joyful, willing to go the extra mile for the sisters and employees. He is hospitable, humble, generous, respectful, even-tempered, cheerful, helpful and faithful, sharing his talents generously—giving 100 percent. He is a good communicator and organizer and has been seen washing dishes, cleaning vents, going to the grocery store to pick up something special.”
Bernardy said, “I thank everyone who nominated me for this very prestigious award. I could not do my job without the support of the dietary staff, all of the other departments and the sisters here at St. Francis Convent. I believe the Franciscan values are ones that I have tried to follow during my life and were instilled in me by my parents and grandparents. They have always encouraged me to be the best at whatever I decided to do. Working with the elderly population has always been a favorite of mine although I really enjoy all age groups. I worked at the College of Saint Benedict and had the wonderful opportunity to mentor students as they started their journey into life.”
Bernardy added, “I enjoy working here with the Franciscan Sisters and the staff because I feel appreciated and welcome each and every day. I feel like I am treated as a person who matters and that we are all members of a valuable team.”
Fourteen employees were recognized for years of service: 25 years — Mary Rocheleau, dietary; 20 years — Sandy Katzenmeyer, Clare Residence; 10 years — Jeannette Austin, health and recreation, Anne Heisick, community relations, Jeanne LeMieur, finance, Danielle Motschke, health and recreation; five years—Josie Kierstead, dietary, Vicky Lashinski, housekeeping, Becky Majerus, Clare Residence, Andrea Parker, dietary, Heidi Quinlan, finance, Jean Rouland, rehabilitation, Pat Sharon, library and Tim Thomas, housekeeping and maintenance.