A mom to moms behind bars
BY JO PIAZZA. PHOTOS BY STEVE PFOST (COURTESY OF OPUS PRIZE FOUNDATION).
ISTER TESA FITZGERALD, C.S.J. never thought she would be a mother.
But—and she is the first to admit it—God works in mysterious ways. Those
enigmatic ways have led Fitzgerald to help raise thousands of children for
mothers who are incarcerated—and become a mother to the women themselves.
“They’re all my babies,” she says, talking about her unconventional and very
Today Fitzgerald, best known throughout her neighborhood in Queens, New
York as “Sister T,” is the executive director of Hour Children, a nonprofit that
Everyone knows “Sister T,” who high-fives her way down the
streets of Queens, New York. She has helped thousands of
women inmates and their kids get through prison terms and
rebuild their lives.
talks to kids from
foster care home
she helped found.
“I love the way my
life turned out, “
says Sister T.
Jo Piazza is
the author of
book If Nuns
Ruled the World,
in which she
C.S.J. and nine
sisters. A former
New Yorker, she
now lives in San
her husband and