My name is Iris Bartraw. I’m the Director of Engagements at St. Felix Centre. 1991 was the first time I had the opportunity to walk past 25 Augusta Ave. At the time I had no knowledge of who lived in the beautiful Victorian house but each time I passed this beautiful house I had an overwhelming feeling of peace. I was shortly told the house was owned by Sisters no one knew what their order was. In 1996 a neighbor of mine invited me to join her for a meditation group at the Centre located behind the house. My twin boys were now two years of age and I was invited by Sister Dorothy and Joan to join them along with a few moms from my neighborhood. My children interacted with other children as the moms socialized. In 1998 I was invited to be part of the renovation committee for now St. Felix Centre. The renovations were completed in 1999. My children attended summer camp and the after school programs. I worked part time at another agency and would volunteer with the lunch program at St. Felix Centre once per week on my day off. December 2 2002 I was asked to be part of the St. Felix Centre team. Since 2002 to the present I have had the opportunity to not only see St. Felix Centre grow but have the opportunity to grow with it. I have worked in the following areas Kitchen Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, Director of Services and now Director of Engagements. My Journey at St Felix Centre has been a true blessing. At a young age I faced several difficult challenges not knowing what God had in store for me. I now know I had to face these challenges to take me to St. Felix Centre. A place where I have the opportunity to have God work through me to help those in need in a place I now call home.
As provincial minister of the Felician Sisters’ Our Lady of Hope Province, Sister Christopher is the leader of the more than 600 Felician Sisters in North America. Sister Christopher had previously served in a number of leadership roles at the former Felician province in Coraopolis, PA, including provincial minister, provincial secretary, and council member. Over the course of three decades, Sister Christopher served as teacher and administrator in a number of Catholic schools. Her classroom career began in elementary school classrooms as a teacher of science, religion, and language arts. Sister Christopher went on to become the English Department Chair at Quigley High School in Baden, PA, followed by an 18-year tenure as Principal of Felician-sponsored Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School in Coraopolis, PA. One of the pioneers of green building in the Pittsburgh area, Sister Christopher was a member of the six-person team that led the 155,000-square-foot green renovation of the Felician Sisters’ Coraopolis, PA provincial house which won the designation of the first Gold LEED-certified buildings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) within the Pittsburgh area. Sister Christopher holds a B.A. degree from La Roche College, and a M.Ed. from the University of Pittsburgh.