An 80th birthday celebration was held Friday night for Sister Margaret McCleary, the founder of Providence Ministries. 

At the age of 14, Sister Margaret worked in the kitchen of Mercy Hospital to help the hungry and homeless. Years later, Sister Margaret had the idea of a kitchen that would provide meals to anyone in need, and Kate’s Kitchen opened in 1980.  

Over the past almost 40-years, this idea has blossomed into Providence Ministries, one of the Pioneer Valley’s largest networks of social services.  

Sister McCleary told 22News Providence Ministries strives to nourish hope and rebuild lives each day. 

“I’m being honored by the Providence Ministries Board of Trustees establishing the Sister Margaret McCleary Legacy Fund so that the work that we’ve done will continue far after we’re gone,” she said. 

Sister Margaret McCleary also said working with the Holyoke community has been one of the greatest joys in her life.  

Friday night’s celebration was held at the Delaney House in Holyoke.