Sister Virginia Longcope Celebrates 25 years at
Stephen’s Place, Inc.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – April 25, 2018 — Stephen’s Place, Inc. recently held Stephen’s Place Fund for the Future in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Director Sister Virginia Longcope’s tenure with the organization. The event, held on on April 15, was hosted at Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s Marian Inn.
The event also recognized 25 years breaking the cycle of addiction in the community thanks to Sister Virginia’s guidance. Stephen’s Place, Inc. surpassed their goal of $25,000 raised during a 25-hour Fund for the Future event, an endowment created to carry Sister Virginia’s legacy and Stephen’s Place’s mission into the future.
“I will take their hearts of stone and make them hearts of love”
-Sister Virginia Longcope
“Stephen’s Place has been a source of hope and healing for non-violent offenders with histories of drug and alcohol abuse, helping them to rehabilitate – and rebuild – their lives”
-Sister Virginia Longcope
Ashley Russo, president and executive producer of ASR Media Productions served as event emcee. The ASR Media team produced a video about overcoming addiction that was featured at the Fund for the Future event. The moving video tells the touching story of program graduate, Ray, who was greatly impacted by the work of Stephen’s Place and Sister Virginia.
View the video HERE
Many dedicated supporters from the community were in attendance, including the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Northampton County Drug Court Judge Craig Daly, Msgr. Edward Sacs from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and keynote speaker Father Patrick Lamb. Pennsylvania state senator Robert P. Casey formally congratulated Sister Virginia for her 25 years of service directing Stephen’s Place.
About Stephen’s Place
Providing services for 10-12 residents annually, Stephen’s Place believes that men returning to the community after incarceration should have a safe, spiritual environment in order to address early recovery from substance abuse as well as develop personal life skills. Therefore, Stephen’s Place provides a Half-Way House to help these men transition back into the community as productive citizens.
About Sister Virginia
Sister Virginia Longcope was raised in Dublin, Pennsylvania. In 1959, she made her first profession in the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Reading. In 1969, she was awarded a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Villanova University, and for 18 years she taught elementary school throughout the Allentown and Philadelphia Dioceses. Sister earned a master’s degree in Religious Studies at Saint Charles of Borromeo Seminary that prepared her for a Clinical Pastoral Care program. In 1985, Sister Virginia went from the doors of a fifth grade classroom in a small town near Whitehall to the gates of a maximum-security prison in Columbia, South Carolina. There she completed a one-year Clinical Pastoral Education Program at a maximum-security prison in Columbia, followed by a master’s degree in social work from the University of South Carolina. From May 1989 until September 1992, she worked as a social worker in the S.C. Department of Corrections.