EUGENE, Ore. — For more than four decades, Sister Margaret Graziano has touched the community. Now she’s retiring.
As soon as Sister Margaret Graziano entered the parish hall at St. Mary Catholic Church, in Eugene she was met with opened arms.
“She is that person with a heart to give and she does such a beautiful job and she has such a wonderful effect on people,” said Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner. “She has more energy than 6 people half her age,” said Joe Pishioneri, special services officer for the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
For more than four decades Sister Margaret has had her hand in helping everyone from the Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Serbu Youth Center and St. Vincent De Paul. We asked her what she was most proud of and here’s what she said: “I think the art is one of the things because it still exists and even though we don’t have formal classes the inmates still send art to me.”
She’s talking about this art created by inmates. Sister Margaret likely worked with more than 350,000 over her tenure.
KEZI 9 News caught up with her a couple of years ago teaching one of those classes and she even compiled some of the artwork into a calendar. “Most of them never got out of their cells, but this way they could come up once a week and celebrate,” said Sister Margaret. “She helped with drug and alcohol counseling, she was involved with some music and yoga,” said Pishioneri.
And then came the surprise of the day Sheriff Tom Turner surprised Sister Margaret with these words: ” I hereby appoint and deputize Sister Margaret Graziano an honorary Deputy Sheriff.”
“This is going to be our first honorary deputy,” said Sheriff Turner. A badge of honor, but it would seem Sister Margaret is the real shield that’s protected and served this community for so many years.