Mary Pamela Hume is one of the most selfless and kind women I have known. She works for the downtrodden and for those most in need within our community. “Pam”, as she prefers to be called, was a Roman Catholic nun who after many years of service to her church, as a nun/social worker in Mississippi, to helping the neediest in our country, had to leave her vocation to take care of her elderly mother and her infirm aunt. But leaving her position as a nun has never stopped Pam’s zest for life, her love of humanity and charity towards others.
Pam is herself debilitated with a terribly painful illness that would render most bedridden and, despite and maybe because of this disease, she stills continues to give 1000% of herself to the indigent and bereft in our community. Our community lost hundreds of human lives on 9/11 and because of the horrific personal losses to so many families in our community and surrounding areas of Brooklyn, our parish community had a real need for social service help. We as most were ill prepared and unsuited to deal with so many losses of young mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. As a community, we were really at a disadvantage to help the bereft families with so many looking to their faith based communities for assistance and guidance during the days after 9/11 and years later.
Through the guidance of our parish priest, Father Kenneth Calder, of Our Lady of Angels Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Pam began the Ministry of Consolation; an all volunteer ministry that provides consolation and guidance to all who experience the death of a beloved friend or family member in our community. It is Pam who does the outreach and helps friends and family members plan funerals, attending funerals with the family and friends, sometimes being the only other person in attendance if an elderly person has predeceased all other living relatives. When the family is often too overwrought, her ministry prepares a mass booklet in memory of the deceased, or does the aftercare for the families and friends when they need to file insurance papers or get death certificates.
Pam is the beacon of sunshine who gives total love with no judgment. She truly goes the “extra mile” on a daily basis and because of her determination and compassion, she has inspired so many on our community to want to be like her. She has a good group of volunteers who attend to the needs of the grieving with her, but Pam does most of her work voluntarily and on a daily basis. Hers is not a ministry of sorrow but one filled with love, offering a guiding heart and loving smile to those most vulnerable and in need. She runs a quiet, compassionate and unassuming group.
I lovingly nominate Pam Hume for this award not because she would ever want the recognition, but because her life of service to others can be held up as an example for others to strive for in this great country of ours.