April 8, 2016, Houston, Texas – Sister Maureen O’Connell, OP, founder and director of Angela House, has been named a Houston Hero for her dedication to helping women who had been imprisoned to turn their lives around. She founded Angela House in 2001 as a residential program to offer women the treatment, education, and support they need to leave behind prison life – and the behaviors that led to their imprisonment – and to transition successfully into life in the greater community. Read the Houston Chronicle article by Allison Bagley.
Sister Maureen has also been cited in two of the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report articles, part of a series on the U.S. criminal justice system and the ministry of U.S. Catholic Sisters with current and former prisoners. The article on the “caste system” that former offenders face details the many programs that Angela House offers to prepare the women for employment and a new life in society. In an article on the changes in the prison system, Sister Maureen speaks of the need for prisons to include a “release program” that would help prisoners prepare for their release months in advance.