THOSE WE’VE LOST: Georgianna Glose, a Nun and Activist for the Poor, Dies at 73

The New York Times

May 12, 2020

By Andrea Elliott

Sister Glose, who died from complications of the novel coronavirus, ran a nonprofit in Brooklyn and was a whistle-blower in a sex abuse scandal.

This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.

If you passed Georgianna Glose on the streets of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, you might have known her as that renegade nun, the one who left her convent to live among the poor and then blew a whistle on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

She was a sister with movie-star looks who roller-skated to work, having shed the nun’s habit in 1972 for the curler-coiffed hairdo then in vogue (a look she stubbornly kept).

But if you were homeless, you probably knew her as Dr. Glose, the nun with a doctorate who, until last month, ran a nonprofit on Myrtle Avenue. It was there, for 24 years, that the downtrodden found an anchor in a gentrifying neighborhood.

Mothers on welfare, fathers on parole, grandparents struggling to raise their children’s children — they all had a haven with Sister Glose, taking her computer literacy classes, joining her support groups, feasting on her Thanksgiving turkey.

“She was able to live in both worlds: the world of making a difference for individual families and the world of making policy changes,” said Steven Banks, the city’s commissioner of social services.

Sister Glose died on April 28 at Brooklyn Hospital Center from complications of the new coronavirus, said her sister, Kathrine Dawson. She was 73.

Authority neither impressed nor deterred her. “If someone was misbehaving, especially a man in a position of power, she would say calmly and completely accurately, ‘That man is a horse’s ass,’” said Teresa Theophano, a social worker who interned with Sister Glose at her nonprofit, Fort Greene Strategic Neighborhood Action Partnership.

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