PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Since 1990, the sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth have served immigrants in Pittsburgh.
“Our sisters were asked to come here to minister to immigrants, mostly Polish immigrants who were here in Pittsburgh and the Diocese felt they needed help with education and social services for the children,” said Sister Linda Yankoski, the CEO of the Holy Family Institute.
Helping children has been a special mission of Holy Family Institute for over a hundred years, says it’s CEO and has attracted support from many including President Kennedy and Steelers Chief Art Rooney.
“We’ve changed to meet the changing need of children and families in this community,” said Sister Yankoski.
Now with a high school, a residential treatment center for at-risk children, counseling and other programs, Holy Family never forgets it’s immigrant mission.
“When there was a crisis in Haiti a number of years ago, the earthquake, we were available to take in those children.”
So it’s no surprise that when the Trump administration separated Hispanic children from their parents, some of the children ended up here.
“My team did a great job once the children were here,” said Sister Yankoski. “We were able to locate all of their families. The kids could be in at least phone contact with their families.”
State Attorney General Josh Shapiro visited the children, as he was suing the president to reverse the separation policy.
“I went and visited those children,” said Shapiro. “And they were receiving wonderful care form Sister Linda and the Holy Family Institute.”
Once the policy was reversed.
“Our children were some of the first who were reunited with their families,” said Sister Yankoski.
None of the children remain in Pittsburgh, although Holy Family still houses unaccompanied minors who cross the border without parents.