On the Recent Covid-19 Outbreak
Because we have many elderly and vulnerable guests, volunteers and building residents, some with chronic health issues, Keeler Women’s Center is taking the following measures to prevent clients, volunteers and staff from becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus that is spreading throughout the world. We are hopeful these measures will protect all guests, volunteers and staff.
Effective immediately, all programs at Keeler Women’s Center will be canceled. During this time, the Center will be cleaned and disinfected. We will be contacting those who have registered for programs to let them know of the cancellations.
We are sorry to take such drastic measures but protecting the health of our employees, volunteers, and guests is a priority. We will keep you updated as the situation progresses. Please pray for us as we pray daily for you.
Thank you for your interest in Keeler Women’s Center. We are grateful for the opportunity to tell you more about our ministry.
At Keeler Women’s Center, our mission is to empower women in the urban core through education, advocacy, personal and spiritual development.
The sisters of Mount St. Scholastica came to Kansas more than 150 years ago to teach young women. Our work at Keeler Women’s Center continues that mission, though in a different format. In addition to our small staff of sisters, more than 100 volunteers donate time each month to make a difference in the lives of women.
Through our programs and services, we see firsthand how women become instruments for change in their families and neighborhoods. When we help a woman learn to read or speak English, manage her health or finances, or start a business, we see her create ripples of hope and change that lift up her children and her community.
We appreciate your interest in our work and invite you to become involved.
Meet the Staff
Director, Keeler Women's Center
In 1986, when Sister Bridget joined the Benedictine Sisters, she came to them with a degree in Education and English. Naturally, her talents seemed best suited for teaching in the area high schools. When the need for a principal arose at Mount St. Scholastica Academy, she returned to school to obtain a Master's in School Administration, serving as principal for six years through the merger with Maur Hill. In the summer of 2010, she found a new calling as Associate Director of Keeler Women's Center. In June 2012, she completed her certification as a spiritual director through the Souljourners program at Sophia Center.
Assistant Director, Keeler Women's Center
Sr. Suzanne Fitzmaurice was born and raised in Omaha, NE. She graduated with a dual degree in Ministry and Elementary Education from Creighton University. After graduation, she moved to Houston, TX as an Area Director with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. She then moved into full time ministry as a Director of Youth Ministry for the next six years.
In 1998, she entered the Benedictine Sisters and began teaching theology at Notre Dame High School. Sr. Suzanne returned to school at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkley and obtained her Masters in Pastoral Ministries. She returned to teaching theology at Cristo Rey High School and in 2018 was asked by the community to join the staff at Keeler Women’s Center.
Assistant Director, Keeler Women's Center
Brenda Mortell previously was the family services director at Heartland Habitat for nine years. In that post, she oversaw the home-buyer purchase, education and financial literacy processes. She also was a community organizer and community safety initiative coordinator at Community Housing of Wyandotte County was the Kansas City, Kan., study circles program coordinator for United Way of Wyandotte County and was a project coordinator for the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce. A second-generation immigrant and a long-time resident of Kansas City, Kan., Mortell graduated from F.L. Schlagle High School and Donnelly College and attended Rockhurst University. She has served on the Keeler advisory board for two years and teaches the monthly Common Cents classes at the center.
Frequently asked Questions
Keeler Women’s Center is a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas.
The Center is staffed by:
- Two Benedictine Sisters
- An associate director
- A part-time counselor
- Several former interns who have returned as licensed volunteers.
- A master’s level social work intern from the University of Kansas
The staff collaborates with other non-profit organizations and about 100 volunteers each month to offer a variety of programs and services.
Our mission is to empower women in the urban core through education, advocacy personal and spiritual development.
We partner with professional volunteers and other non-profit organizations to provide a variety of free programs and services. Our licensed clinical counselors see women regardless of their ability to pay.
We have no boundaries. Our programs are open to anyone who wants to attend. We serve women from the metropolitan area and beyond. Although we base our decisions on the needs of women, we also serve men. Support groups and some programs are limited to women. When possible, we provide childcare for women as they attend our programs and receive services. Women are referred to us by area churches, by women we have helped previously, as well as by many non-profit or government agencies that serve the poor.
We serve an average of 3,323 clients per year (both men and women); we offer childcare to approximately 514 children per year whose mothers are attending programs or receiving services.
Last year, our volunteers totaled 6,725 hours.
Volunteers help answer the phone, register women for programs, and offer hospitality and childcare. Professional volunteers offer many ongoing programs and services.
Contact us at 913.689.9375
We provide a life-skills program every month for women at the Wyandotte Detention Center. A literacy tutor teaches at the Lansing prison and another volunteer does spiritual direction for women in the Topeka Correctional Facility. We offer Easy English and basic literacy classes at several local libraries in Wyandotte and Johnson counties.
We accept various donations, including (but not limited to):
- Gift cards for any major gas station, grocery store, or CVS/Walgreens
- Rosaries or religious items
- Personal care items: Shampoo, conditioner, body wash (New/lightly used products accepted)
- Hotel/travel sized toiletries
- Dental care: Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
- Perfume samples
- Un-opened packages of make up or beauty products
- Unused haircare products (brushes, hairbands, scrunchies)
Our funding comes through the ministry fund of the Benedictine Sisters. Annually the development office sponsors a major fundraiser, Night of Dreams, which helps fund the salaries of the sisters on staff. We also receive grants and individual donations to assist with salaries, program expenses, and hospitality costs. Several small fundraisers also help.
We are a ministry of Mount St. Scholastica, Inc. and our EIN number is 48-0548363. Donations can be made to Mount St. Scholastica, Inc. for Keeler Women’s Center. Information about memorials and other gifts is available.
*Keeler Women’s Center is currently CLOSED due to the COVID-19 outbreak. See below for more details.
Mondays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesdays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
We are closed on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays