Office for the Aging


Cortland County Honoree

Sister Kathleen HeffronSister Kathleen Heffron moved to Schenectady from Pennsylvania with her family in 1947. She took her vows as a Sister of St. Joseph in 1961 and worked as a teacher, principal and later served as a Director of Religious Education in a Broome County Parish until 1987. Sister Kathleen is dearly loved by the communities she serves and is recognized as a woman who will stop at nothing to help someone in need.

Sister Kathleen is the 2013 Senior Citizen of the Year for Cortland County. She is one of three nuns who founded the Cortland-Chenango Rural Services in Cincinnatus, NY in 1987. Sister Kathleen brings programs and resources to people of all ages that are challenged with barriers to services such as transportation, disability and poverty. Rural Services is a place where people have access to assistance with clothing and food needs, medical costs and transportation, mobile mammography, family counseling, the Farmer's Market, and much more. Sister Kathleen's work goes far beyond Rural Services hours of operation. She is a tireless volunteer whose dedication to others has benefited the community of Cincinnatus and surrounding areas for over 25 years.

Sister Kathleen and her compatriots sensed a void in the availability of religious education and outreach in rural areas. They all shared a strong desire to help people living in rural communities. Together they exceeded early expectations of this type of outreach and succesfully applied for grant funding, implemented programs, and built Rural Services into the invaluable resource it is today for both Cortland and Chenango counties.

Sister Kathleen states that seeing the 100 plus volunteers who are actively involved and provide a supportive environment has been the greatest reward of her experience. In her words "It is a family."

Visit NYSOFA's 2014 Senior Day page for a complete list of awardees.