1995 Lumen Christi Award Winner
LEFT: Sister Christina Kraus was recognized for her work with the poor in Appalachia.
RIGHT: Sister Christina understood that basic human needs had to be met along with spiritual needs.

“They Have Such a Different Look in Their Eyes”

Sister Christina Kraus received the Lumen Christi Award in 1995 for bringing hope and care to the poor in Appalachia. Reaching out to residents in their rusty trailers and tarpaper shacks without plumbing, Sister Christina understood that their basic human needs had to be addressed along with their spiritual needs. She founded the St. Francis Center in Ohio’s Vinton County, where 75 percent of the people were unchurched at the time and only two in every 100 were Catholic. Wrote one witness about her work, “Sister Christina has shoveled cow manure to help someone establish a garden; loaded trucks of firewood to keep people from freezing; bathed children who, by neglect, have become so offensive that others would not touch them.”

More than anything else, Sister Christina was willing to simply be present with the people in the hills and hollows of southeastern Ohio. Said sister herself, “You can always tell the Appalachian kids because they have such a different look in their eyes. It’s as though they’re asking, ‘Why? Why me?’”

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