Why I'm a Steward


Glory and Tom Sullivan

“We want to give where we see a return on investment. Results matter most.”


This sentiment is not surprising coming from successful businessman and St. Louis-resident Tom Sullivan, who owned a publishing company that helped educate the government on how to care for the environment. 


Glory and Tom Sullivan first learned of the now-Venerable Father Aloysius Schwartz and the Sisters of Mary while reading the newspaper. So impressed, they soon booked a visit to Girlstown in Mexico and were in awe of what they witnessed first-hand. 


Schwartz, known as Fr. Al, founded the Sisters of Mary in 1964. The congregation now serves 20,000 children each year in seven countries around the world. The Sisters provide shelter, food and education at no cost, while preparing impoverished youth for successful futures in their unique cultures and environments.


Upon leaving Girlstown, the Sullivans were convinced they had just met a Saint and, as stewards of God’s resources, decided to financially support the Sisters of Mary. This commitment led to visits around the world including Boystown in Korea and Girlstown in the Philippines. One trip to Manila had a profound impact. 


“The Sisters serve with such joy, working with the poorest of the poor and transforming them into disciples of Christ,” Sullivan said. “And we were immediately impressed with the practical nature of the education.” 


The students at Girlstown learn real-world skills such as computer software, gaining phenomenal life skills that help them get good jobs in the future, according to Sullivan.  One student went from ‘The Dump’ as it is called in Manila to earning a degree in computer science and on to work at top German corporation.  Despite escaping the “Smoky Mountain” landfill where she grew up, this individual felt called to serve the poor. Sister Winnie is now part of the congregation that has given her so much.


After learning from friends in St. Louis about The Papal Foundation, which also supports The Sisters of Mary, the Sullivans became Stewards of St. Peter. The Papal Foundation has given more than $500,000 to the Sisters of St. Mary because of the proven results Girlstown and Boystown deliver in each of the countries where the Sisters serve. 


“We are Stewards of St. Peter because this is a smart system to identify needs and priorities around the world aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty,” Sullivan concluded. “The Papal Foundation does great things through a strategic process I endorse.”