The holidays are when most people give of themselves to others, but it was that way year-round with Sister Jean Webster, and it recurred unabated and without much fanfare for a quarter century. (Click for photo gallery)
What began with the kindly gesture of serving a homeless man a hot meal in 1986 evolved into a year-round crusade, catching the attention and support of several civic groups that helped Sister Jean feed and clothe thousands of the less fortunate for years. It started in her Atlantic City home, took up residence at A.C.’s Community Presbyterian Church as “Sister Jean’s Kitchen,” and grew to meet the needs of more than 400 people per day.
Her reluctance for personal publicity likely masked the fact that for years Sister Jean dealt with cardiac problems, and on Monday afternoon, Jan. 10, her compassionate heart gave out at the age of 76. Her death was confirmed in an Associated Press report by the Rev. John Scotland, pastor of the Brigantine Community Presbyterian Church (BCPC) and longtime president of the Friends of Jean Webster. The BCPC oversees two Sister Jean benefactors — the True Spirit Coalition and the Crossroads Youth Group.