Good Shepherd Gracenter

Spring 2013 Newsletter


Motivated by a belief in dignity and worth of each person as a child of God, Good Shepherd Gracenter is committed to helping women who seek recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Through a program based on a 12 Step Spirituality and a holistic approach, we help each woman transform and grow toward independence by nurturing an appreciation of her true self and strengthening bonds with her God and community.

Executive Director's Report

By Sr. Marguerite Bartling, RGS, MSW

Marguerite-BartlingAt this time of year, we marvel at God’s gift of new life that the season of spring brings to the earth and into our lives in many ways. Good Shepherd Gracenter will celebrate something new too by holding its 1st Annual Amazing Grace Gala on May 11, 2013. We hope you can join us for this lovely evening that will honor persons who make a significant contribution both to Gracenter and to the wider field of recovery in the Bay Area. More information can be found on our website at

Besides our inaugural gala, this season we celebrate the lives of people, especially a good friend, Josephine Gehrmann who recently left a generous bequest upon her death at 100 years to help the women at Gracenter. Her whole life was dedicated to helping her family and those who crossed her path in life, and the legacy she is leaving with Gracenter will positively impact lives of women for many years to come.

So, as Gracenter embarks on its fourth year as a Licensed Recovery Residence with over 60 women given the opportunity to live a balanced and productive life, we thank you all for your continued support!

With sincere gratitude,

Sr. Marguerite Bartling RGS, MSW
Executive Director, Gracenter


Gracenter’s 1st Annual Amazing Grace Gala

By: Adam Eisendrath, MNA

galaOn May 11, 2013, Good Shepherd Gracenter’s will hold its 1st Annual Amazing Grace Gala. A wonderful evening is planned that includes a silent auction, dinner, dancing and a jazz band. But above all, the Amazing Grace Gala gives us the opportunity to thank our friends for their support and to honor persons who have contributed both to recovery in the Bay Area and to the agency of Gracenter itself. We are happy to recognize persons whose wonderful work helps others gain a new life and a bright future.

helenHelen Waukazoo will receive the Amazing Grace Community Award, for her significant contribution to the field of recovery here in San Francisco. She is presently the Chief Executive Officer of San Francisco Friendship House Association of American Indians, Inc., a residential substance abuse treatment that she co-founded in 1963. At 13, Helen attended boarding school when the government attempted to move and integrate American Indians from their reservations into non-Indian communities. Later, Helen volunteered at a center started by a church group in San Francisco, a place for American Indian people to connect in what often felt like a foreign world. Now, through her leadership, the Friendship House program has a unique blend of the 12 Steps, Western psychology and Native American traditions. In 2009, Helen received the Minerva Award, created and presented by Maria Shriver for her outstanding work. Helen has played a pivotal role to a generation of American Indians raised in the Bay Area promoting and encouraging traditional practices and re-enforcing a true intertribal community. More information about Ms. Waukazoo, Friendship House’s important mission and their upcoming 50th Anniversary celebration can be found at their website

guildThe Amazing Grace Agency Award goes to a person(s) who have made an impact on Gracenter, as an agency. This year we honor the women of the Good Shepherd Guild who, for the past 80 years, have tirelessly raised money to help young women served by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. ward on behalf of the approximately 200 Guild members who are committed to making the lives of young women better.

The Good Shepherd Guild was once famous for its annual rummage sale and today puts on fundraising events such as Oktoberfest, the Annual Christmas Luncheon and the Spring Fashion Show. They also act year-round as ambassadors to the community promoting Gracenter’s mission and values--truly embracing the tradition of “women helping women.” Twice a year, a resident of Gracenter is invited to “share her story” with the women of the Guild at one of their luncheons. It is an inspiration to all involved. We are very grateful for the dedication and determination of the women in the Good Shepherd Guild to raise the dignity of women and contribute to a better future for them.

A Tribute to Josephine Gehrmann

By: Sr. Marguerite Bartling, RGS, MSW, RAS

josephineIn Loving Memory of Josephne
Gehrmann (1912-2012)


One morning in 2010, the phone rang at Gracenter. Our intake worker answered and when she found out that the caller was 98 years young, her voiced immediately softened. I heard the Gracenter staff member ask, “Well, Josephine, what can we do for you?” That was the beginning of my special relationship with this diminutive woman who was spunky, outspoken and full of zest for life. Born in Sicily, in 1912, Josephine and her large family immigrated to Philadelphia and eventually to San Francisco seeking a better life. During my visits to Josephine’s home, she recounted how she worked as a seamstress her whole life. In fact, she was proud to have sewed and modeled for the famous Lilli Ann Fashions founded by Adolph P. Schuman, a prominent San Francisco businessman. Josephine was very petite and always known to have been “exquisitely dressed.” She loved her garden, her family, and the companionship of her darling toy poodle, Bella.

A member of the Good Shepherd Guild for the past 43 years until her death at 100 years in the spring of 2012, she fondly recalled visiting the Good Shepherd Sisters and participating in many of the different fundraisers organized by the Good Shepherd Guild. Josephine is missed very much by her family, friends, neighbors, the women of the Good Shepherd Guild, and the Sisters. Thank you, Josephine, for the love, laughter and care you brought to us, and legacy you are leaving!

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