A member of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth who held leadership roles in local social service organizations died earlier this month.
Sister Jane Albert Mehrens was 84. She died Oct. 10 at Ross Hall at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse in Leavenworth.
Mehrens served as the director Catholic Social Services (later known as Catholic Community Services) in Leavenworth for 10 years. She later served as the outreach coordinator for the Alliance Against Family Violence in Leavenworth, according to an obituary that was prepared by Bryon McLaughlin, director of communications for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.
Mehrens, who was born Sharon Mehrens in 1936 in Montana, attended Saint Mary College (now the University of Saint Mary) in Leavenworth to pursue an education degree. She joined the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth community in 1955 and professed her vows as Sister Jane Albert two years later.
After teaching for 32 years, she began 25 years of working in social service.
Mehrens is crediting with establishing several transitional housing sites for the homeless during her time as the director of Catholic Social Services. One of the sites, Reveille House, received a national award for innovative collaboration with the city of Leavenworth and the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to Mehrens’ obituary.
Mehrens was honored by the Kansas Senate for her service on behalf of the state’s poor and homeless.
She resigned from her position with Catholic Social Services in 2000. She left Kansas to care for her ailing mother.
She returned to Leavenworth in 2002 to work for the Alliance Against Family Violence. She is credited with helping the Alliance to open a sexual assault center in 2003.
Mehrens reportedly said the Alliance was her "heart and soul." As grant funding for the agency dwindled, she continued to work for the Alliance as a volunteer, according to the obituary.
She retired in 2015.
A vigil in honor of Mehrens took place Thursday evening. Her funeral was scheduled for today.