Breaking News
More () »

'Retired' Tremont nun is still a Thanksgiving staple

"She is the ultimate gift. I call her Mother Teresa of Tremont."

Cleveland — Just as turkey and pumpkin pie go hand in hand with Thanksgiving, in Cleveland, Sister Corita Ambro is synonymous with the day we celebrate gratitude.

Anchored at St. Augustine Church for 45 years, she’s helped make sure thousands who want or need a Thanksgiving meal. get it.

"She is the ultimate gift. I call her Mother Teresa of Tremont," says Tony Kellers.

Kellers has been volunteering at the church's Thanksgiving dinner for 27 years.

He is part of the army of volunteers who fed an estimated 22,000 people on Thursday. Not just at St. Augustine, but at home deliveries and from 8 centers including Vermillion, Youngstown and Lorain.

Anita Rice of Cleveland has been volunteering on Thanksgiving for 20 years. “When I think of Sister Corita, I think of unconditional love,” said Rice.

“Jerome” told Channel 3 News he’s been volunteering about 30 years.

What keeps him coming back?

“Look around, this is my family. This is my family right here," he smiles, referencing the entire room.

Clevelander George Brown has family roots in Jamaica. He says he came to St. Augustine on Thursday out of gratitude.

“I came here to volunteer. I wanted to give something back to America because America has been very good to me. I came here in 1976 with 1 son and I put him through Ohio State University. I’m really thankful," Brown says with a smile.

Everywhere you turn with Sister Corita’s Thanksgiving crew, you quickly learn that everyone has a story.

A woman who shared her story, but not her name, told us "I’m homeless by choice. I volunteer to work here because it’s my church! God says you have to help!"

They follow Sister Corita’s lead.

45 years in all, Sister Corita has been immersed in Thanksgivings here in which she gives wholly of herself.

"She is unbelievable. Her energy for an 83-year-old! She is amazing!” says Kellers.

“I guess it’s God's Grace,” Sister Corita laughs, “That's what it is."

"I think Sister Corita is the best person I ever met,” says Edwin Rivera.

He means it sincerely when he gives Sr. Corita possibly the best praise ever and adds, “She is really a nice humble person.”

Rivera owns Latino Gospel Newspaper. We met him walking into St. Augustine as Rivera belted out a couple verses of “How Great Thou Art."

Sister Corita officially "retired" in September, but in typical Sr. Corita form, she never really left.

"I can't leave this place. That’s my problem. My heart is here. This is like my family," Sister Corita says.

Chelsea Hogan, of Olmsted Falls has been coming to St. Augustine with her mom Wendy since she was 4-years-old.

"We have so much to be thankful for. You can feel it here. So much positive energy and love and appreciation," says Hogan.