Dismas House in South Bend says 'Goodbye' to Maria Kaczmarek

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People at the Dismas House in South Bend are saying, "Goodbye, Maria" and "Hello, Maria!"

Maria Kaczmarek is all smiles at a Bon Voyage party in her honor on Sunday at the Dismas House.

Maria Kaczmarek is retiring after more than 20 years in charge.

The home on St. Joseph Street is more than 100 years old and is the place where people go for help once they’re out of prison and those battling addiction.

On Sunday, families who've been helped by Dismas House returned to wish Kaczmarek well.

Maria Stancati will take over as the next director of the home.
“I turned the ripe age of 66 and said, it's time to let new leadership come. She's ready and the board agreed and they hired her and I couldn't be happier,” Kaczmarek said.

“Maria has done so much, they're just huge shoes to fill. And I don't even know how to start,” Stancati said.

Kaczmarek says she plans to stay on part-time to help Stancati transition to the new role.