Kathryn Evans

Kathryn Evans

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” — Mother Teresa

I link this quote by Mother Teresa to Kathryn Evans. Kathryn feels that she is home again.

She spent her formative years in Phoenixville in the rectory of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Church Street. Her father is the Rev. James Evans and served as pastor for 14 years.

Kathryn went off to Temple University where she received her undergraduate degree, then on to the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a Master of Social Work degree.

She lived in Philadelphia for 12 years. Working with nonprofits became her life’s journey. In 1998, Kathryn’s dad asked her to lend her expertise to Church Housing Corp. She began working for the company part time.

Church Housing Corp. was founded by Father Evans with a mission statement to “provide safe and affordable housing for low-income seniors and persons with special needs.”

In 2002, Kathryn began working with Church Housing Corp. full time. She founded the social service division. She does not consider it a job — no, it is a labor of love. Kathryn became the executive director upon her dad’s retirement.

Kathryn returned to Phoenixville, so to speak — to nearby Collegeville. Her two daughters, age 9 and 11, and their dog, Abby Rose, call Collegeville home. They are a very active family at home, church and school. Kathryn is very proud of her girls. They enjoy the outdoors, sports and time spent biking, kayaking and camping. Family time spent together is very important to her.

Church Housing Corp. is the umbrella company providing senior living and special needs housing. Currently it oversees St. Peter’s Place, Episcopal House, Episcopal Place at Park Row, Jefferson Place, Naamans’ House and Old Swedes Housing. These places are directed to seniors with modest means and those with special needs.

In the planning is a 55=plus community, Barclay Gardens. It is independent living with financial peace of mind. It features a “give back" program pertaining to the entrance fee. It also offers great amenities and social service supports to financially stable seniors. I saw the architectural renderings, and paired with the amenities and services offered, Barclay Gardens is really wonderful. Maybe I should think about moving there.

As many of you may know, my mother was a longtime resident of St. Peter’s Place. Barclay Gardens is being built across the street where the old Borough Hall was situated.

Barclay Gardens is named after Kathryn’s mother, Nancy Barclay Evans. Her mother has always been Kathryn’s hero and cheerleader, besides being a wife, a mother, a teacher and a nurse. Naming it Barclay Gardens honors this wonderful and supportive person.

Kathryn’s office is located at St. Peter’s Place, next door to the church she was raised in, so she feels she has come home.

At home in Collegeville, she does not consider herself a great cook but considers herself a foodie. She does like to grill and to stir fry, as both are quick and easy.

Sesame Ginger Tofu with Baby Bok Choy

13 oz. Asian Classic Tofu — thawed and diced ½ pc.

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil — divided

½ red sweet pepper — cored, seeded and cut into ½-inch strips

½ green sweet pepper — cored, seeded and cut into ½-inch strips

½ white onion — peeled and cut into ½-inch strips

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. peeled minced fresh ginger

¾ cup of Wegman’s Special Tom Tom Sauce

12 oz. baby bok choy

2 Tbsp. roasted sesame seeds for garnish

2 Tbsp. green onion for garnish

8 heads of baby bok choy

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine tofu and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large bowl, and toss. Arrange tofu in a single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast in oven 12 to 15 minutes until tofu begins to puff. Remove from oven, and set aside. Heat remaining oil in a stir fry pan or large skillet on medium heat until faintly smoking. Add white onion and peppers. Cook for about four minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger; cook for about 30 seconds. Add tofu and sauce. Stir to combine. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Blanch bok choy for two minutes in pot of boiling salted water. Drain thoroughly, and line a clean platter. Top with tofu mixture. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and chopped green onion.


Let Bette hear from you: banjack303@verizon.net. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well phoenixvillenews.com (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.

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