Ladies of Charity from throughout the United States gathered in New Orleans Sept. 17-19, 2015 for their annual assembly with the theme “Vincentian Women Changing Communities with Joy and Hope.” They aimed to be strengthened by prayer, meet a few new friends, be captured by a few new ideas, learn something new about poverty, go more deeply into Vincentian tradition and of course have a little fun. All these goals were met while the spirit and flavor of New Orleans filled the gathering.
The assembly opened and closed with beautiful liturgies. Sr. Frances Ryan, DC, described the life of early Ladies of Charity in seventeenth century France. A Poverty Simulation enabled members to learn through role play about the day-to-day barriers facing people living in poverty. Workshops from service providers in elder care, restorative justice, collaboration and the rehabilitation of women who have been sex slaves provided further education. Sr. Helen Prejean, well-known advocate for criminal justice reform and the abolition of capital punishment, presented a passionate, humorous, faith-filled and inspiring keynote address. Following the closing banquet, all left with renewed joy in their commitment as Ladies of Charity and with hope to continue making a difference in their communities.
We are very grateful to the New Orleans Assembly Committee for their terrific work in providing us with a memorable and productive assembly, and look forward to the 2016 assembly in Queens, NY.
There are many wonderful pictures of the assembly on our website. A sampling is shown below. Click here to view the entire photo gallery.
by Kathleen Sieracki