LCUSA 2010 National Assembly A Great Success!
The 10th Annual National Assembly of the Ladies of Charity USA was held in Nashville, TN from September 16-18. This Assembly, We Make a Difference, recognized the 50th anniversary of the organization of Ladies of Charity USA as a national organization and 100 years of service by the Ladies of Charity of Nashville. The annual meeting proved to be a wonderful combination of southern hospitality, Vincentian spirituality and inspiration.
Speakers included Fr. Charles Strobel, advocate for the homeless and founder of Room in the Inn and the Campus for Human Development; Rev. Becca Stevens and members of the Magdalene community spoke about their work at Thistle Farms which moves women from lives of addiction and prostitution to sobriety and meaningful work; and John Siegenthaler, journalist and founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. Candy Hill, senior vice president for social policy and government affairs at Catholic Charities USA wrapped up her presentation on the emerging role of women in the peace and prosperity of humanity by joining with former LCUSA president and Catholic Charities representative Mary Beth O’Brien in presenting a CCUSA Centennial Medal to LCUSA in recognition of its work for the poor.
Workshops on advocacy, systemic change and spirituality combined with practical lessons such as writing a successful press release to educate the 200 participants in the many “how-tos” of effectively working on behalf of the poor. LCUSA business meetings and election of officers rounded out the meeting. Daily rosary, prayer services and Eucharist provided opportunities for reflection and spiritual growth. Ladies also took the opportunity to tour many of the sights of Nashville and to see the operations of the Nashville Ladies of Charity who provide an array of services to the poor.
The closing of the Assembly was followed by Mass at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, which was celebrated by Fr. John Freund, CM, a great friend of the Ladies of Charity. Fr. Freund installed the new board at the Mass with the assistance of President Albe McGurk. Members and friends gathered again at the Marriott at Vanderbilt University for a wonderful banquet. The evening came to a close when President Albe McGurk passed the gavel and microphone to Lucy Saunders, who was installed at Mass as LCUSA President effective January 1, 2011.
Plans for the 2011 LCUSA National Assembly are already in progress. We look forward to gathering together again in Kansas City.