President’s Message

The following is taken from the Summer 2011 Servicette

Lucy Ann Saunders, President

With change of the seasons and the approaching summer, formation of a new Daughters of Charity Province will take place in St. Louis, Missouri. The new province unites four provinces in the United States and Canada. Sister Louise Gallahue has been designated Visitatrix of the new Province of St. Louise. Our prayers and thoughts will be with Sister Louise and the Daughters as they celebrate together this new chapter of community life.

With the first half of 2011 almost behind us, “Have we stepped or moved forward as a national organization?” This is a question that I have asked myself since becoming president. From my position, officers and board members are striving to put forth their effort, time and talent into keeping pace with the needs of their members. Regional vice presidents have forwarded all association presidents a summary of the Spring Board Meeting. Executive Administrator Maureen McMillan is gathering the regional statistics for the associations and updating the list of local association officers for the President’s Handbook. Letters have been sent regarding the award of Hager and Diane Downey Grants. National Assembly Scholarship applications will be acknowledged and awarded by June 20. Yes, LCUSA’s officers and board members are making strides to connect with you and your associations. As we all know, this is a two way street. LCUSA needs your cooperation and communications to make it work. Is this a challenge? Yes, it is a challenge to you and your association to connect to national and give feedback for the betterment of LCUSA’s mission and your mission as an individual association.

Devastation has been rampart throughout our country. As a national organization, we are here to render aid or assist in any manner necessary. Only you can keep us up-to-date about the concerns and needs of your community. We need to be offering a hand up, as well as meeting the immediate needs of our brothers and sisters. We all stand ready to serve and meet those in need despite the obstacles that may impede our immediate course of action. Today’s Systemic Change is a strategy to improve the lives of others and write another chapter in the history of LCUSA. Our organization is diligently working to educate members on this meaningful transformation to having those less fortunate stand on their own and be proud of who they are. As Ladies of Charity, we need to help with a hand up instead of a hand out, affording them the opportunity to see systemic change take place in their lives.

LCUSA’s Advocacy Committee will be sharing with you ways to begin to answer the question, “What is Systemic Change calling us to do?” With the committee’s help, information will be disseminated to all associations. Local associations will be asked to evaluate their overall mission of how they are dealing with those living in poverty. At all levels, associations are encouraged to offer support and join with other groups stressing systemic change. Assistance will be offered by the Advocacy Committee to review projects that associations are currently supporting. If you have been doing something for 50 years, maybe it’s time for a modification or change. Lift up your heart and your attitude will follow as all of us prepare to change the lives of others by reaching out and offering a hand–up approach. To quote St. Louise de Marillac, “How obvious it is that God loves you since He gives you so many opportunities of serving Him.”

Opportunities await us all as we continue to serve rather than be served. Let us enjoy this summer season with focus on all the love we can share with each other as individuals, communities and members of the Vincentian Family. Join me in Kansas City for LCUSA’s annual national assembly and tap into the spiritual tradition that enriches all of us as members! I look forward to seeing and meeting you in September. †


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