by Kathleen Sieracki, Servicette Editor
About eighteen months ago, my friends Marilyn Leslie and Sister Mary Grace Higgins, DC, suggested I become a candidate for the LCUSA board of directors. My first reaction was total denial. Nevertheless, after a period of fear and trepidation, consideration and most importantly prayer, I did apply for a director’s position and was elected by delegates from the northeastern region.
Shortly after the election, then President-Elect Lucy Saunders asked for volunteers to proof-read submissions for the Servicette. We each have our own gifts and talents. One of mine is a keen eye for sentence construction, grammar and punctuation. I offered to help as a copy reader. One thing led to another, and here I am as Editor, working with the Editor-in-Chief Lucy Saunders, and our talented Lay-out & Design Editor Elena Miranda.
It’s a challenge for me to succeed previous editors, Father Jack Melito, C.M., and his assistant Betty Tutor, and Janet Karmitzski, who led the most recent re-visioning of the Servicette. I hope to continue many of their ideas, including use of vintage photographs, personality profiles, book reviews and exchange of information and ideas between editors and readers.
The current editorial staff aims to provide a mix of information from the national and international perspective as well as articles from local associations. On the national level, board members want to communicate with you about what they are doing on your behalf, and want to provide the latest information about social justice issues and systemic change projects. You will also find news about other members of the Vincentian family who work with us to advance our common mission.
At the local level, you have stories to tell and pictures to share with fellow Ladies of Charity who are very interested in getting ideas for their local associations. For example, the last issue of the Servicette featured an article on Mary’s Corner, the latest project of the Ladies of Charity of Albany, NY. Kathy Kavanaugh, then-president, submitted the article following a suggestion from Maureen Driskill, vice-president for the northeastern region. Completing the tag-team effort, I decided to visit Mary’s Corner. The enthusiasm, collaboration and sheer joy of the volunteers, including Ellen Boyer, Ellen Bernier, Pam Seward and Alba Giordano, were inspiring.
In this issue, you will find another story about how a Servicette article inspired a link between Ladies of Charity in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. You also have stories to tell and pictures to share from the history of your associations. Please share some of these with us, and twice a year we’ll feature a sampling of vintage photos and the stories that go with them. Beginning in 2012, current members will automatically be able to receive the Servicette at no additional cost. This wider readership will give us the opportunity to form even more bonds among our membership.
Please keep your articles and photos coming. We’ll use as many as space permits. Sometimes, in order to achieve consistency in the language and format within the Servicette, your submission may be edited. However, we will stay true to your story and meaning.
Feel free to contact me any time by email, email@example.com or postal service, 246 Berryman Dr., Amherst, NY 14226, with comments, constructive criticism and ideas. I’ve already had the pleasure of communicating with several of you during this process, and I’m looking forward to meeting even more Ladies of Charity. Thank you. †