By Lucky Van De Gejuchte, Communications Committee
The Ladies of Charity of the Archdiocese of Washington (ADW) hosted over 250 Ladies of Charity at an assembly in Bethesda, Md., that all will remember. The theme “Giving in Faith and Love” was reflected by the speakers and a variety of workshops ranging from Breaking the Cycle of Poverty and Homelessness in the Nation’s Capital to Resources for Local Systemic Change. Another workshop focused on training lay women to succeed the many Daughters and Sisters of Charity who have mentored associations over the years. The presentations, workshops and round table discussions were directly linked to members discovering ways to “Give in Faith and Love.”
Keynote speaker Fr. Gregory Gay, CM, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission and 23rd successor to St. Vincent de Paul, stated that “Giving in Faith and Love” goes to the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and a bearer of the Vincentian charism. Fr. Gay gave us his version of “The Vincentian AAA:” Accompaniment, Action, Advocacy.
Monsignor Raymond G. East, pastor of St. Teresa of Avila in Washington DC, former Vicar for Evangelization for ADW spoke on “St. Vincent de Paul and the New Evangelization.” He described how the Vincentian charism can be united with Pope Benedict’s new evangelization. For evangelization Msgr. East suggested three guidelines: Invite, Ignite, and Excite.
Sister Carol Keehan, DC, President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, focused on “St. Vincent de Paul and the Care of the Sick: What Would He Do Today?” Sr. Carol shared some of the heritage of St. Vincent and his approach to the needs of the vulnerable and the sick and gave a detailed and factual description of the Affordable Health Care Act, including how it will benefit people currently living without health care coverage. She stated that it was not the perfect solution, but something to start with and could be improved upon affording everyone access to affordable heath care.
The speakers were very motivating as they focused on an approach to working with those living in poverty by using the tools of evangelization, health care and systemic change.
The Junior Ladies of Charity were recognized and certificates were presented to each Junior association and their moderators for the work done during this past year. A thank you was given to the associations participating in the Tee-Shirt design contest. Two videos on Junior groups in Pittsburgh and ADW were shown.
To Rita Robinson, Deborah Self and their entire committee, thank you and congratulations on a very successful national assembly. Your kindness and hospitality were appreciated by all who attended. Fellowship and renewing of friendships, along with new ones being formed, will provide for better communication in the future within and among the different regions as LCUSA welcomes local associations to host annual national assemblies in their cities and towns.