Ladies of Charity USA Attend Catholic Social Ministry Gathering

Mary Ann Dantuono and St. John's studentsThe 2014 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, held in Washington, February 2-5, 2014, focused on the message and vision of Pope Francis: “Becoming A Church that is Poor and for the Poor.”

Nearly 500 people attended, including 70 College students through the “Young Leaders Initiative.” Five members of the Board of LCUSA were in attendance: Gayle Johnson, President; Mary Ann Dantuono, President-elect; Kathleen Sieracki, VP North East Region; Kathryn Kavanaugh, Director for the North East and Sr. Julie Cutter, DC, Spiritual Moderator.

The Gathering included:

  • An opening plenary address by John L. Allen Jr., former senior correspondent for National Catholic Reporter, associate editor at the Boston Globe and Vatican expert for CNN and National Public Radio
  • A keynote presentation on “Catholic Social Thought and Just Wages” by Michael Naughton, professor of Catholic studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • A commentary by Michel Roy, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis, emphasizing that globally the best strategies to assist the poor are ones that come from the poor themselves

Attendees participated in Capitol Hill visits, during which state delegations advocated several issues with members of Congress. Legislative priorities will include challenges for families, the minimum wage, the impact of migration on children, technological warfare, peace in the Holy Land, criminal justice, human trafficking and economic inequality.

LCUSA and NY delegationThe Gathering is sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and 15 national Catholic partner organizations, including The Ladies of Charity USA, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Rural Life and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

– From a report by Mary Ann Dantuono

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