by Mary Beth Legg, LOC, Los Angeles, CA
During the month of June, 2014 I traveled to Israel (Holy Land) and Jordan leading a Pilgrimage with 41 people including three priests and two nuns. We were very blessed to have arrived home in Los Angeles two days before the bombing started between Hamas and Israel.
While visiting Ain Karem, we celebrated Mass at the Church of John The Baptist as well as the site of the visitation of Blessed Virgin Mary with Elizabeth and Zechariah. Very nearby, on a hill, sits St. Vincent Ain Karem Home for Children with Special Needs.
One of the highlights of my trip was visiting and touring St. Vincent. I met Sister Susan who immediately welcomed me. She was very happy to hear I was a Lady of Charity. Sister Susan, a Daughter of Charity, has been serving at St. Vincent for 25 years and loves being there. They care for approximately 60 Jewish and Arab severely handicapped children. Most of the children have extreme brain damage. Jewish, Arab, Muslin and Christian lay people work and live together. They include physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers. Volunteers from around the world support the Staff in their work and there is a waiting list for those eager to volunteer. Sister explained to me how each caregiver feels they receive more than they give. I noticed a few “Hello Kitty” book bags around given by the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre of Los Angeles!
St. Vincent Ain Karem was founded in l964 under the ownership and management of the Daughters of Charity. The location, building and grounds are simply beautiful. Due to a time schedule, I regret not being able to spend more time with Sister Susan. It was one of the highlights of my trip.