by Donna Montague
On the weekend of October 13th, 2018, Mary Nell Williams, Ruth Wellman, and myself, Donna Montague, all board members of the LCUSA visited Perryville, MO to take part in celebrating the Vincentian ministries.
We attended the 95th Anniversary of the Daughters of Charity serving in Perryville. In addition, we were present for the 100th Anniversary of the Association of the Miraculous Medal, and the 200th Anniversary of the Vincentians’ ministry in Perryville.
The Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, located in Saint Mary’s of the Barrens Church, was certainly the crowning glory. We also had the opportunity to honor St Catherine Laboure. In 1830, Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure who was then a Daughter of Charity living in the Paris, France Motherhouse. During this vision, Mary gave St. Catherine the design of the Miraculous Medal.
On Sunday morning, four ladies from the local Perryville Ladies of Charity, Claire Schemel, President, Leslie Brindley, Treasurer, Dianne Brown and Evelyn Unterreiner, met us at their Food Pantry and really wowed us with their organization and commitment to those in need. Inside a small house filled with food items, they have 5 or 6 freezers in the garage where they can store deer meat that has been donated by local hunters. The deer were sent to the local packing house where it was prepared (free of charge) to be disbursed to those in need. The ladies estimated that they distribute between 3,500 to 4,000 lbs of meat each year. Their food pantry is supported by many community businesses and organizations in their town and in turn they support many folks living in poverty.
Our visit to Perryville, MO, left us with a renewed commitment to the dictates of St. Vincent’s mission to assist the folks living in poverty.