by Holly Walter, LCUSA President
From March 21st to the 24th of this year, five members of LCUSA attended the AIC Conference held in Rome Italy. Suzanne Johnson, our AIC Representative, was joined by Holly Walter, LCUSA President, Margaret Hanson and Frances Simkulet from the Northeast region, and Viola Johnson-Robinson from the Middle Atlantic region.
We met many ladies from around the world including representatives from as far away as Cameroon and Madagascar in Africa, Peru and Argentina in South America, Switzerland and Poland in Europe, Lebanon, and Ukraine. We enjoyed warm sunny weather most of our visit and learned about the many projects undertaken by our Vincentian counterparts worldwide to help those in need. Mass was celebrated every day and led by Vincentian priests from different nations. Our hosts from Italy provided delicious meals and plenty of fellowship for us to enjoy.
One of the highlights of our trip was bus ride to see the Vatican and a Papal Audience with Pope Francis. We had a chance to visit St. Peter’s Basilica and take pictures of St. Peter’s square including a group shot of everyone attending the conference.
On Thursday night, the five of us from the United States sang “God Bless America” as our contribution to the talent show that evening. As you can see from the picture, we were all decked out in our red, white, and blue at the event.
The real purpose of the conference, of course, was to share ideas on the different ways our Vincentian community assists those who suffer from poverty and marginalization around the world. A very good learning experience for anyone who wishes to attend the conference. The next AIC conference will be held in Peru.