Be sure to check out the article in the July 11 edition of The Evangelist entitled “Building ‘Bridges’ to a New Life” (pg. 8). Read about the recent Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World graduates and how they are determined to succeed.
On June 20, two women were celebrated as they graduated from the Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ By World program that is run through Bridges Out of Poverty. The ceremony was held at the Watervliet Housing Authority. Lisandra Sepulveda and Charlotte Brown spoke of their Future Stories, which were inspirational and heartwarming. We wish them both the best of luck and offer our prayers for their success.
The Daughters of Charity hosted the African Fair on June 14. All items for sale were beautifully displayed as well as the baskets reserved for the raffle drawing. The Ladies of Charity were generous in their donations of items to be sold, preparing two baskets for the raffle, taking chances to win those baskets, providing delicious goodies for the LOC baked goods table and offering their assistance with the baked goods sale. The Fair was a huge success with the Daughters raising over $7,000. Proceeds from the Fair will be sent to three missionary sites in Africa where Daughters from their Province are working. What a blessing!
On Thursday, May 16, 2019, the Albany Association of the Ladies of Charity held their Installation Mass and dinner. The beautiful Mass was presided over by Bishop Edward Scharfenberger at the DePaul House chapel followed by a dinner at Wolfort’s Roost. Over 70 of our members attended and it was wonderful to enjoy good food and fellowship with so many of our Ladies.
Elizabeth Guiry, Martha Snyder, Beth McCrea and Geraldine Mazza were installed as new members and JoAnn Kearns, Kathleen Kearny and Mary Q. Reagan (deceased) were honored as Life Members. Congratulations to you all. We look forward to working with and getting to know our newest members and continuing our work and learning from our Life Members. We are blessed!
On May 11, we held our annual May Crowning at the Daughters of Charity DePaul House Chapel. We began our morning with a breakfast reception followed by Mass, which we all shared with the Sisters. We crowned two Mary statues, one in the DePaul House Chapel and one in the St. Louise House courtyard. It was a beautiful celebration of Mary.
At our April 9 General Membership Meeting, two special people spoke to us about the Bridges Out of Poverty program called Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ By World (“Getting Ahead.”) Josh Willenbrink, Training Coordinator from Schenectady Works, told of his experiences as a child growing up in poverty and being the first one from his family to live a self-sustaining life. He spoke of how he is now working with individuals who are living on the margins and how he helps them “get ahead.” His story was riveting and we learned a lot about the mind set of those who live in poverty.
As an added bonus, one of the Cohoes graduates of the Getting Ahead program, Emily Counterman, spoke about her life in poverty, how she got there, her participation the the Getting Ahead program, and how she is working hard to keep herself on track. Emily also talked about how she believes in giving back to those who have helped her along the way as well as to those less fortunate. She was an inspiration to us all.
A very special thank you to Lady of Charity, Kathy Kavanaugh, for her tireless work with the Bridges program and for recommending these two speakers.
In March, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at St. Louise House with Friends in Harmony. In addition to their rendition of many popular Irish songs, Sr. Mary Agnes surprised us with her version of “Who Put the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder.” The Sisters enjoyed singing along to their favorite songs and a good time was had by all!
The Albany Ladies of Charity mourn the loss of our long term Spiritual Moderator, Sister Denise Anne Williams, D.C. Sister Denise touched the lives of all people she came across and will be missed dearly. A wake service for Sister Denise will be held today, Thursday, January 11, 2018, from 4 to 7 p.m. A prayer service for Sister Denise will follow at 7 p.m. Both will be held at DePaul House Chapel, 96 Menand Road, Albany. A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Denise will be celebrated Friday, January 12, at 10:30 a.m., in the DePaul House Chapel. Burial will follow in St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands. Donations in Sister Denise’s memory may be made to the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise, 4330 Olive St., St. Louis, MO, 63108-2622.
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After six weeks, the Ladies of Charity Retreat Countdown has come to an end. Each weekly theme has focused on different images of the cup… the cup of life, the open cup, the chipped cup, the broken cup, the cup of compassion and the blessing cup. Each theme has in turn become a teacher in prayer. We have reflected, we have prayed, we have learned, and we have kept each theme close to our hearts every day over the past six weeks.
There is no better way to reflect upon and honor the spiritual journey we have been on together than with “The Cup of Life Prayer”:
“Generous God, you have poured so much into our blessing cups.
You have offered us many greatest moments filled with wonders of your goodness.
You have been bountiful in sharing your presence of unconditional love with us.
All –embracing God, you call us to share our cup of compassion with those who are searching, suffering, and sorely in need of our hospitality. You daily invite us to be in union with all those you have created and gather to your heart.
Healing God, you know how our lives each have their share of hard aches and brokenness.
You see the deepest recesses of our spirits where pain and confusion need the touch of your restoring power.
Remind us often that broken hearts can be healed.
Perceptive and insightful God, you see into the cup of our hearts.
You know where the clutter lies.
You invite us daily to pour out all that keeps us from being truly focused on communion with you.
Again and again, you whisper to us: “empty, pour out, let go of all that keeps you from being your true self.”
Ever–present and understanding God, you have created us as fully human persons.
Our cup of life bears chips, stains, and cracks as does our own personality and life–story.
You encourage us to see the stains as a way to our transformation.
You offer us wisdom and guidance to know when the cup needs to be washed and scrubbed, and when the stains need to be lovingly accepted.
Forgiving God, you know our weaknesses and failures.
There are times when we resist what you are desiring to pour into the cup of our life.
You know how we ignore or refuse to be open and receptive.
Yet, you continue to believe in us. You are always waiting, ready to fill our cup with your generous love.
Gifting God, the contents of the cup are meant to refresh, to nourish, and renew life.
You call us to bless others with our cup of life.
Stir up within us a desire to offer our gifts to those who need them.
Loving, life-giving God, you continuously pour your transforming love into the cup of our lives.
Like a spring rain falling into the open soil, so your love and ours is mixed and mingled into an energizing oneness.
Your presence is the power we need to grow and to change.
Your blessing of love enables us to commit ourselves to the unending process of spiritual transformation. How grateful we are!
How are ready we are to grow!”
Our spiritual growth will continue on Thursday with the Ladies of Charity 2017 Spiritual Day of Reflection. Bring yourself, your favorite cup, your open mind, and your loving Vincentian heart.