In February, we gathered together with the Daughters of Charity for a Valentine’s Day party. Several of the Ladies and their friends brought their children who made Valentine cards, played games, interacted with the Sisters and enjoyed delicious food and treats. The highlight of the day was the special appearance of “Dancing Panda” who entertained us with song and dance. His moves were matched by many of our young guests! It was a day filled with love and laughter.
On Saturday, February 1, the Daughters of Charity were treated to another program offered by Friends in Harmony. Patriotic themed selections were presented which included songs to which the Daughters could tap their toes and sing along. Sr. Mary Agnes shared a special remembrance inspired by the Navy Hymn. Refreshments and fellowship followed the concert. It is always a treat to spend time with the Sisters.
On January 31, 2020, thirty Junior Ladies were installed at the Academy of the Holy Names. The beautiful Installation Mass was celebrated by Fr. Patrick Butler during which the Junior Ladies and the Ladies of Charity who were in attendance together pledged the Act of Consecration. We welcome and congratulation these young women!
In December, the Ladies and Daughters of Charity kicked off the holiday season with a sing-a-long. Jean Tebbetts, Sheila Morris Barnes and Ann Rose accompanied the Daughters in singing traditional Christmas tunes. Sheila treated everyone to a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and delicious homemade cookies were shared by all. Music and fellowship – what a perfect way to begin a very special season.
In November, the Ladies and the Daughters of Charity spent an afternoon writing Christmas cards to our soldiers with over 100 cards being sent. What a wonderful way to tell the men and women who keep us safe that they are appreciated and being remembered.
At our November board meeting, we were treated to a visit by Northeastern Regional Vice President, Irene Siedlarczyk, and National Board of Directors member, Holly Walter. We were given an opportunity to talk about all of our ministries and hear about everything happening at the National level. Irene shared with us the Begin to Weave and God Will Provide the Thread banner that was made at the Assembly in Salt Lake City. For a complete write up of their visit, visit LCUSA website at aic.ladiesofcharity.us and view the article under News.
By Kathy Kavanaugh
The Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World graduation was held on December 19, 2019 at the Watervliet Housing Authority. The graduates, Amber Craver and Shaquise Herring, could not have spoken more eloquently. They both spoke of hesitancy for joining classes that last 2.5 hours a week for 12 weeks. Amber thanked Mary Clinton (who works at Watervliet Housing where both graduates reside) for continually encouraging her to come. Both spoke of how much they learned to appreciate the value of speaking in person with members of the community, such as Community Resources Federal Credit Union, Watervliet Mayor’s Office and Whitney Young Health Center, having in-depth conversations and hearing pledges of personal support. “They helped propel us to success.” Amber called Rosemary Revoir, Maureen McAuliffe and Kathy Kavanaugh, facilitators of the classes, “my aunts.” “They gave me more than you will ever know. They guided us through each class, but the love you gave cleared my mind and instilled so much positivity in me and created a space of trust and comfortability. I know this is just a class, but for us, this is our real life and it feels really good and I’m really proud to break the cycle of just living at the minimum. I like to think I am a proud and driven woman and now I have the tools to continue my journey with confidence.” Amber’s future story includes getting her finances in order, getting back to regular exercising and working on her emotional health. Shaquise’s future story involves going back to school to get re-certified to be a phlebotomist.
Both graduates mentioned how much they loved the home-cooked meals that the Ladies of Charity delivered each week at noon. The meals were so delicious as well as nutritious and they provided a wonderful opportunity to start each class gathered around a table sharing a meal and learning what went on in their lives since our previous meeting. “It was like having Thanksgiving each week!”
Getting Ahead is co-sponsored by LOC and Watervliet Housing Authority. Everyone involved thanks Mary Clinton, who works at Watervliet Housing Authority where classes are held, for her amazing job of recruiting investigators, organizing graduation and any number of additional details to make Getting Ahead succeed.
The next class of Getting Ahead will begin in the spring.
By Christine Sheridan and Judy Farrell
This Christmas we were again overwhelmed with donations of cold-weather gear and personal care items. We are grateful to many churches, organizations and individuals who help us assist our soup kitchen guests. In addition, Catholic Charities has provided us with jackets, blankets, gloves, socks and toilet paper. All of this helps stretch our funds and enables us to buy boots for men and women who need them.
After the latest earthquakes, we reached across the Caribbean to our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. One of our Giving Room volunteers has family there and she visited recently with toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap from our shelves.
We are so thankful for your support. If you have clothing or toiletries to donate, we accept donations Mondays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Sister Maureen Joyce Center. If you would prefer to leave things at our storage facility at Daughters of Charity in Menands, please contact Judy Farrell (518-482-4735) or Chris Sheridan (518-438-7292) so that we can meet you there.