The Ladies of Charity website reports on Mary Beth Legg, LOC, Los Angeles, CA and her visit a Daughter of Charity home for special needs children in Israel shortly before the outbreak of hostilities between Hamas and Israel.
From the LCUSA website…
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 Veronica who immediately welcomed me. She was very happy to hear I was a Lady of Charity. Sister Veronica, 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 Veronica. It was one of the highlights of my trip.
Be sure to visit the many touching stories and picture on their blog.
See other reports by Mary Beth Legg on the activities of the Ladies of Charity in Los Angeles
From the website St. Vincent Ain Karem Home for Children with Special Needs.
Four Sisters work full-time and reside at Saint Vincent Ain Karem. They belong to a catholic congregation called the Daughters of Charity, whose motherhouse is in Paris, France; the congregation has been present in Israel since 1886 (see the map of the Vincentian Family in the Holy Land).
The Daughters of Charity is an international order of apostolic life, which includes some 19000 women. It devotes itself to serving Jesus Christ by helping the poor, with love and with material support.
The Daughters of Charity lead a simple community existence, where they share all they possess and where they celebrate life as well as their faith. Acting in complete freedom, the sisters go where people suffer, where their dignity is trampled, and with help, respect and friendship, they attempt to give back a place in society to the forgotten and the most vulnerable.
Saint Vincent Ain Karem works in coordination with the Israeli Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and is overseen by the Handicapped Services Division.
It was founded in 1964, as a non-profit institution under the ownership and management of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, a catholic congregation created in 1633 by Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac in response to the urgent needs of the poor.
Vincent de Paul was a pragmatist rather than a theoretician. A man of action, his spirituality was deep but simple, rooted in humanism. A great organizer, he set up an immense range of services for the poor, following Matthew 25;40 where Jesus tells his disciples :
“Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters you do it to me.”
We are Jewish, Arab, Muslim and Christian lay people working and living together at Saint Vincent Ain Karem with the sisters.
We are physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, various caregivers, a dietician and a speech therapist. In addition, there is the office, kitchen, laundry and garden staff.
Also, volunteers from around the world generously help and support us in our work.