The Mission of the Ladies of Charity
To serve Jesus Christ in the person of the poor, the disadvantaged, the sick and the infirmed in the compassionate spirit of the gospel through the practice of spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
“To Serve Rather Than Be Served”
in Humility, Simplicity and Charity.
To serve as a bond between Local Associations and the National Association of Ladies of Charity of the United States of America (LCUSA) striving for social justice for the less fortunate in our society.
To coordinate and stimulate Ladies of Charity associations already in existence to continue to be a strong force within the community in service to the poor which follows the works of our founder St. Vincent de Paul and in the spirit of St. Louise de Marillac and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
To assist in the organization of new associations within the Archdiocese, so the works on behalf of the poor will continue.
To serve as a medium through which the associations of Ladies of Charity in the Archdiocese of Washington may speak or act as a unit on all matters concerning “charity and service to the poor.”
- President : Viola Johnson-Robinson*
- 1st Vice President: Vacant*
- 2nd Vice President: Gloria A. Lessington*
- Recording Secretary: Donna Fisher*
- Corresponding Secretary: Robin Hutchinson-Cole*
- Acting Treasurer: Mary Louise Hand*
- Immediate Past President: Mary Louise Hand*
- Lay Vincentian Spiritual Moderator: Lucy Saunders
- Spiritual Advisor: Reverend Philip Simo, OSB
* Term expires 6/2018
- Calvert County: Jean Sebold
- Charles County: Peggy Campbell
- District of Columbia: Bertha Guerra
- Montgomery County: Maryann Rooney
- Prince George’s County: Beverly Motley
- Providence Hospital: Theresa Cullinane
Junior Ladies of Charity
- Co-Moderators: Gloria Rose and Bunny Tate
- St. Anthony of Padua, North Beach, MD
- St. Jerome, Hyattsville, MD
- St. Margaret of Scotland, Seat Pleasant, MD
Former LCUSA President 2011/2012: Lucy Saunders
LCUSA Mid-Atlantic Region Director: Deborah Self
Historian/Archive: Gloria M. Rose
Public Relations: Robin Parker
Newsletter Editor: Jacqueline W. Bates
Website Manager: Toni K. Gaines
A Brief History of the Archdiocese of Washington DC Ladies of Charity
Originally part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the City of Washington was named a separate archdiocese in 1939. The Ladies of Charity were formed in Baltimore in 1922, but it was not until 1962 that they organized as a separate group in the new archdiocese, with approximately 1200 members who had previously been a part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. This archdiocese comprises not only the District of Columbia, but also five counties in the neighboring State of Maryland.
In November of 1962, the newly organized Ladies of Charity of Washington, elected Miss Katharine V. Nally to serve as their first Executive Secretary and the Rev. James F. Montgomery was appointed to serve as their Spiritual Director. In addition to having members from 15 parishes within the District of Columbia, their members represented three parishes from Charles County; six parishes in Montgomery County; 16 from Prince George’s County; and nine from St. Mary’s County. Calvert County entered later. Also in their membership were Ladies from St. Ann’s Infant Home and St. Vincent’s Home. In addition to these, there were two St. Louise de Marillac units, one from Immaculate Conception Academy, and one from Seton High School, with a combined total of about 50 girls. These were junior and senior high school students, and were known as “Louisettes”, now more familiarly known as “Junior Ladies of Charity”.
Today, we are made up of seven (6) parish units in the District of Columbia, one from Calvert County, one from Charles County, one from Montgomery County, ten (10) from Prince George’s County, and Providence Hospital with a combined membership of approximately 520. Additionally, there are three Junior Ladies of Charity Associations, comprising approximately 22 young ladies. There are two other parishes who hope to initiate the junior associations in the near future.
In March 1963, the practice was established of having an Annual Communion Mass and Brunch in honor of our founder, St. Louise de Marillac, to which all Ladies of Charity of the Archdiocese of Washington were invited. This practice continues today; one of three annual get-togethers of all the ladies from the archdiocese. The other two events each year in which all the ladies get together include a 1-Day Retreat/General Assembly held in October, at which time a report on our LCUSA National Assembly is given, for the benefit of those members who could not travel to the national event, a Mass, a speaker and a light lunch is served.
The third event takes place the first Saturday in May and includes a Mass and the crowning of Our Blessed Mother, followed by a lunch. All the units are asked to bring layette and toddler items to benefit St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth and Families to this event. St. Ann’s is an archdiocesan affiliated organization serving infants, young children and some young mothers and single pregnant women in need of temporary placement due to crisis situations.
During 2015, the Archdiocese of Washington Ladies of Charity had 534 active dues paying members along with associates who worked a total of 171,105 volunteer hours; and, provided charitable assistance in the total amount of $156,268. We have a total of 18 Junior Ladies of Charity and inducted 38 new members as well. The wonderful works of charity and the dedication of all these Ladies in serving the poor and the oppressed continues at an unbelievable level. Their works are numerous and varied. To name a few of the services provided, they:
- Visit the sick and elderly who are homebound, in hospitals and/or in nursing homes;
- Volunteer in soup kitchens and provide help to So Others May Eat (S.O.M.E.);
- Operate food pantries to assist needy families;
- Coordinate blood drives with the Red Cross;
- Prepare and distribute food to homeless shelters;
- Provide emergency assistance with overdue utility bills;
- Mentor students and ex-offenders through the Welcome Home Ministry;
- Provide layette items to pregnancy crisis centers;
- Provide “Shoes For Kids” ages 6-17;
- Donate “Dress for Success” clothing to women transitioning from welfare to work;
- Provide Christmas baskets of food, toys and new clothing for needy families.
The amount of work and good deeds performed by these women continues to increase in the true sense of “Humility, Simplicity & Charity”. They indeed are carrying out the works of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton today with the same dedication and spirit shown in 1617.