Sister Mary Schneider wrote of her experience volunteering at Camp Suzanne near Los Angeles this past summer. The camp for children of incarcerated mothers is an outgrowth of Get on the Bus, a program started by two of our sisters…both named Suzanne!
The 2016 Get on the Bus Fathers Day Celebration at California’s San Quentin Prison brought many families together. Get on the Bus, a program of the Center for Restorative Justice Works, was founded by two Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet: Suzanne Jabro and Suzanne Steffen.
The stories and photos from the day are truly heart-warming and illustrate that the love of fathers and families transcend circumstances.
Sisters Carol Brong and Constance Fitzgerald accepted the Carondelet Medal on behalf of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Los Angeles Province. This is the highest honor granted by the Mount and is typically awarded to those who have best expressed the values of the University and advanced its mission in an extraordinary way. As the university put it, “This year, the award went to the ones RESPONSIBLE for our values and mission at the Mount.”
St. Joseph Center, which was founded by two Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, marked 40 years of service to the community at its annual Voices of Hope gala, held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 7. Thanks to incredible support from a dedicated community of patrons, including 400 attendees Saturday night, the event broke all previous records and raised more than $590,000 to support the Center’s programs for low-income and homeless men, women, and children.
The Center’s “Hope Through Empowerment” Award was presented this year to St. Joseph Center supporters and prominent entertainment company Lionsgate. Steve Beeks, Lionsgate’sCo-Chief Operating Officer and Co-President of their Motion Picture Group, accepted the award on the firm’s behalf. In his remarks, Beeks noted Los Angeles’s rising homeless population and praised St. Joseph Center’s work help those most in need in our community.
The evening also cast a spotlight on individuals and families who have rebuilt their lives with St. Joseph Center’s help. The event’s titular “Voice of Hope” Award went to St. Joseph Center clients Norilda Cruz and Nelson Vasquez, who access the Center’s Food Pantry to help keep their family stable and benefit from SJC’s childcare program even as they face tests that would try anyone’s resolve and sense of hope. They have three wonderful children and were doing very well until a few years ago when Nelson was diagnosed with kidney disease. Despite the challenges this has created, they have remained committed to each other, to their children, to their faith, and to hope.
The emcee for the record-setting gala was Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, a longtime supporter of St. Joseph Center’s work.
Among the items in the night’s live auction was an autographed Kobe Bryant jersey, which sold for $3,400 after being modeled by Sister Eileen Mitchell, CSJ.
The Coalition to Abolish Slave and Trafficking honored the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, MSMU, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas as well as a survivor and advocate at its 18th Annual From Slavery to Freedom Gala held last night in Los Angeles. Sisters Rose Adrian Peukert, Catherine Marie Kreta and Joan Mary O’Dwyer accepted on our behalf.
Get on the Bus, a ministry founded in part by Sister Suzanne Jabro, CSJ, was featured today on CBS Sacramento (Calif.) Meet some of the participants by watching the video above.
Snap Judgment, a public radio program, also featured interviews with many mothers and children participating in the program.
Yesterday several of our sisters joined other other religious leaders at an interfaith event held by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garrett, the city’s First Lady Amy Elaine Lakeland and the Getty House Foundation Board of Directors in commemoration of National Day of Prayer 2016. With more than 100 people in attendance, the gathering was a celebration of the wide diversity of faith traditions in Los Angeles. The theme was City of Compassion: Lifting up Love and Service in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Sharon Brous thanked the Mayor for his leadership and discussed the progress made by our fellow Angelenos in matters of compassion. To hear her remarks click here. The program commenced with performances by Sikh Musicians led by Nirinjan Singh Khalsa. Welcoming remarks were delivered by Ms. Wakeland after which The Right Reverend Jon Bruno, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles delivered the invocation.
In his remarks, Mayor Garcetti highlighted the importance of embracing the diversity within
Los Angeles. The Mayor’s speech was followed by a Blessing of the Bread by U.S. Navy Chaplain Aroon Seeda.
See photos from the event here.