With Humility, Simplicity and Charity

In the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louis de Marillac and Mother Xavier Ross, we strive to serve with humility, simplicity and charity. Commitment to our charism characterizes the lives of Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and of our SCL Associates.

School superintendent continues SCL tradition of quality education – Since July 2015, Sister Elizabeth Youngs has served as superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo. This includes shared oversight of 38 elementary schools and three high schools. She describes her role as “being available to support the work that principals and pastors do in the schools, provide policy guidance and assist in legal situations that arise.” Faith formation of principals and teachers has been a priority in her first year and a half on the job. Read more.

Sixty-five children, 17 years, 1 Sister of Charity For the past 17 years, Sister Michael Delores Allegri, Denver, has provided foster care for children. She believes that foster parenting is a calling. The best predictor of its success is a family or individual’s capacity to love and care for a child. “Children are in foster care through no fault of their own,” she says. “Whether it was abuse or neglect, something was done to these children, and as a society, we have the responsibility to care for and raise these kids.” Read more.

Safe housing for women who are trafficked – Along with two other women religious, Sister Melissa Camardo is a member of the host community of a safe house in New York City that harbors women who are victims of trafficking. In the house where Sister Melissa lives, the sisters are community to up to five guests. “We listen, share meals and do things together,” she explains. “We provide a home and community for these women who may not have anyone they trust or who cares about them. When they come home, we greet and treat them like family.”  Read more.

Counseling a ‘sacred ministry’ -- In her current role as a therapist/counselor in private practice in the Santa Monica, Calif., area, Sister Nancy Svetlecic works with women religious who are in transition due to retirement, changes in health, depression, anxiety or community relationships. Her clientele also includes “ordinary people living in the world.” “By challenging unhealthy behaviors and patterns and discovering the innate potential of the person sitting before me,” she explains, “healing of the whole person – mind, body and spirit – takes place. It is a privilege to make this journey with others.” Read more.

Prayer, Eucharist primary in SCL’s life Sister Katherine Mary Westhues has been driving since she was 5-years-old on her family farm, and she’s still behind the wheel today as a member of the transportation department that transports Sisters who live at the SCL Mother House to doctors’ appointments. In junior high education for most of her years as an SCL, Sister Katherine Mary continues to teach a religious education class at Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph Parish, Leavenworth. Deep devotion to prayer and the Eucharist are mainstays in her life. Read more.

SCL theologian committed to ecumenism -- Sister Susan Wood’s call to be a theologian – a scholar engaged in theological conversations, a “producer” and not only a “consumer” of theology – led her to earn a doctoral degree at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisc., where she is currently a professor. In 1994, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops appointed Sister Susan to a committee that contributed significantly to advancing Lutheran-Catholic relations. Since that time, Sister Susan has been at the table for ongoing discussions in the “Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue.” Read more.

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