More than 220 members of the Association of the Ladies of Charity of the Diocese of Pittsburgh gathered for their annual workshop Aug. 11 at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Pleasant Hills. The day’s theme was “Saying Yes to God’s Will in the Face of Uncertainty.”
In his keynote speech, Father Michael Ackerman, diocesan director of priestly vocations, encouraged the women to look to three biblical figures when discerning the giving of one’s life to the will of God — Abraham as the model of hope; Mary, the Mother of God, as the model of faith; and St. Peter as the model of persistence.
It is through suffering, like Abraham, that we experience great healing, he said. In order to say yes to the will of God, Father Ackerman added, we must give of ourselves and often step outside of our comfort zone, as Mary did her entire life. Finally, as Catholics, we are called to a life of constant conversion, like that of Peter, he said.
The day concluded with Mass concelebrated by Father James Gretz, spiritual adviser to the Ladies of Charity, Father Ackerman and Father Dale DeNinno, pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.
During the liturgy, the 2018-19 executive officers for the Ladies of Charity were installed: Bernadette Jaketic of St. Catherine of Sweden Parish, president; Karen Tomaszewski of All Saints Parish, first vice president; Helene Scheider of Holy Apostles Parish, second vice president; Barbara Direnzo of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Butler, recording secretary; Claudia Van of Holy Trinity Parish in Robinson Township, treasurer; and Nancy Bianculli of Madonna del Castello/Word of God parishes, financial secretary.
The local association will host the national assembly of the Ladies of Charity of the United States of America from Sept. 20-22 at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel.