Dear Friends and Supporters of the Sisters of Social Service,

I hope this finds you all healthy and well during this very challenging time for our nation and our world. With the turning of a new year, I am energized and filled with hope, and most of all gratitude, for YOU!

As the Director of Development for the Sisters of Social Service, I have experienced a multitude of blessings in a short, seven months. It is truly a privilege to work alongside the Sisters, cultivating your extraordinary generosity in support of their mission. It has also been an overwhelming time of personal discovery and growth. I have so enjoyed being reacquainted with the Sisters, getting to know many of you in Zooms and over the phone, and immersing myself in all things SSS. My being here was no doubt due in large part to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as the Sisters are very dear to me, a community of brave, determined and faith-filled women with whom I have known all of my life and hold in high regard. I have a treasure chest of fond memories working with the SSS as a Junior of Social Service, and many of you, over the years at Regis House and Stella Maris, cooking Thanksgiving dinners and fundraising for Candlelight Balls. But long before that, I was adopted by my parents, Mary Lou and Tom Workman, from Holy Family Services, which the Sisters founded and directed for many years. Sister Bertile Prus, SSS, was a household name growing up, and I am forever grateful to her for the extraordinary kindness and sensitivity she showed my parents during a difficult time in their personal lives. I am grateful, too, to my birth mother, who had the courage and knowledge to come find these wonderful Sisters in her time of need. I pray for her often, especially on my birthday, and Mother’s Day, as I imagine that time of her life was excruciatingly painful and one of great sacrifice.

"The ministry of stewardship and giving is an investment as well as an invitation, an invitation to join our mission, to be in communion with us, and a blessed act of selflessness and generosity of heart." - Mary Hatton

So here we are. Pandemic or no pandemic, supporting the important work of the Sisters is my number one priority. Henri Nouwen, the internationally renowned writer and theologian, says this of stewardship: “The procuring of resources is a call to conversion, a spiritual relationship with our needs, our desires and our innate goodness for wanting to help others. When we do this, we feel a part of the mission, a part of the greater good. It makes us feel happy and in communion with others.” Indeed! I have been overwhelmed by the exceptional generosity you have shown the Sisters, especially over the last year. Today I value this opportunity to thank you sincerely for the unbelievable example of selfless giving that you have extended to this community of hard-working, passionate women religious, especially during the pandemic. Whenever we called upon you for support, you delivered. When the Sisters saw a shortfall of income at the end of last summer, you delivered. When Christmastime came around, and we had lost several Sisters in a row within a few short weeks, you were at our side, with beautiful and touching expressions of support and sympathy. Again, you delivered. Thank you. Sincerely. Your gestures of compassion and kindness did not go unnoticed by any of us.

Although it is difficult for us to gather and get to know one another and reunite, I’d like to suggest that there is plenty of work to be done behind the scenes for the Sisters! Supporting the mission of the SSS is a sacrifice of the giver. It is an outward expression of the deep understanding of the purpose to which he or she is giving to. It is certainly a blessed act of selflessness and generosity of heart. So while we are experiencing a continued time of isolation, lets share ideas. I welcome your emails and phone calls on how you think we can make a difference for the community and their ministries. There has never been a more compelling time than now to gather our hearts and minds together to promote support for the SSS, from all around the world. Their very name, the “Sisters of Social Service” is so relative and fitting with the times of today! It is always my ambition to reach out to as many people as possible who have supported the Sisters and have enjoyed the company of their caring and courageous spirit. Additionally, we want to communicate to our many constituents the extraordinary works the Sisters continue to accomplish, the disadvantaged people they serve, and the meaningful difference they make in so many lives, even in the face of stressful and taxing times. It’s important to share their stories!

In closing, I so look forward to working with all of you and seeing you in person one day soon, especially in beautiful Encino. In the meantime, please be assured that Sister Maribeth, the Council, and our team of Sisters and loyal staff are working diligently to build a plan, nourished with energy and enthusiasm, to support our precious Sisters, now and for the future. My door (and computer and phone) is always open. I look forward to partnering with you in our efforts of support, and I will pray for the health and well-being of all of you, and your loved ones, who are so selfless and generous of your time, talent and treasure with us. Thank you again, and may God bless you. Come Holy Spirit!

Blessings of peace and hope,