Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Sister Retires

Last week, I missed this story in The New York Times about the retirement of the last M.S.B.T. sister from Catholic Charities. I met Sr. Lucita Cangemi several times in the '90s through Sr. Thomasmari Gore, M.S.B.T., one of my campus ministers at NYU.

From Jim Dwyer's profile:

Earlier this week, in her office on Stanton Street on the Lower East Side, Sister Lucita, 87, took stock of the changing worlds she has faced. Friday is her last day of work in New York. As she spoke, the phone kept ringing. Someone was coming up the steps to the front door. Taped to her computer monitor was a list of drug rehabilitation clinics.

On her answering machine was a message from a city worker who needed help for a young woman with a baby.

“I have a call now for Pampers,” she said.

How was she supposed to come up with Pampers?

She shrugged.

“I don’t know if I should go into that,” she said. “I get a personal donation, and I can use that.”

Sister Lucita is the last working New York member of an order of Catholic religious women, the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity, who have served as social workers with Catholic Charities since 1953. Having taken vows of chastity, obedience and poverty, they became experts in prostitution, jails, diapers, rent, drugs and jobs.

“This is really not about me, but about the exodus of a community that has worked hard in New York, that loved New York and loved their work, and gave services to the city for 50 years,” Sister Lucita said.

The Times credited the photo above to the M.S.B.T. archives. Caption: "Sister Lucita, right, on her way to minister to women in jail, in an undated photo."

1 comment:

HowiTown said...

Nice new name . . .