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May 2017

Dear Friends,

The Sisters of Social Service and staff 
wish you all a happy Pentecost.
May the Spirit be with each of us and renew us.

Blessings and joy to you!


With Great Joy in the Holy Spirit,
The Sisters of Social Service
Invite You to Celebrate
50 Years of Commitment
Sister Diana Sabia
Sister Michele Walsh
The 90th Year of the Founding 
of the 
Sisters of Social Service 
in Los Angeles
Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2017
Liturgy at 2:00 p.m., 
Reception Following
Holy Spirit Retreat Chapel, 
4316 Lanai Road, 
Encino, CA 91436
Please RSVP to Holy Spirit Retreat Center at 
(818) 784-4515
or click below to RSVP on Eventbrite:


We Plant the Seeds:  Sr. Yolanda Honored 
as  SC LAMP 2017 Person of the Year
By Bryanna Benedetti-Coomber 

Sr. Yolanda with her award

Against the backdrop of the towering high rises 
of Los Angeles, Sr. Yolanda Vega, SSS, was honored by South Central Los Angeles Ministry Project (SC LAMP) as the 2017 SC LAMP Person of the Year. The event was fully sponsored by First Republic Bank on Figueroa and hosted on the open-air plaza overlooking 
the Los Angeles Financial District. The Friars Charitable Foundation was also honored as the 2017 Institutional Honoree.

Around 80 people attended the event on Wednesday evening, including 2 dozen SSS Sisters and Associates. Half of those in attendance were from religious communities involved in the founding and sustaining of SC LAMP, along with supporters, board members, and families  who participate in SC LAMP programs.

South Central Los Angeles Ministry Project (SC LAMP) began in 1992 when 8 religious organizations came together in response to the Los Angeles Riots that tore apart families and communities in the city.   

Click here to read the full article and see more photos

Sisters of Social Service and Associates
Back row (from left) Sr. Teresita Saavedra, Sr. Michele Walsh, Raquel Cruz , Sr. Chris Machado, Sr. Martha Vega,  Betty A. Harbison,   Sr. Mary Ellen Petrich, Sr. Rochelle Mitchell, 
Sr. Shaun Marie Wise, Sr. Merita Dekat;  Front row (from left) Sr. Una Feeney, Sr. Suzanne Simo, Sr. Yolanda Vega, and Sr. Paulita Bernuy


A Successful Defense
By Sr. Deborah Lorentz,SSS

There are some occasions in life that really demand a huge celebration! 

Sr. Anne Arabome, SSS, passed her defense at the University of Roehampton in the UK with flying colors. She is now  Dr. Arabome, Ph.D . Sr. Anne's degree is in Systematic Theology. Her thesis adopts maternal well-being as a prism for studying the roles and identities of African women and critically analyzes the dynamics in culture and religion that militate against women's quest for fullness of life. 

Currently, Sr. Anne is the Associate Director at the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can check out Sr. Anne's work at the Faber Center on their website, linked here

 Congratulations, Sr. Anne! 
May you be blessed in all that you touch!


CSUN Student Immersion:
Regis House for a Week!
 by Sr. Albertina Morales, SSS

Sr. Albertina and the staff, volunteers and children of Regis House hosted visitors 
for  a week!  6 CSUN students came for an immersion experience - from diverse backgrounds and majors that include Education, Women's Studies, Religious Studies, History, and Political Science.

Sr. Albertina writes:
"My friend,  Xochitl Alvizo, is a Professor of Religious Studies at CSUN in Women's Studies 
and Religion.  She wanted her Religion and Social Justice class to have an opportunity to experience different religions and expand their views on social justice.... as well as live in the community for a week.

She and her CSUN  students arrived on Monday and stayed through Friday.  They worked 
with our Regis House After School Program children and teens each day, and used Regis House as home base (cooking, eating and sleeping here).  They volunteered two days at nearby Union Avenue Elementary School, toured Home Boy Industries, and on Friday 
planned an activity party for  our kids. The kids had a great time - and loved having the college students' attention and energy.

We got to know the students pretty well over the week- cooking and eating together. They 
still had classes, presented papers and kept a  journal while they were "immersed".  It was a good but busy week - for them and for us! However, I would do it again - in a heartbeat!"

For more info on Regis House Community Center, please visit their website at:

Thank you CSUN students:
 for making a difference in 
the lives of the children we serve today 
and everyone whose paths you cross after you graduate.

Volunteering with the Sisters of Social Service

Get involved with SSS Ministries in Los Angeles and San Diego!
We have opportunities for one-time and ongoing volunteers, 
welcoming both groups and individuals to work more closely with the 
S isters of Social Service and to participate in the works of peace and 
social justice that are at the heart of the Community. 

Learn how to get more involved! 


Sharing Our Impact 
and Our Collaborations


Catholic Women Preach
By Jamey Fitzpatrick

We're excited to share with you that two of our Sisters were chosen to participate in Catholic Women Preach.  Both Sr. Anne Arabome, SSS, and Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, were delighted to be asked to be involved.  This dynamic program allows more people to engage 
and connect with societal issues and faith ideas globally, as well as hearing diverse perspectives from a wide range of Catholic women religious.   

The project's website explains that, " Following the liturgical year, Catholic women will reflect on how the texts relate to all Catholics today with a special emphasis on the lives of women, their apostolic call, and their roles in the Church and the world."
A long with the video-taped reflections, they use a web-based forum for further dialogue, responses and shared resource areas.  "Catholic Women Preach is an innovative project designed to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the Church 
today by responding to Pope Francis' call for broader and more active engagement 
of the baptized in the preaching mission of the Church. This project is a deeply 
faithful, hopeful and joyful initiative intended to build up the Church...."
To read more about the project, please visit their website:
To listen to Sr. Anne and Sr. Simone's videos,
please click below:

Sr. Anne Arabome, SSS                    Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS

         Fourth Sunday of Easter     Reflection - 2017
Ash Wednesday 
Reflection - 2017

Click below for written transcripts:

Spring Celebrations

On May 17,  Sr. Claire Graham, SSS , received the annual "Power of One" award. Each year the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento (ICGS) identifies four worthy individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Sacramento area community. Sr. Claire was recognized for her impact on the community as the co-founder of Wellspring Women's Center and for her lifelong commitment to working with those on the margins of our world. 

Click here to learn more about the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento.

Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS , received an Honorary Doctorate in Ministry from Catholic 
Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago, Illinois, on May 11. The awarding of this Honorary Degree 
is in recognition of Sr. Simone's substantial advocacy of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice, through her 
work with NETWORK.

Click here to read more about NETWORK.
Click here for the CTU press release and here to see a clip of Sr. Simone's speech. 

SSS Associate Candidate,  Consuelo (Connie) Smith, was honored by receiving the Our Lady of Guadalupe Award. The award was given by Bishop G. Barnes from the Diocese of  San Bernardino on May 19 in recognition of Connie's work in the Diocese. 

The award is given to individuals of parishes or the civic community who as volunteers have demonstrated exemplary generosity, leadership and service beyond the scope of the parish for the common good of the diocese and/or local civic communities.   Connie received a letter from Bishop Barnes stating "This describes a commitment beyond expectations and it describes you. You have been someone who inspires others and carries the light of Christ to those around you."
Connie gives countless hours to her parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Rancho Cucamonga. She is on the Finance Committee; an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister; a Lector and an assistant during the fundraisers. She spends most of her Mondays as part of the parish's fiscal group and is the one charged with depositing the funds.   Congratulations Connie! 
- submitted by Olga Sarabia, SSS Associate

Summer Day Camps in the Philippines:
Amadeo and Paliparan
Sisters of Social Service started their partnership with the people of the Philippines more than 20 years ago.   Ministries in both cities offer a multitude of direct social services for families and children in their area.  Sisters in Amadeo and Paliparan both host their own versions of Summer Day Camps for hundreds of children and teens each spring.  This year's theme was Communion of Communities, highlighting the strong ties and unity between the many local neighborhoods and cities where the youth come from.
Sisters of Social Service in the Philippines just finished a wonderful, packed 
Summer Day Camp session - with more than 400 children and 23 teens in Amadeo.   The week before camp they provide Catechetical training and a day of reflection and recollection for local teens and young adults who help as volunteers.
Many of these teens are former campers, and some are from the Scholars 
Program. This program offers youth without the financial means to attend college 
the ability to attain professional training and supports them as they achieve their goals.

Youth Catechetical Training before Summer Day Camp began.

Sr. Vangie writes, "Our summer day camp is a place where children have a chance to enjoy themselves, build their faith and service to others.  Especially for those living in poverty - during camp they also get to let go of their worries and just experience all the joys of being a child."

As a continuation of day camp, throughout the year Sisters and volunteers meet with former campers on the 1st and 5th Sunday of each month at their home parishes.  Each session is 2-3 hours and highlights and explores the Church's theme for that week or month. This ongoing connection helps integrate faith and values into their daily lives.... (finish story by clicking below)
Click here to read more about Summer Day Camp 2017.

Below are a few pictures from their adventures during camp this year!

Sisters of Social Service host a Summer Day Camp in Paliparan that is a collaboration between many different parish communities in an urban area in Cavite.
Each year, they serve approximately 900 children and 50 teens and camp usually lasts for several weeks.  Local youth are involved in a variety of leadership projects, creative and liturgical activities and other enrichment.  Three different parishes participate in the Summer Day Camp experience - sending youth from 5 to 13 years old.
2017 also marked the camp's 20th Anniversary!   A special celebration was planned this year focusing on 3 Saturdays of camp where campers participated in theatre and music, art and sports and games.  There was a culminating parade through the streets and an open house reunion for past and present campers and counselors to share their stories.  Many of those present talked about how the camp had changed their lives.
Please look for a longer story on the history of our Summer Day Camp and reflections from campers and counselors in our next e-news.

Click here  to read more about Summer Day Camp 2017.


The Sisters wish you laughter and blessings this Spring!

In between all the day-to-day obligations of our busy lives, remember 
to take time to "smell the roses" or at least walk among the poppies!
Laughing with friends and feeling the wind can be healing for our spirits!

A lighter moment (above) with 
Sisters Martha, Avigail and Yolanda 
and (below) with 
Sisters Martha and Beatriz 
during an excursion to the 
California Poppy Preserves


SSS Memorial and All-Occasion Cards

12 Card Box Set: $15
Sets have 6 pre-printed cards  with corresponding religious passages,  
including 2 Memorial Mass cards, 
and 6 blank cards of your choice,  in a reusable card box

Single Cards:  $1.50 each
4 Cards for $5
8 cards for $10

You may choose between blank or pre-printed cards with corresponding passages. 
If you have a specific passage you would prefer, please indicate this with your order. 

To order cards, please call or email Bryanna:
(818) 285-3376 

 Prayers and Masses themselves are always given freely. 

Let Us Help!

Send an email to 
to receive Social Impact and Thank Yous electronically. 


Summer Solstice Labyrinth Walk
Saturday, June 20 beginning at 7:00 pm 
Our Summer Solstice Labyrinth Walk will welcome the summer season with fun in the sun and longer days to enjoy camping and picnics. Please note that although the calendar may say that the Solstice begins on June 21st, it actually arrive on the night of the 20th in California. As we gather, we will begin with an opening ritual and a workshop for Labyrinth neophytes, followed by an open walk. Come join us as we welcome the light!

Encino Trio Concerts: "Schubertiade"
Sunday, July 9 beginning at 4:00 pm 
If you are a lover of Schubert's music, come and enjoy his beautiful master works. In the concert, some of his famous songs from his song cycles and chamber music will be performed by Soprano Gloria Chung-Ahn and Baritone Hongsuk Chae with the M.I.P. String Quartet. 

Women at the Well Summer Retreat:
"Exploring Native American Spirituality"
Friday, July 21 * 5:30 pm -  Sunday, July 23 * 1:00 pm 
Holy Spirit Retreat Center sits on land that once belonged to the Chumash and Tongva people. Who were the people who once inhabited this land? How did they see God? What might they have to teach us? Come and explore with us the riches and wisdom of Native American spirituality. The weekend will include Native American prayer, drumming, Medicine Wheel work and Native American lore, along with the usual yoga, Centering Prayer, reflection time, sharing and of course, fun. This year, our "art dabble" will be based on the theme. Come and join us as we honor our first Americans. 

Visit the Center's website at 
for registration details and fees. 

Sisters of Social Service
4316 Lanai Road, Encino, CA 91436
(818) 285-3355 

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E-news created by the 
Sisters of Social Service Development Department:

Jamey Fitzpatrick, Development Director  (818) 285-3358

Bryanna Benedetti-Coomber, Development Associate (818) 285-3376