NOVEMBER 2020 / VOLUME 24 ISSUE 2
From the Director's Desk...
Dear Friends,

Several years ago while attending mass on the feast of the Epiphany, the priest offered an interpretation of the Gospel that I had never considered. If you recall, the Epiphany is when the Magi (the “three kings” or “three wise men”) visit the manger, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. On the way there, they find themselves in King Herod’s court. He asks them to stop back on their return trip in order to tell him the location of the child.

According to Matthew’s account, the Magi were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, and so they returned home another way. In his homily, the priest acknowledged that most of us consider the ending of the story to mean the Magi took a different route in returning home. However, he said, what if this story is informing us of a psychological transformation of the Magi, too? Maybe going home a different way didn’t only mean the physical route that they took, but also their changed attitudes and beliefs once they had encountered Christ in the manger. Given the various definitions of the term Magi, I like to think that while the Magi arrived to the manger as kings, they left the manger as wise men.

Twenty years ago this September, my journey with the HIV/AIDS Ministry began with a tutoring assignment at Casa Madre, our children’s program. If you were to ask me twenty years and one day ago where I saw myself in the year 2020, I probably would have told you teaching History at Ursuline High School. However, my experience working with the children at Casa Madre not only altered my career path, but also changed my attitude and beliefs about poverty, HIV/AIDS, and our Christian duty to put our faith into action. My journey has allowed me to see firsthand the wonderful work that is done by the staff and volunteers in all of our programs, whether it is our monthly Café, our clinic, our children’s program, or our housing program.

Most of us this Christmas season will seek out and celebrate Christ’s birth at church. Let’s also seek out and celebrate Christ’s birth in our modern day mangers while bearing our own gifts. Are we willing to seek out Christ among the poor, the scared, the vulnerable, and those who look and believe differently than us? For those of us who have the courage to do so, we may just leave the experience transformed. Trust me, because it’s been twenty years since I, too, went home a different way.

This past year has certainly been one that nobody could have anticipated. On behalf of the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, I thank you for your continued support and for helping us to serve those living with HIV/AIDS during this challenging year. We hope that there is some return to normalcy in store for all of us in 2021. As our lives return to normal, let us not overlook the fact that, for some people, their sense of anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and fear will remain. This year has provided us an opportunity to develop 2020 vision: a glimpse into the challenges those who live with this anxiety and isolation experience on a daily basis. Let us carry our 2020 vision forward to a more compassionate, empathetic, and just society, using this year to help transform us and “guide us to thy perfect light.” We wish you and all of those you love a wonderful holiday season and a new year filled with joy and blessings.

With Gratitude, 
Supporting our children in the Ministry...
Children's Program
The staff of our children's program have been working very hard to support our children this year. We are so grateful for the generosity of local foundations, volunteers, and donors like you!
Our Clinic is leading the way to improving health...
Our Clinic
Our clinic has continued to make great strides with improving the health of those living with HIV/AIDS. This September, we achieved a viral load suppression rate of 93% at our clinic, the highest it has ever been! Viral load suppression is the ultimate goal of HIV care.

In addition, our clinic was one of sixteen in the nation to be selected to participate in the Trauma-Informed Approaches Communities of Practice series offered by HRSA’s Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Technical Assistance. Our participation in this initiative has helped to further our understanding of trauma, its lasting impacts, and ways that we can better serve those who have experienced trauma.

This past August, our Ministry was also invited to present at the national Ryan White Conference. We presented sessions on consumer involvement in clinical care, and how our housing program has contributed to better health outcomes for those we serve. Following our presentation, one representative from HRSA was so impressed with our housing program and the support that we provide, that he paid our Ministry an incredible compliment. He remarked, “You give your clients a home in all senses of that word.” We couldn’t help but think of St. Angela, the founder of the Ursuline Sisters, who said we are to “build community wherever we go.” We are so grateful for the clinic and housing staff for being living examples of this, and for the tremendous impact that this has on the men, women, and children whom we serve.
The 2020 Virtual Nun Run...
The Nun Run
When it became evident we would have to cancel our in-person Nun Run fundraiser this year, we were all so disappointed. We look forward each year to the family-friendly and fun event that benefits our children’s program. We decided to turn the event into a virtual one, with participants running or walking on a course of their choosing any time during the month of November. Imagine our surprise when we began to receive registrants from Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Florida, Wisconsin, California, and New York! This year’s event truly became a “Nun Run Across America!” This year has caused so many, including non-profits like ours, to face economic challenges. We are so thankful for those who participated in this year’s Nun Run, and we look forward to being together in person in October 2021!
Brady, Coben, and Garrett Scarsella
all ready for the Virtual Nun Run!
Feeding people in need during a crisis... 
Food & Pantries Program 
During this coronavirus pandemic, we have expanded our Food & Pantries program. We recognized early on that we would see an increase in food needs for those served by our program. We also recognized that, for many clients, accessing our pantry in Canfield would be too difficult since it was not on a bus route. In response to this, we opened up a satellite pantry at our community center on the south side. We have been blessed to receive weekly donations from local grocery stores. We have an open distribution day and time each week for our clients, and we assist other clients by appointment when there is a need. This pantry has allowed us to distribute more food to people, including more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Renovations to our emergency shelter...
Housing Program
Our housing program has continued providing valuable services to those living with HIV who have a history of homelessness. We recently received some funding from the Ruth Beecher Trust to help with replacing the roof on our emergency shelter space. In addition, we have received some CARES Act funding to help us create a quarantine space in our shelter. We currently are providing permanent supportive housing for 12 people, and some emergency housing at our shelter for others as the need arises. We are grateful for the support, which has allowed people living with HIV who had been homeless the chance for housing stability and better health!
Please consider a tax deductible donation. Every dollar helps to
feed, clothe, and shelter our
families and children.
We are also always in need
of the following items:
soap, body wash, toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, gift cards to food delivery services, gift cards to grocery stores & restaurants

Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry
4280 Shields Road
Canfield, OH 44406
PH: 330-793-0434
info@ursulinesistersaids.org
www.ursulinesistersaids.org
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