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Wrapping Up 2017 

Let there be light!    Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

As we look at the road ahead of us, winding into the future of 2018, I found myself  turning just for a moment to look back on what 2017 might teach us as we ready ourselves  to set out on our new journey.  What I found as I looked back from where we have come  included moments of light -- the outstanding work of some of our sisters, the Interfaith  March in September, and the celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the Sisters of Social  Service.  Yes, we did have light in 2017.  

As we look to 2018, and inspired by John 5:1 -  the Light came into the world and the darkness cannot overcome it --  I felt my heart lift at the sense that our God is faithful and our God is still there shining the Light of the Christ on days ahead.  Those who are most in need, the refugees, the abandoned, the hungry -- there is still hope, there is still faith, in a word, there is still Love shining its light on all of humanity.  
Let there be light!
Happy New Year!

Sr. Michele Walsh, SSS
General Director


90 Years and Counting!
By Jamey Fitzpatrick

In 2017, the SSS Community had a chance to look back on the strong connections and services that we have built with the local communities we serve over the past 90 years.   You have been such integral partners in our work each step of the way, and accompanied us on the path to expand and deepen services and systems for those living in poverty.  We are so grateful for your ongoing support, both financial resources and the gifts of your talents  and vision. We are excited to embark on the next chapter of our work together.  Read more...

Thank you for your generosity of spirit  and compassionate actions!
90th Jubilee Celebration Video highlighting current ministries created by Mary Grace
90th Jubilee Celebration Video highlighting current ministries created by Mary Grace

Click on the right for a video that Mary Grace , social media manager at HSRC, made the weekend we celebrated our 90th Anniversary of Sisters of Social Service in Los Angeles

Current Ministries Celebrated:
Click below or on the link above to see what social justice and social service ministries our Sisters and Associates are involved in:  


Sawtelle Center  and Regis House Community Center

Many people walking inside the doors of Regis House today,  may not know  that its roots date back to 1948.  In celebrating our 90 Years in  Los Angeles, we wanted to walk you inside the doors of Sawtelle Center  in the 1950s.  Come visit  with the incredible children, youth and families who filled the rooms in 
Sawtelle  neighborhood - and catch a glimpse of the Sisters who wanted wanted  to make a difference in their lives and to be sure they had a place to call their own. 

The first link below sets the stage - including the hopes and dreams of Sawtelle Center  
and those who were a part of the programs the Sisters offered.  Esther Medina Garcia
one of the youth who was an active part of Sawtelle Center, wrote  a historical piece on the time and her and her friends' experiences there, which is  the second article below. The third part visits Regis House today - nearing its 70th birthday - alive and thriving in LA's Historic Filipinotown.  For those who would like to see a chronology of the locations and buildings of  Sawtelle Center to Regis House - please see the timeline link below.

The Sights and Sounds of Sawtelle Center
by Jamey Fitzpatrick and Sr. Mary Ellen Petrich, SSS

Since there are so many ways to stay in touch today, we sometimes forget the days when it took a visit or a letter in the mail to reawaken a friendship and restart a conversation.  A time when Sisters and others went and knocked on doors to find out how a family was, or to ask if someone needed help who was recovering from an illness or a recent addition to the family.
As we continue to celebrate the 90 years of Sisters  of Social Service in Los Angeles, we are revisiting many ministries that were and are a vital part of the local communities where Sisters lived and worked....  Read more!

Los Amigos de Sotel - Friends of Sawtelle 
by  Esther Medina Garcia

In the late 1940s, '50s and early '60s  - in an 
era when most of us grew up in - Sawtelle was  
a town bordered on the west by Centinela, on the south by Pico Boulevard, from the north by Wilshire Boulevard and the east by Sepulveda Boulevard. Later, in the 1950s, Sawtelle was incorporated into West Los Angeles, however,  on the old maps you can still see the name Sawtelle. ..  Read more!

Los Amigos de Sotel Reunion, August 2017

Regis House Community Center
by Jamey Fitzpatrick and Sr. Albertina Morales, SSS

Although more than 60 years has elapsed since Sawtelle Center began, kids still love cooking, families still need help navigating our complex world and Regis House is alive and well and filled with dozens of visitors each day.  Now located in
Historic Filipinotown   after moving in 2007 to fill a pressing need, more than 300 families are served there monthly, with offerings for all ages. Read more!

Timeline - Sawtelle to Historic Filipinotown


Blessed are the Peacemakers: 
The First San Fernando  Valley  Interfaith Solidarity March   
By Bryanna Benedetti-Coomber    
with Sr. Deborah Lorentz, SSS    

The First San Fernando Valley Interfaith Solidarity March 
took  place on Sunday, September 10 in commemoration 
of the  16th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The 
march  symbolized solidarity and unity among people 
of all faiths  who reject violence in the name of religion. 

The march was  attended by over 500 people who braved 
the SFV Valley heat  to stand in solidarity with one another. 


Save the Date!
Weaving Hope with a Faith That Does Justice 
Interfaith Social Justice Convening Day
April 14, 2018 -  9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Great speakers!  Exhibitors!  Networking!
More details to follow soon...

We invite you to join us for this engaging day devoted to social justice actions and collaborations.  This event will give everyone the opportunity to learn, reflect, 
network, create potential collaboration, and share effective action strategies for making personal and organizational responses to urgent issues. We hope our convening will also build a community of solidarity in which we can strengthen how we can, together, put faith into action.

Weaving Hope with a Faith That Does Justice  is a project of the Anima International Foundation (Anima) in partnership with the Holy Spirit Retreat Center. Anima  is the newest initiative of the Sisters of Social Service Community. Founded in 2017, Anima empowers innovative and contemporary ways of responding in solidarity to those whose human rights and dignity are diminished by the violence of persistent poverty and injustice, especially women, children, immigrants and refugees. Anima does this in partnership with the most vulnerable through humanitarian aid, direct service, advocacy and building capacity building, collaborative solutions.


D ía de los Muertos: 
A Celebration of Life
By Sr. Martha Vega, SSS

Día de los Muertos  - or Day of the Dead - is celebrated on November 2 throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican ancestry living in other places, especially in the United States. This holiday is a day  
of remembrance and a day to honor deceased family members and friends.  

It is day acknowledged  internationally in many other cultures. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the holiday is attributed to the Aztec culture       dating back hundreds  of years.  Read more...


Sharing Our Impact 
and Our Collaborations


  Sr. Paula Vandegaer, SSS
Celebrates 50 Years of Pro-Life Work
By SSS Novice Raquel Cruz

We are grateful once again to the Holy Spirit  that moves  in us and around us!  Sr. Paula Vandegaer, SSS,  was  honored and recognized for her 50 years of   Pro-Life  work,  along with Archbishop Jose H. Gomez who was also  recognized for  his ongoing 
Pro-life leadership. It has been  a big journey very 
well accomplished.  Sr. Paula started  this  beautiful ministry to defend the life of those who  cannot 
defend themselves. Over the years, she has taught 
and  trained others to follow the same steps in defending  the life  of the unborn babies. 


Lisa Lopez, SSS Candidate,  Named 
NCRC-KPBS Community  Hero  for Her Work with Asylum Seekers
By Bryanna Benedetti-Coomber

Lisa Lopez, a SSS Candidate  and accomplished attorney in San Diego, was honored by  the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) and KPBS radio 
as a "Community Hero"  for her work with asylum seekers. 

Lisa is Founder and Executive Director of the Southern California Immigration Project  (SCIP), 
which has provided free or low-cost legal services to immigrants and asylum  seekers, particularly from Africa. The project also provides healing resources 
for survivors  of Female  Genital  Cutting and other human rights violations.  Read more...


Community Organizing - a glimpse into the heart of the work
By Jamey Fitzpatrick
This fall,  Sr. Maribeth Larkin, SSS, was interviewed by  Queensland Community Alliance  about her four decades of work as  a community organizer. She and Joe Chrastil are currently the Regional Organizers for the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) Northwest , and provide direct support and training for the leaders and organizers of organizations partnering with IAF in Washington, Oregon, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Sr. Maribeth's passion for community organizing sprung from her early work in the 1970s...   Read more...  

Alliance Aotearoa

This video  was created by Sr. Maribeth's colleagues in New Zealand at Alliance Aotearoa , a group she has collaborated with since 2013. She shared that it focuses on their effort to build a broad-based community organization in Aotearoa, the Mauri word for New Zealand which means " Land of the long white cloud ".


Keep in Touch with us - in the New Year!

Did you move?
If you need to let us know your new address, feel free to call or email with your change. Please contact  Bryanna in the Development Office, and she's happy to  let others know.

Can't find your 2017 thank you letter?
Just let us know if you need another one! We are happy to email it to you or send 
you another hard copy through the mail.

Donation summaries
Would you like a  summary of all gifts from the 2017 calendar year for taxes? 
Feel free to call or email Bryanna and let us know you'd like one.

Our Development Office contact information is below in the teal box.


Start the New Year with Resolve!

New Year's resolutions allow us to take stock of the last year, reevaluate our  priorities, and reset. 

We hope you join us in 2018 in resolving to give back to the community and to those on the margins our world, 
so in need of care and hope.
Click here for a few New Year's Resolution ideas connected with the SSS Community  to help you get started.



Holy Spirit Retreat Center:  Upcoming Events

Holy Spirit Retreat Center in Encino is an interfaith space offering an array of day and weekend classes, groups, and retreats. We also rent the facility to outside groups to hold their own retreats. We have spiritual direction and space for private time available.

Click here  to read about a few of our upcoming retreats or visit our website below to see our full offerings, registration 
details, and fees.

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

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Sisters of Social Service Development Department:

Jamey Fitzpatrick, Development Director  (818) 285-3358

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