“Women’s Circle – A Spiritual Life of Giving”

Helping underserved women with education and employment is one of hundreds of ways in which Medical Mission Sisters and our Associates around the world try to be a healing presence to others today.

Medical Mission Sister Lorraine Ryan and Sister Joan Carusillo, a Sister of the Holy Cross, co-founded Women’s Circle for underserved women in Boynton Beach, Florida, eleven years ago. They are both interviewed in a thirty-minute documentary that will soon air on WXEL Public TV: “Women’s Circle – A Spiritual Life of Giving.”

The film begins with a look at the history of Boynton Beach and its renewed vibrancy. Sisters Lorraine and Joan share their stories with Father John D’Mello, parochial vicar of Saint Ann’s Church in West Palm Beach. When they founded Women’s Circle, they created its mission statement: “To empower women made poor to become all they can be, by assisting them to gain enhanced employment, becoming self-sufficient, and leaders in a culturally diverse community.”

Educational classes, job preparation programs, support groups, a community garden, and many dedicated volunteers are all part of the program. Sister Joan explains that one of their goals for the women is to “help not only themselves and their families, but to raise the level of the community while doing that.”

For the first ten years, the Sisters operated out of a space shared with the Community Caring Center of Boynton Beach. With a large increase in the number of clients being served, they needed larger quarters – and were able to move to their own duplex with the help of an interest-free mortgage from city leaders and pro bono contributions from volunteers. The documentary contrasts the early computer training room, with one computer, with the current roomful of donated computers.

The Sisters greatly appreciate the support of many volunteers and benefactors. 250 people attended the Women’s Circle annual fundraiser in February. As The Coastal Star newspaper states, “It’s great to see the good work get broader recognition…‘Women’s Circle – A Spiritual Life of Giving’ not only is must-see TV. It’s a fitting tribute to two ladies, and a ton of volunteers, who avoid the spotlight except to champion the women the Women’s Circle serves.”

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September 1, 2011