Past Recipients of the Ladies of Charity Spes Unica Award

Pat Shea

2019 Patricia Shea  is the Founder and  Executive Director of Mommas House that began in 1986 with a home in Malverne, NY offering support to young mothers (ages 18-24) and their babies. Providing physical shelter and a stable environment, young mothers are nurtured and taught to provide child care and parenting skills while encouraged to obtain schooling and job training. 

Sister Tesa Fitzgerald

2018 Sr. Tesa Fitzgerald, C.S.J.  is the executive Director of Hour Children.  She began its founding in 1989 at the convent where she lived when she became a volunteer foster parent to eight children of incarcerated mothers. In 1996, Hour Children became a 501 (c)(3) organization to offer supportive services to other children of incarcerated mothers and the mothers themselves.

Susan Gordan Ryan

2017 Susan Gordon Ryan
A graduate of St. John’s University and a special education teacher, Susan used her personal and professional experiences to found the unique and innovative “Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged.” She was the first woman to serve as the director of the New York State Long Island Park System.  Her work in the not-for-profit sector included government relations, special events and fundraising for UCP of Suffolk and major gifts fundraising at Abilities, Inc., Albertson, NY.

Sr. Margaret John Kelly

2016 Sr. Margaret John Kelly, D.C., Ph.D.
An expert on governance, ethics and Vincentian history, mission and charism, she pioneered the establishment of mission services for health institutions and in higher education.  A member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Sr. Margaret John was the founder and Executive Director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John’s University. She served as the spiritual moderator of the Association of the Ladies of Charity at St. John’s from its inception in 2009 until her retirement in 2015.

Roseanne Haggerty

2015 Rosanne Haggerty
Realizing that the solution to end homelessness humanely and economically lay in using communities, Roseann’s efforts focused on strengthening networks of local organizations to solve problems together.  In 2011 she founded Community Solutions, a national organization that leads local innovation through collaboration.

Mary Mulvihill

2014 Mary Mulvihill, Ed.D. – A devoted educator at St. John’s and Fordham Universities and a dynamic leader in fundraising and program development, Mary has served as the executive director of Grace Institute and Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center.  She has led the way in the effort to help struggling people help themselves.

4th Annual Evening of Hope

The Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University are proud to present an “Evening of Hope,” our annual Spes Unica Award dinner and fundraising event. This year we honor Susan Gordan Ryan as the recipient of the Spes Unica Award. The event ticket price of $75 includes, Dinner, Raffles, “Wall-of-wine” and silent auction opportunities. Please note that all net proceeds raise funds for programs/projects that the LOC at SJU sponsor to combat poverty among women and children.

More details to follow! Registration is open, please click on the invitation below to register or follow this link:

3rd Annual “Evening of Hope”

On April 15, 2016 we held our third annual “Evening of Hope”. Sister Margaret John Kelly, D.C. was the honoree, receiving the “Spes Unica” award. Sister recently retired as the director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John’s University. She was the force behind our formation into an association, and is our Spiritual Moderator Emeritus. Raffles, silent auction, horse races helped the event be a very successful fundraiser. Anna Rocchio served as the event’s chairwoman.