What is the AIC and What Does it do?

Our international organization is Association Internationale des Charités  (AIC), headquartered in Louvain la Neuve – Belgium.  

AIC –(English translation= International Association of Charities) is a network of 100,000 local volunteers, mainly women, who work in their local communities to combat poverty in 55 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the United States. Local teams of volunteers organize projects in their own locality. AIC is registered as a NGO with consultative status to ECOSOC at the United Nations. 


AIC strives to be a transforming presence of Christian inspiration in society, working mainly with women, through projects and development actions in which the beneficiaries are fully involved. It also collaborates at local and global levels, participating in networks and getting involved in public policy or civil society programmes, so that together we can build a fairer world.


Following the example of St Vincent de Paul, and in accordance with the teachings of the Church, our mission is: To combat poverty and exclusion in all their forms, through transformative initiatives and projects. To work with our sisters and brothers living in poverty, encouraging each person to discover their own strengths, supporting education and promoting dignity for all. To speak out against injustice and put pressure on civil society structures and decision-makers, with the goal of eradicating the causes of poverty.


AIC is an international network which fights against all forms of poverty and exclusion. This network has over 100,000 volunteers, mainly women, who willingly commit to improving the lives of the most disadvantaged people.

It has members in 55 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the United States, with over 5100 local groups around the world. Each national association is its own legal entity, and is responsible for leading and coordinating its local groups, training its members, fundraising and advocacy in its own country.


The structure of the international organization consists of:

Assembly of Delegates: formed by the presidents of the all national associations, it meets every three years to elect the Executive Board.

Executive Board: formed with 8 to 10 volunteers of different nations, it has the task of coordinating, leading and managing the AIC network, in accordance with the objectives set by the Assembly of Delegates.

International Secretariat: supports the Executive Board in carrying out its mission

AIC English

For more information on AIC and what is happening internationally, click on


Midnight Run

December 2019 brought us together in service with St. John’s University  Vincentian Institute for Social Action as we prepared for our first Midnight Run. Midnight Run coordinates over 1,000 relief missions per year, in which volunteers distribute food, clothing, blankets and personal care items to the homeless poor on the streets of New York City. 

Ladies of Charity preparing for Midnight Run

The late-night relief efforts create a forum for trust, sharing, understanding and affection. That human exchange, rather than the exchange of goods, is the essence of the Midnight Run mission. One team of our Ladies prepared sandwiches and put other nutritious items like juice boxes, hard boiled eggs and string cheese, in to 70 food bags that were handed out to the homeless in NYC.  

New York City Streets.





Our second team sorted personal items, underwear, socks, jeans and jackets for distribution.  Once intransit in a St. John’s van, Ms. Lucy Pesce, of the SJU Mission Office,  led the effort of distributing food bags and clothing to our brothers and sisters on the street. One of our Ladies commented, “The Midnight Run provided as much for me as it provided for the people I met.  It was truly an amazing experience.”



Sr. Tesa Fitzgerald honored with Spes Unica Award at May 2018 Evening of Hope

June 17, 2018

On Friday May 4, 2018, The Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University were delighted to honor Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, CSJ as the 2018 Spes Unica award. Sister Tesa is  Executive Director of Hour Children as well as a beloved friend and mentor to many of the Ladies at SJU. In her acceptance speech, she spoke of vocation, and listening to the call to action: attending meetings and well-wishing was not enough. As a life-long educator, Sr. Tesa’s work as a teacher evolved into acting as a foster parent and subsequently grew into her establishing Hour Children as a nonprofit organization to offer supportive services to other children of incarcerated mothers and the mothers themselves. She shared a short video about Hour Children and some of the women who have been touched by Hour Children’s services and love.

For more about about Hour Children, please see their website: https://hourchildren.org/

Graduation at SSND Educational Center

June 17, 2018

“We want to change our future!”  stated the student speaker for level three of the five ESL Levels moving up or forward at the SSND Educational Center in Woodhaven Queens.  Ninety women ages 21 and up have taken “the road less traveled,”  stated the Executive Director, Sr. Cathy Feeney, SSND.  It hard work to learn to read, write and speak English. Nearly 75 women gathered with faculty, board members and the Ladies of Charity.  They celebrated not only learning English as a second language or High School Equivalency classes but of learning to build self confidence and the importance of a community of support.  Congratulations to these wonderful women!

For more information about the good work that the SSND Educational Center does, please visit their website

2018 Evening of Hope: Spes Unica award to Honor Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, CSJ of Hour Children

April 3, 2018

On Friday May 4, 2018, The Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University will host its annual “An Evening of Hope” from 7:00-11:00 pm at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens. Sr. Tesa Fitzgerald, CSJ will receive the St. Louise de Marillac Spes Unica Award and deliver the keynote address.
“An Evening of Hope” begins at 7pm and participation will support the charitable works of the Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University. Tickets cost $90.00. The evening will include a silent auction and raffles. To be a sponsor, purchase tickets and register for the event go to: https://conta.cc/2GLCQsd

Sr. Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, CSJ, the Executive Director of Hour Children, was involved in the founding of the organization when she became a foster parent in 1989 to eight children of incarcerated mothers at the convent where she lived. In 1996, when Hour Children became a 501 (c)(3) organization, Sister Tesa extended her outreach to offer supportive services to other children of incarcerated mothers and the mothers themselves. Prior to that, she was responsible for NYS curriculum oversight for Catholic elementary schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn, and both a school Principal and teacher at various Catholic elementary schools. In addition to being an educator, she is a Certified Foster Care Trainer. Sister Tesa has been named a CNN Hero (2012), a White House Champion of Change (2013), the 2014 winner of the Opus Prize, and in 2015 was awarded the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice.The Spes Unica Award was established by the St. John’s University Ladies of Charity in 2014 to recognize a person who exemplifies the spirit of St. Louise de Marillac by radically improving the lives of others through service. St. Louise de Marillac was the spiritual moderator of St. Vincent dePaul’s lay women’s society, the Ladies of Charity. In 1633 she co-founded the religious order the Daughters of Charity with St. Vincent to address more completely the grinding poverty of 17th-century France. The newly formed Daughters of Charity set up soup kitchens, organized community hospitals, established schools and homes for orphaned children, offered job training, taught the young to read and write, and improved prison conditions.St. Louise died in 1660 and inscribed on the cross at her grave is the Latin phrase ”spes unica,” which means “one hope” or “only hope.” These words reflect St. Louise’s belief that service to humanity through systematic planning, sustainable programming and extensive collaboration is the “one hope” to effectively alleviate the burdens of people living in poverty. Four centuries later, that vision is reflected in the lives of people like Sr. Tesa and previous recipients; it is a vision celebrated by the Ladies of Charity, St. John’s University and the whole Vincentian Family.“An Evening of Hope” begins at 7pm and participation will support the charitable works of the Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University. Tickets cost $90.00. The evening will include a silent auction and raffles.

To be a sponsor, purchase tickets and register for the event go to: https://conta.cc/2GLCQsd

2011 Annual Retreat

Several members of the Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University spent All Saint’s Day sharing stories, friendship and spirituality at a retreat held on the Oakdale campus.

Spiritual Director,  Fr.  Michael Whalen , C.M. Celebrated mass, and Spirituality Committee Chair, Dr. Marilyn Martone,  offered reflections on scriptures and sacred writing surrounding the vocation of women in their various roles as daughters, sisters, mothers, wives, educators and Church members.  The ladies also reflected, individually and as a group,  on the  virtues of Humility, Simplicity and Charity and the role of these virtues in our continuing formation as a Chapter.

Next year’s Retreat will also be held on All Saint’s Day.  Details are being developed.

The Haiti Project

The Haiti Project initiative began after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 when we collaborated with the Vincentian family and the Daughters of Charity to rebuild schools in the South. Since 2011, Lady of Charity,  Marie Fouché has worked with the Daughters in the region to develop programs to  rebuild schools in the North. Marie started a NGO, CORA, in the northern Nippes diocese, teaching youth how to develop the tourism trade to build a sustainable local economy and is working with local fisherman through the region to revitalize the fishing industry.     


Dantuono Elected to AIC Executive Board

March 19, 2017

We are delighted to share the news that our own Mary Ann Dantuono has been elected to the executive board of AIC International, this, as part of the larger AIC#400 . Mary Ann was a “founding” member of the LOC at SJU when she was the executive director for the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at SJU.  She has continually helped form the local chapter and served as Chapter president (2013-2015). After “retiring” from SJU, she still chaired the programs committee of our local chapter while also serving as the National LCUSA President (2015-2017).  We have no doubts that her great talents and energy will be put to good use at the International Level, and we are fortunate to enjoy her leadership, faith and friendship.

Newly elected Executive Board of AIC, at the 2017 International Assembly in Châtillon, France.


“2020 Vision: End Human Trafficking” Conference

Ladies of Charity at St. John’s  University are one of the cosponsors of this 2020 Vision: End Human Trafficking Conference taking place on Saturday, April 1 from 9 am to 3 pm at St. John’s University, D’Angelo Center 416.   

Registration is in progress and we ask you to register NOW to attend so you do not miss out!  Make sure you indicate your affiliation as Ladies of Charity. There is no fee but seating is limited and registration is likely to close out within the next two weeks.

The Conference features Donna Hubbard, a survivor and advocate, along with educational workshops  on Identifying Human Trafficking; Global Issues; and the Deep Dark Web.  The program also includes a dramatic performance “A Day in the Life” by Katie Capiello and lunch.

Please make every effort to support our work to END all forms of violence against women.

Raising awareness about human trafficking helps to dispel the misconceptions and myths. Human trafficking is essentially modern-day slavery and a crime against humanity. It enslaves millions of men, women, and children for labor, sex, and other forms of exploitation in the US and other countries. Learn about human trafficking and its intersection with migration, conflict, economic crisis, law enforcement, healthcare, service providers, and the world of entertainment and social media. More about the conference on this flyer

You can take action and prevent human trafficking!

Conference co-sponsors:  Coalition of Religious Congregations to Stop Trafficking of Persons, LifeWay Network, University Ministry, UNICEF at St. John’s University, St. John’s CRS Global Campus, and the Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University

Raising Awareness





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: https://goo.gl/pu6R9E

Pilgrimage to the Doors of Mercy

St. John’s Prep made a final pilgrimage to the Doors of Mercy, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Astoria. During the Year of Mercy, St. John’s led ongoing visits with groups of students and this was the final group to pass through and receive the plenary indulgence, the second walk sponsored by the Prep’s Junior Ladies of Charity.