Divine Ladies and Sisterhood

The divine ladies of the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center Guild had a tea party on a lovely afternoon at the Lakeside Golf Club. The gathering was for the Navy-themed installation of the guild’s officers, and I was swept away on a wave of joy coming from the sisterhood of dedicated volunteers.

Photo by Margie Barron

“Captain” Patt Scully (center) president of the PSJMC Guild with some of the dedicated volunteers.

Designated “The Captain” of the PSJMC Guild ship was president Patt Scully, at the helm for her second term. A dynamo gal, Scully is continuing her efforts to have the organization grow, welcoming new volunteers to join the friendly group. Members participate in projects that support the Burbank medical center. The Guild is working on its fundraising pledge of half a million dollars for the hospital’s Hycy and Howard Hill Neuroscience Institute. Their efforts have been impressive, with Theresa Meyers, vice president of the Providence St. Joseph Foundation, at the event to gratefully accept a $165,000 check. Meyers told the ladies about the lives that have been made better because of the Guild’s efforts. A woman had suffered a stroke while giving birth and the Neuroscience unit is working with her so she’ll be able to go home to her newborn soon. There are many stories like that, letting everyone know the positive impact they are having.

Upcoming Guild fundraising events include a card party on Aug. 14 at the Lakeside Golf Club. The other Guild officers include: first vice-president, Maria Balke; second vice-president, Patti Cassidy; director of finance Pam Shriftman; recording secretary, Roberta Kerr; corresponding secretary, Chicky Abel; press chairwoman Terry Campbell; and the list goes on. All the women of the PSJMC Guild are very capable and charitable, and deserve to be recognized for the work they do. A special “shout out” to Ollie Vick who received her pin for the 30,000 hours she has volunteered. Also, former president Grace Patz will be celebrating her 100th birthday later this year, and yet she still works with the Guild with the sharpness and enthusiasm of a teenager. Bless her.

Sister Sheila Browne, a sweet Irish nun with a way with words, blessed all the guild members, comparing them to a cup of tea, “You never know how strong the tea is until you put it in hot water. Then you pour your love into everything you do.”

Speaking of sisters let me sing the praises of the Broadway show Sister Act: The Musical, at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre from July 9th to 28th. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I was first charmed by the movie Sister Act starring Whoopi Goldberg as “Sister Deloris,” with Maggie Smith as the Mother Superior.

It was funny with great music and an uplifting story, so it was a natural to follow the trend of hit movies being turned into a Broadway production. It translates well to the stage, thanks to the script by two former Toluca Lake residents, Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, plus Douglas Carter Beane. It had its world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse, before moving on to Broadway, getting Tony Awards attention in 2011, and becoming a smash.

“To hear people laugh and cheer the way they do at Sister Act, a show people think they know but are pleasantly surprised to discover is not what they were expecting — is a magical experience for a producer,” says Whoopi Goldberg who is the proud producer of the musical comedy. The story follows a disco diva who witnesses a murder and is put into protective custody, disguised as a nun at a convent. Although at odds with the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior, Deloris uses her killer voice to inspire the choir. But in helping the church she risks blowing her cover. “Happily, audiences across the country will be able to get in on the fun when Deloris and her fabulous sisters start spreading the love.” A nun-on-the-run, sounds heavenly.