Rest In Peace Mary Ann Luby

By Patty Mullahy Fugere

Dear Friends – It is with great sorrow that I write to inform you of the passing of our beloved colleague, Mary Ann Luby. She succumbed to cancer late last night after learning of the disease not even two weeks ago.

As you might expect if you know Mary Ann at all, she was at peace on the final days of her earth journey. She remained restless, though, about the injustices around her and managed to prepare a “to do” list of work that must continue on in her absence. To honor all that she was and all that she taught us, we must redouble our efforts in these challenging days and continue to push forward toward building a just and inclusive community.

For those who might not know her history, Mary Ann, who was an Adrian Dominican Sister, has been involved in the Legal Clinic since our inception. As director of Rachael’s Women’s Center during the ‘80’s and early ‘90’s she was one of the providers we consulted back in 1985 when trying to figure out how lawyers could best serve our neighbors who are homeless. She became an early board member of the legal clinic and served in that capacity until joining our staff in 1995.

Mary Ann was instrumental to the founding of Fair Budget Coalition, believing deeply in the need to work collaboratively and to support community members in lifting up their voices.

At every turn, she has challenged us to be faithful to the people whom we serve.

A memorial service for Mary Ann is planned for Saturday, December 11th at St. Aloysius Church, 19 Eye Street, NW. The time is tentatively set for 1pm, but we can confirm details early next week. It will be a great celebration of her life and work.

Please see the Washington Post article about Mary Ann:
Mary Ann Luby, nun who advocated for the homeless, dies at 70

Also, please see the DCist article

About Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless envisions a just and inclusive community for all residents of the District of Columbia, where housing is a human right and where every individual and family has equal access to the resources they need to thrive. Our mission is to use the law to make justice a reality for our neighbors who struggle with homelessness and poverty. Combining community lawyering and advocacy to achieve our clients’ goals, our expert staff and network of volunteer attorneys provide low barrier, comprehensive legal services at intake sites throughout the District of Columbia, helping our clients to access housing, shelter, and life-saving services. Rooted in the experiences of this client work, we effectively blend system reform efforts, policy advocacy, community education and client engagement to advocate for long term improvements in local and federal programs that serve the low- and no-income community.
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12 Responses to Rest In Peace Mary Ann Luby

  1. Mary Ann was one of 2 women who came to the Franklin School Shelter in June 2006 to tell its 240 residents about the impending closure under Mayor Williams (which we fought and prevented — for 2 more years). The other was a community activist for various causes named Becky Sambol. That is when I began to advocate for DC’s homeless. Becky would soon move onto other things; but, I would eventually develop an awesome working relationship with mary Ann who was always available to help and to give advice. Her death is a shock. I am greatly saddened by it. RIP Mary Ann. We love you.

  2. Brenda Karyl Lee-Wilson says:

    Mary Ann Luby was the Mother Theresa to the Districts homeless and less fortunate. She inspired everyone to speak up and stand up for the injustices that are put upon the poor and in a manner that was as God would do; with love and support, never giving up Faith. Her presense in any room was a welcomed sight because you could always count on her to provide encouragement, education and a witty commiit! My life is better having know her! Brenda Karyl Lee-Wilson

  3. Katy Daniels says:

    Mary Ann taught me how to be an advocate while I was the Jesuit Volunteer at Rachael’s back in 1992/1993. I learned more from her than I ever did in a college classroom, or a training seminar, or a book. Mary Ann got me started on the path of working towards social justice. I had originally planned to leave D.C. after my JV year was over, and return to my life in Minnesota. Mary Ann ruined me, and I ended up staying in Washington for another eight years, working with the same folks Mary Ann did. I continue that work here in Minneapolis, where homelessness is as present as it is in D.C.

    I will never forget Mary Ann’s lessons, mainly lessons she “showed” me rather than “told” me. The world is a bit dimmer today, now that Mary Ann isn’t here anymore.

  4. Marina Streznewski says:

    Mary Ann Luby was a wise and strong role model for all of us who advocate for a more just society. Her passing — especially so suddenly — is cause for deep sorrow. But I suspect that Mary Ann would not want us wasting too much time grieving when there is work to be done. For myself, I will try to honor her legacy by redoubling my efforts on behalf of my most vulnerable neighbors in the District. In these times of economic turmoil, we must continue our work. Mary Ann would want it that way.

  5. Pingback: About Homelessness » Blog Archive » Remembering Sister Mary Ann Luby

  6. Chet Grey says:

    A woman of faith and devotion, a woman of strength and courage, a woman of compassion and righteous zeal, a woman of committment and steadfastness.
    She was veracious and tenacious, she was visionary and authentic, she was a friend and sister to us all. I am garteful for having come into her province of service.
    I just hope that God is ready for her !

  7. Dana Woolfolk says:

    The homeless community has lost one of it’s greatest advocates. She will be truly missed.

  8. Aaron Houston says:

    This is incredibly sad. I’m so sorry to all of you at the Washington Legal Clinic. The work you do can be sad enough as is, so I can’t imagine the grief you must feel at losing Mary Ann. My deepest sympathies.

  9. DCHA Family Commissioner Aquarius Vann-Ghasri says:

    She Walked with us
    She Talked with us
    She Save us hope
    She Fought for us

    She Listened to us
    She Surely loved us
    We Remember her deeds

    A Legend among us
    A Patron of Trust
    Our Sister
    Our Sheroe
    For Our betterment
    She would FUSS

    May Peace Be Upon You,
    Mary Ann Luby
    You Are a Gem
    Among us
    Our PERSONAL Rub
    greg hill

  10. thebigbaby1 says:

    TO ALL THAT MAY BE CONCERNED! I AM VERY GLAD TO HAVE KNOWN MS. MARY ANN LUBY. SHE REALLY TAUGHT ME A LOT IN THE SHORT TIME OF TWO YEARS THAT I HAVE KNOWN HER. I MISS HER A LOT. SHE , LIKE MY SAVIOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST LIVES IN MY LIFE. THANK GOD THAT I AM ALSO GETTING TO KNOW HIM AND HIS GRACE AND MERCY. YES I AM THE BIG BABY TO MARY ANN LUBY. I WEIGH CLOSE TO 250.LBS… AND WHEN AM AM JOLTED BY PEOPLE FOR ONCE HAVING BEING A RECOVERING ADDICT, EX-STREET-WALKER(thanks to ms. mary ann) , MANIC DEPRESSIVE, (with other major underlined issues). I FIND IT QUITE DIFFICULT TO NAVIGATE MY LIFE PLANS . EACH DAY I PRAY THAT THE WORK THE GOD HAS BEGUN IN ME WITH THE HELP OF MS. LUBY, THAT I NEVER MESS UP AGAIN IN LIFE! I FEEL THAT I WOULD BECOME A HUMPTY DUMPTY OF SORTS….IF IT CAME TO EVER PUTTING MY LIFE TOGETHER AGAIN. BEFORE I MET HER I THOUGHT THAT I WAS GOING TO DIE IN AN ALLEY, ALONE , WITH THREE COATS ON, IN 100 DEGREE WEATHER LYING ON A CARD BOARD BOX, NEAR THE DUMPSTER. THAT WAS MY BIGGEST FEAR IN LIFE. I WOULD GET VERY UPSET AND AFRAID AND VISUALIZE THAT IN MY HEAD OVER AND OVER AND OVER. AFTER SUCH A FRIGHT I WOULD WORK MY WAY INTO A PANIC ATTACK THE WOULD GIVE ME VISIONS OF DEATH AND EVIL SPIRITS WALKING ALL AROUND ME. THEN I WOULD GET SO FRIGHTENED THAT I WOULD FEEL AS IF I WERE BEING BACKED UP IN A CORNER WITH NO AIR TO BREATH…REAL SCARY HUH???? WELLL THATS WHAT WAS IN MY HEAD WHEN I MET MY MARY!!! SHE WAS ABLE TO HELP CALM MY FEARS BY TAKING TIME LISTEN TO ME AND REALLY SHOWED ME SHE CARED… BY POINTING TOWARDS SOLUTIONS TO CALM THOSE FEARS. ONE WAS SHE ALLOWWED ME TO LOVE THE GOOD LORD JESUS BECAUSE I HAD ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT I COULD ALWAYS TRUST HIM, AND THAT HE WOULD NEVER LEAVE ME NO MATTER WHAT MISTAKES THAT I MADE IN LIFE ,AND THAT HE LOVED ME UNCONDITIONALLY ( i sorta got that kinda feeling from her too :). then she lead me literally by hand to the agencies that could help me to get my life on track… MY BIGGEST FEAR TODAY IS IF I MESS UP AGAIN!!!!! I LEARNED THAT THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE IN LIFE WHO DO CARE ABOUT ME THE BLACK SHEEP…PEACE THE BIG BABY !!!!!!!

    • thebigbaby1 says:

      thank you jesus for one one day. thank you for your wonderful spirit of life and love. you have been so good to me! to have led me to people that really do care about me like ms. mary ann luby. she really hung in there with me alot and hooked me up with a great network of people that are heaven sent. there are a few time over the last few weeks ,since her passover, that i have felt like the only one in the universe that could have hooked me up with earthly help, was jesus and mary ann working together to continue to keep me together…. i can do iT!!!! i am not alone i tell myself. today is my first day to stop smoking using a service reffered to me by one of mary anns recent refferals dr. cardile at unity helth care at 2nd and d street clinic. DON’T SMOKE !!! I AM TELLING MYSELF!!! OH HOW PROUD MS. MARY ANN MUST BE, OFF ME 🙂 WISH ME SUCCESS IN JESUS NAME!!! THANK YOU FOR THE HOOK UP MS. MARY !!!!!

  11. thebigbaby1 says:

    BIG UPS!!!!!!! TO ANN MARIE AT THE LEGAL CLINIC FOR BEING SO HELPFUL AND HOLDING MY HAND TROUGH A kiVERY TRYING, SITUATIONT,(underlined support) THAT HAD ARISED… I think it could have been A real threat my LIFE AND RECOVERYif you had not expidited your time and advocacy skills to help me. AS A PERSON COMFORMING TO A NEW WAY OF LIFE…this kind of support need to encourage me to conitinue to fight this good fight of faith!!! . your professionalis and humane approach, in handling my problem is greatly apprieciate!!!!!! thank you god bless your heart!!!!!!!! i am big baby turning into a big girl!!!!!

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