October – December Special Celebrations
The last three months of the year have been packed with special celebrations, making time pass by even more quickly than usual. On October 25, we honored Tellie D., a CNA on the third floor nursing unit, with the St. Jeanne Jugan award. She was selected by her colleagues as a staff member who exemplifies the spirit of St. Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Below: Tellie (left) is congratulated by Mary B., last year’s St. Jeanne Jugan award recipient.
Halloween started off the string of holidays, with Residents and staff enjoying a day of dressing up in costumes and answering Halloween trivia questions.
After the festivities of Halloween, we got down to the serious business of voting. Holy Family Home is an election site, which makes it easy for our Residents and Sisters to participate in this important civic duty.
On Veterans Day we honored our Residents who had served our country with a men’s luncheon.
The Residents went on their final pilgrimage for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, going to nearby National Shrine of St. Rita of Casia in south Philadelphia to walk through it’s Holy Door. They enjoyed a tour given by Augustinian Father Jim Spenard, who talked about St. Rita and about the parish and how it became a national shrine.
Next on the calendar was the celebration of most people’s favorite holiday – Thanksgiving! Family and food, what could be better?!
We have a second centenarian among us – Catherine M. celebrated her 100th birthday in November!
The beginning of December started off with the Residents’ Retreat days, given by our chaplain Fr. Jim Sullivan and Fr. Douglas McKay. Then on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Little Sisters of the Poor renewed their vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and hospitality. We are most grateful to God for the gift of their religious vocation and pray for more young women to join their congregation.
The parties and celebrations then started in earnest. First we had a Christmas breakfast for our advisory board, a group of community members who advise the Sisters on financial, development, legal and capital projects matters. The board is in its 24th year of existence.
The Board of St. Francis auxiliary brought in presents for our Residents and we hosted a Christmas luncheon for them in gratitude for all they are doing for our Home. They also gave new suitcases to the Sisters!
The Sisters and Association Jeanne Jugan (AJJ) members had a Christmas dinner together. AJJ is a spiritual lay group associated with the Little Sisters of the Poor.
We had a Christmas party for our hard-working staff, at which time we also gave out service awards. Barbara M., medical records and CNA (pictured below), received her 30-year pin. Seven employees received their 10-year pins and ten received their 5-year pins. We are most grateful for our loyal and caring staff!
Speaking of loyalty, another group that has been faithfully coming for a number of years is our Hospitality Club of young students. In December they put on a performance for the Home, telling the stories of the stocking, the poinsettia, and the candy cane. Afterwards they gave out gifts of these three items to our Residents.
Bishop Timothy Senior, Rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, brought a group of the seminarians to Holy Family Home to perform their annual Christmas concert. The Residents and Sisters enjoyed listening to the carols and laughing at the jokes made by the engaging MC. On behalf of the Home, our chaplain Fr. Jim Sullivan thanked the seminarians for coming and assured them of the prayers of the Sisters and Residents.
Our Residents then had their Christmas party. As the music played, Santa came ho-ho-hoing in and the Sisters gave out presents sent in by so many generous groups. On Christmas Day, Residents also found gifts at their dining room table!
Of course, the most important celebration then arrived – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses. The Chapel was beautifully decorated with our large-sized Nativity set, surrounded by brightly colored poinsettia flowers donated by various benefactors.
And finally we had our New Year’s Eve countdown (at 1 p.m.!) and said goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017. May it be a holy year full of happiness, peace, and good health!
Our thanks to all of you for your generous gifts, donations, and prayers at Christmas and throughout the year. You join us in our work of caring for the elderly poor! (Special thanks to Tom McGinn for taking pictures of our December events!)