The Home was all abuzz with excitement – Kia Andrews, Miss Philadelphia 2017, was visiting the Residents on October 16! A contest was held to vote for our very own Ms. Holy Family Home and Rose A. was crowned the winner by Miss Philadelphia. Everyone enjoyed having their pictures taken with Kia, hearing about her experiences, and discussing with her the things that they love.
We then kicked into the holiday season, starting with Halloween. Staff and Residents dressed up in various costumes. Residents enjoyed Halloween decorated snacks and the “spooky” music played by a DJ.
In November we celebrated the retirement of three long time employees (below, left to right): Mary Blue was a CNA and pantry aide for 29 years; Vesta Goodlin was a night shift CNA for 24 years; and Josephine Ross was a night shift CNA for 35 years. We are most grateful for their dedication and loving care of our Residents and were happy to have them as a member of our Holy Family Home! We will miss them, but wish them a well-deserved, happy, and relaxing retirement!
December began with a home run – a visit from Scott Franzke, the Sunday radio announcer, some of the ball girls, and the Phillies Phanatic! Our Residents are loyal Phillies fans and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon, asking Scott Franzke questions; working on a craft with the ball girls, who also passed out numerous Phillies memorabilia; and posing with the friendly, energetic, bouncing Phillies Phanatic.
After the Phillies’ visit, we went into full Christmas mode. What a packed month of activities! First, parties with the Board of St. Francis Auxiliary group, who came with beautifully wrapped presents for the Residents and Sisters. All this in addition to their generous donation of funds to purchase new beds for our nursing units!
Then there was a breakfast meeting with our Advisory Board members, who help advise us on financial matters, capital projects, development events, and mission effectiveness.
Finally, a dinner with our AJJ (Association Jeanne Jugan) members, a group of about 40 lay persons who are spiritually connected with the Little Sisters of the Poor.
On December 12, feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, two of our Sisters celebrated their 70th anniversary as Little Sisters of the Poor. Sister Colette Coyne (below, front row, left), who is from Ireland, came to the United States after making final vows in France. Sister Benedict Driscoll (below, front row, right) is from Massachusetts and entered the novitiate at age 18. Father James Sullivan gave them a special blessing at the Mass and everyone enthusiastically applauded their congratulations and thanks to these faithful, caring daughters of St. Jeanne Jugan.
Then it was our Residents’ turn to party! They love music and the St. Charles Seminary’s annual Christmas concert at our Home is a favorite. This year the concert was held in the Chapel after Mass. The acoustics made the music sound even better than when it was held in the Social Hall. It was wonderful seeing so many seminarians and it helped encourage the Residents to continue their prayers for vocations to the priesthood.
Our Residents loved the beautifully decorated Home, from the trees on every floor bursting with colorful ornaments, to the multitude of lovely wreaths hanging on almost every wall, to the poinsettia filled Chapel and the life size manger. We were blessed to have so many gifts for our Residents donated from various parishes and schools.
A number of groups came to entertain and visit with our Residents, including Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania students; Overbrook School for the Blind students who put on a beautiful concert; LaSalle High School’s Holiday Jazz Band and Chorus; Olivia G., a high school student who went around the Home playing her violin; and St. Dorothy’s Parish, who sponsored a Holiday Bingo. Our Hospitality Club students, pictured below, put on their annual play, this time a rendition of “A Christmas Carol.”
Finally, we said good-bye to 2017 and greeted in the New Year!
Special thanks to our activities department staff – Sue, Jenn, and Lucy – for all their hard work in planning the various parties, entertainment, and visits. Also, our gratitude to Tom McGinn, our volunteer photographer, for all the great shots! And thanks to all of you, for your support, your gifts of time, talent, and treasure, and your prayers!