Rejoice and Be Glad!
Our Residents and Sisters had so many wonderful events and moments during the last four months of 2019. The main event that kicked things off was our 150th anniversary celebration of the Little Sisters of the Poor coming to Philadelphia. We had a beautiful Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on August 24, followed by a reception at the Logan Hotel. See our Fall Newsletter for details on this momentous occasion.
Just a few weeks later we held our major fundraiser – the St. Jeanne Jugan Gala 150 Years – Pot of Gold Raffle. Through the hard work of our committee members and volunteers we were again able to make this a successful event through the generosity of the ticket buyers and sponsors. About 600 people attended the reception at Drexelbrook, where we honored Dr. Leo Conway, our Home’s long-time dentist; Monsignor Francis Beach, pastor of St. Jude Parish in Chalfont; and Matthew Pinto, founder of Ascension Press. For a list of our winners and sponsors, please see our Pot of Gold Newsletter.
In October the owners of La Locanda Restaurant in Newtown Square once again sponsored a two-day fundraising event for us, contributing 10% of the receipts to Holy Family Home. It was two wonderful days of meeting and enjoying a good meal with new and old friends and benefactors. We are grateful to Franco Stefanatto and Mario Palumbo, the owners of La Locanda, for holding this event for the benefit of our Residents.
On December 8, Little Sisters of the Poor around the world, including here in Philadelphia, renewed their promises. We are grateful for their religious vocation and their ministry of caring for the elderly poor. Please continue to pray for vocations to their Congregation.
Once December started, we went into full party mode. The Board of St. Francis Auxiliary had their annual Mass and Christmas party here, where the members were able to admire the newly painted and wallpapered gift shop, further enhanced with new shelves and lights. The Board generously brought beautifully wrapped presents for our Residents and also a check for the Sisters for computer upgrades.
In addition to gifts from the Board of St. Francis Auxiliary, we received Giving Tree presents from St. Thomas of Villanova Parish (pictured below); St. Alphonsus Parish, Maple Glen; Assumption BVM Parish, Feasterville; and St. Monica’s Merry Widows (Berwyn). Many parishes also supplied us with toiletries, which helps keep our expenses down: Cathedral Saints Peter and Paul; St. Albert the Great, Huntingdon Valley; St. Dorothy Parish, Drexel Hill; St. Monica Parish, Philadelphia; St. Jude Parish, Chalfont; St. Pius X Parish, Broomall; St. Richard Parish, Philadelphia; and Saints Simon and Jude Parish, West Chester.
The seminarians from St. Charles Seminary came and put on their annual concert, a tradition that our Residents enjoy and look forward to every year. The Chapel was filled with their beautiful voices. It was wonderful seeing so many seminarians and we continue to pray for them and for more vocations to the priesthood.
We had a Christmas party for our dedicated staff and recognized those employees who had milestone anniversaries. After a delicious meal, everyone then drew numbers for their gifts – beautiful bags and baskets filled with goodies, creatively put together by one of the Little Sisters from the Flemington Home. Special thanks go to our wonderful dietary staff, who baked dozens and dozens of cookies for gift trays for our vendors and benefactors. They also cooked and served numerous delicious dishes for our various Christmas parties.
Our Residents were so excited at their Christmas party. They had their photos taken by our volunteer photographer, Tom McGinn, and were so pleased to receive copies they could share with their families and friends. Then it was off to the Social Hall for an afternoon of snacks, music, and, best of all, seeing Santa and receiving gifts!
Finally, it was Christmas Eve and the Residents and Sisters attended beautiful Christmas Masses celebrated by our chaplain, Father Jim Sullivan. It was a wonderful time of spiritual reflection on the birth of Christ and on his second coming. Our large manger scene was a focal point in the chapel, which was further beautified by the lovely poinsettias donated by our benefactors.
We rang in the new year in typical Philly fashion – with the Mummers!
We look forward to the changes and challenges 2020 will bring. On October 3, 2019, the Little Sisters of the Poor shared with Residents and their families, staff, and others that we will be rebuilding Holy Family Home at its current location. Read the Press Release for the full announcement. Further details on the project will be forthcoming later in the year.
Looking for more JOY? Check out our new video, Joyful Living at Holy Family Home!
And save the date for our upcoming Spring Concert, with McLean Avenue Band and Scythian, on Saturday, March 28, at Villanova University. Look for our mailing in a few weeks.
Thank you all for being part of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s work of caring for the needy elderly in Philadelphia. We would not have existed here for 150 years if it had not been for the generous help and support of the people of the City of Brotherly Love! May God bless you and your loved ones. Please be assured of our prayers for you for a happy, healthy, and peace-filled 2020.