Philadelphia’s “snapshot” of the life of a Little Sister
Although greeted by a crane and scaffolding around much of the building as they pulled into the parking lot at Holy Family Home, the four young women who attended Philadelphia’s “snapshot” of the life of a Little Sister event on Saturday afternoon, October 7, entered the building undaunted.
God’s Providence was really at work in helping us to find young women interested in coming. At our Jeanne Jugan Gala Bernadette & John, benefactors of our home, approached Sr. Veronica indicating that they walked with a young women’s vocational discernment group in the Neo-Catechumenal Way, and were looking for discernment events. With her broad smile, Sr. Veronica answered, “YES! We’re planning one!” The flyer was e-mailed to the couple within 24 hours, in time for them to present it at their September 18th meeting with the young women. All four of the attendees were from that group. They ranged in age from 21-35. These young women really entered into the day, were very attentive, asked questions easily, and answered OUR questions about the Neo-Catechumenal Way.
An introductory video “Love Serves” was shown on the big-screen TV and after a few comments on that presentation, Sr. Jessica gave an outline of a typical day, showing the balance of prayer, community time and apostolic work that is built into our lives. Sr. Maria Catherine took the young women on a tour around the new care unit, and the young women continued asking questions. It was refreshing to see the ease with which these young women interacted with us.
For the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Residents of the healthcare unit, as well as the apartment Residents, had been invited to participate in a discussion with the Sisters and the young women. Snacks were served, and we had a lively exchange on three questions:
1) Do you remember from whom you learned to pray the rosary?
2) At what point did the rosary become for you more than a recitation of “boring prayers”? When did you learn that the recited prayers are meant to be the background for meditating on the Mysteries?
3) How has the rosary been helpful to you in your life?
We felt privileged to hear the honest, touching impressions, and to learn more about how Mary’s Rosary marked the lives of the young and the old. Then, came the praying of the Rosary for Vocations meditating on the Joyful Mysteries, with various Residents and young participants leading the decades. We sang “O Lord of the Harvest, May You be Glorified” to close the afternoon’s gathering.
Our guests seemed pleased to receive small gift bags with a book about Jeanne Jugan, a rosary, a Jeanne Jugan bracelet, and a copy of the rosary meditations for vocations. They beamed when Sr. Elizabeth Teresa offered each participant her handmade bookmarks. We watched a short Power Point presentation of the life of Jeanne Jugan before going to the chapel for Evening Prayer, which was to end the “Come and See” afternoon.
The young women asked if there was an opportunity to come for a week of prayer and we mentioned our “Spring into Service” program which offers a real-life -experience of the spiritual, community, and apostolic dimensions of our hospitaller mission. The consensus of the Little Sisters was that the afternoon was a very worthwhile endeavor. We thank God and we look forward to seeing any or all of these young women back in our Home in the future.