What better way to start the Advent season than by the Resident Retreat, led by Fr. Dennis Gill, rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. The Residents spent December 2nd in prayer and reflection, preparing for the arrival of the Christ Child.
Another important spiritual event occurred on December 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception, when the Little Sisters of the Poor renew their vows. We are fortunate to have 13 Little Sisters at Holy Family Home, caring for our dear Residents.
The festivities then started. We had visits from various groups which entertained us with carols, plays, and shows. The Newman Club students from Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges came with their chaplain Fr. Jaehwa Lee, and sang in our three dining rooms during lunch.
Our wonderful Hospitality Club students put on a St. Nicholas Day play that was enjoyed by all. These students have been coming to the Home on a monthly basis for over eight years!
Students and their fathers from the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart came and played bingo with the Residents and brought special prizes for them.
Our Resident Theater Club put on a Christmas play which was enjoyed by all. They spent a lot of time practicing and it paid off wonderfully!
Then, our very favorite group came to visit on December 18 and presented their annual Christmas show – Bishop Senior and the seminarians from St. Charles Seminary! The auditorium was packed as they entertained us with their beautiful renditions of Christmas songs, made us smile with their jokes, and warmed our hearts just by spending time talking with the Residents. Our Sisters and Residents continue to pray for the seminarians and for more vocations to the priesthood and the religious life!
It was then time for Santa to come visit our Residents at their Christmas party on December 22. Joe Staffieri provided the music and the Residents sang along and provided accompaniment with their bells, tambourines, and marachas, The Residents loved the presents they received from various church and school groups, including St. Alphonsus Parish (Maple Glen), St. Monica’s school (south Philly), Hallahan, Nativity BVM (Media), St. Mary Magdalen (Media), St. Bernadette’s (Drexel Hill), St. Albert the Great (Huntingdon Valley), SS Simon and Jude (W. Chester), St. Jude’s in Chalfont, St. Dorothy’s (Drexel Hill), St. Maria Goretti (Hatfield) and St. Thomas of Villanova parish, all of which generously donated their time and treasure to go shopping for special items.
Finally, came the real celebration – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses! The Sisters and Residents joyfully welcomed the Christ Child, carried in by one of our Residents. All enjoyed having quiet time with our Lord. On Holy Family Sunday, Bishop Senior came to celebrate Mass and then spent some time going around the dining rooms with our chaplain Father Sullivan, Mother Provincial Margaret Regina, and Mother Catherine, greeting the Residents, and giving each one a small gift.
As usual, the decorations at the Home were beautiful, particularly in our Chapel, which was overflowing with poinsettias donated from our friends: Chadds Ford Greenhouses, Mostardi’s, Richardson’s and Sons, the Produce Market, and Pete Macrie.
We are most grateful to all of you for your prayers and support during Christmas and throughout the year. Your response to our Christmas mailing has been most generous and will help us in caring for our elderly Residents and helping them live out their years comfortably and with dignity. You, your loved ones, and your intentions are being remembered in our daily prayers and Masses. We wish you all a joyous, healthy, and peace-filled 2015!