“Building to Serve in Love”
Groundbreaking of the new Holy Family Home
March 24, 2022 – Philadelphia
Thursday, March 24, 2022 was a day of joyful anticipation as we broke ground on the new Holy Family Home! Friends, benefactors, associates and family members joined Residents, staff and Little Sisters from several Homes for the celebration. We were especially happy to welcome Archbishop Nelson Pérez to Holy Family Home for the first time! The day began with Holy Mass presided by Archbishop and concelebrated by twelve priests.
In his homily, Archbishop reflected, “If there’s one thing that is true and guaranteed of all of us who are here right now… it’s that while there is a part of our life where we spend most of our time helping and assisting others, there will come a time where we have to be humble enough to allow others to assist us. We all approach a moment in our journey where we have to allow our feet to be washed.” This he said, is the mission of the Little Sisters.
“You become those ministers of mercy. And the Lord has blessed you for that, not only as you run these Homes across the country but as you humbly go to parishes and stand at the door and ask the people of God to assist you, as you’re doing now to build this new facility, this new chapter in your ministry of mercy.”
Archbishop took time to greet everyone after Mass and then it was time to head outside or to the window to watch the groundbreaking begin.
Robert Juliano, President of Holy Family Home Advisory Board gave a warm welcome. The tiny raindrops falling were, he said, like “tears of joy coming from heaven shed by all of the Little Sisters and Residents who have gone before us… knowing that the mission and the work to care for the elderly poor with great love and dignity begun by Mother Foundress St. Jeanne Jugan will live on for many years to come right here at 53rd and Chester avenue in Southwest Philly.”
Monsignor Francis Beach, quoting Psalm 127, “If the Lord does not build the house in vain does the builder labor,” led us in prayer to ask God’s help in bringing the construction to a successful completion and His protection to keep those who work on it safe from injury.
After a reading from I Corinthians, “No one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ,” Monsignor blessed the ground on which our new Home will stand.
Mother Provincial Alice Marie Monica recalled the history of the Little Sisters in the City of Brotherly Love where thanks to the support of the people of Philadelphia and beyond, we have served for over 150 years, and since 1905, in this exact location.
Mother Celine Therese reaffirmed that the mission of the Little Sisters is to serve those who need it the most, which guided our decision to remain here in Southwest Philadelphia. She thanked all of the special people who helped us get to this day. First of course, God, for His Divine Providence. Also, our associates, the incredible staff at Holy Family Home, our Residents, all who are helping in the building project, and our benefactors for their generous support.
We were honored to have Pennsylvania State Representative Jordan Harris in attendance. Recalling the words of our Lord, “What you do for the least of these, you do also unto me,” and sharing memories of his own grandmother, he spoke from the heart about his concern for the elderly in need: “In this city there are many of our seniors who don’t know where their next meal will come from. There are far too many seniors who when they get to their golden age, instead of enjoying it, they have health challenges and they don’t know where they will turn. And as much as government tries to do to support them, what I know is that we could not serve all of those in need had it not been for the work of all of you.” He assured us of his 100 percent support for this project.
Mother Alice Marie Monica, Mother Celine Thérèse, Monsignor Beach, and Holy Family Home Capital Campaign Executive Committee members Angela and Richard Clark, Robert Juliano and Leonard Poncia then donned hard-hats, picked up their shovels and dug in, to much applause!
Refreshments followed, provided and served through the generosity of Capt’n Chucky’s Crab Cake Co., and the reception was a wonderful moment to meet and re-connect with friends old and new!